Akira Takarada

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Akira Takarada
宝田 明
Akira Takarada 1956 Scan10004.jpg
Takarada in 1956
Born(1934-04-29)April 29, 1934[1]
DiedMarch 14, 2022(2022-03-14) (aged 87)[3]
Tokyo, Japan[4]
OccupationActor, Tarento
Years active1954–2022
Spouse(s)
(m. 1966; div. 1984)
ChildrenMichiru Kojima (daughter)
Japanese name
Kanji宝田 明
Hiraganaたからだ あきら[2]
RomanizationTakarada Akira
Websiteakira-takarada.com

Akira Takarada (Japanese: 宝田 明, Hepburn: Takarada Akira, April 29, 1934 – March 14, 2022) was a Japanese film actor best known for his roles in the Godzilla film series.

Life and career[edit]

Akira Takarada was born in Korea under Japanese rule, and lived for a time in Manchuria, China.[1] His father worked as an engineer on the South Manchuria Railway.[5] After the war, he remained in Harbin, and he was able to speak Mandarin Chinese and English.

Takarada moved to Allied-occupied Japan with his family in 1948. He joined Toho as part of their "New Face" program in April 1953.[1] In his film debut, he had a small role in And Then the Liberty Bell Rang, a biography of the educator Fukuzawa Yukichi.[1] His big break came when he was cast as navy diver Hideto Ogata in the original Godzilla (1954). He became a popular actor at Toho for his good looks and charismatic, sophisticated character. He continued his association with the Godzilla series in Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966). He returned to the series in 1992 with Godzilla vs. Mothra and appeared again in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). Other Toho science-fiction/special-effects films in which he appeared include Half Human (1955), The Last War (1961), King Kong Escapes (1967), and Latitude Zero (1969).

Toho prepared a musical production of Gone with the Wind with Broadway composer-lyricist Harold Rome for its new Imperial Garden theatre in 1970. Entitled Scarlett, Takarada was originally scheduled to play the role of Rhett Butler. However, injuries sustained in an accident in which he fell off a bulldozer while filming prevented him from participating in this stage production.[6]

Takarada made a guest appearance at the fan convention G-Fest XVII in 2010, and again at G-Fest XIX in July 2012, G-Fest XXIII in July 2016, and G-Fest XXVI in 2019.[citation needed] He received G-FEST's Mangled Skyscraper Award in 2010, and the G-FAN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. He has come to be known as "The Godfather of G-FEST." On March 27, 2013, Takarada posed for publicity photographs with director Gareth Edwards on the set of the Legendary/Warner Bros Godzilla reboot, suggesting a cameo of sorts in the new movie. His scenes were filmed, but ultimately cut from the movie. He is still listed in the movie credits.

Filmography[edit]

Selected works[edit]

Year Title[7] Role Notes Ref(s)
1954 And Then the Liberty Bell Rang Sōtarō Masuda [8]
Bride in a Bathing Suit Masao Sakurai [9]
Godzilla Hideto Ogata
1955 Half Human Takeshi Iijima
1956 Romantic Daughters Kubota
1957 Ōatari Sanshoku Musume narrator
Aoi Sanmyaku Tamao Memata
A Rainbow Plays in My Heart Tatsuo Itō
1958 A Holiday in Tokyo
1959 The Three Treasures Prince Wakatarashi
Life of an Expert Swordsman
1960 Hawaii Midway Daikai Kūsan: Taiheiyō Noarashi Communications officer
Daughters, Wives and a Mother
1961 The Last War Takano
Kohayagawa-ke no aki Tadashi Teramoto
1962 A Wanderer's Notebook Kō Fukuchi
1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla News Reporter Ichirō Sakai
1965 Ironfinger Andrew Hoshino
Invasion of Astro-Monster Astronaut K. Fuji
1966 Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster Yoshimura
1967 King Kong Escapes Lieutenant Commander Jirō Nomura
1968 Fancy Paradise Kō Maeno
1969 Latitude Zero Doctor Ken Tashirō
1990 Tales of a Golden Geisha Inukai
1992 Minbo
General Manager Kobayashi
Godzilla vs. Mothra Jōji Minamino
1996 Hissatsu! Mondo Shisu Mizuno Tadakuni Hissatsu series
1997 Marutai no Onna Police commissioner
2000 Tales of the Unusual
2004 Godzilla: Final Wars Natarō Daigo
2005 Fantastipo Kintarō Koinobori
2007 Glory to the Filmmaker!
2014 Godzilla Japanese Immigration Agent Deleted scene
2018 Ashita ni Kakeru Hashi
2018 The Great Buddha Arrival Storyteller
2019 Dance with Me Machin Ueda
2022 Life in Bloom Keizō [10]

Television[edit]

Television drama[edit]

Dubbing roles[edit]

Live action[edit]

Animation[edit]

Video games[edit]

Stage productions[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ryfle, Steve (1998). "Akira Takarada: Mr. Handsome". Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G". Miami: ECW Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 1-55022-348-8.
  2. ^ a b Tanaka 1983, p. 531.
  3. ^ "宝田明さん急逝、87歳 10日舞台あいさつに登壇も13日容体急変 映画「ゴジラ」など出演". Nikkan Sports. March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  4. ^ "Original 'Godzilla' actor Akira Takarada dies at 87". The Japan Times. March 18, 2022. Archived from the original on March 18, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  5. ^ "終戦の満州、悪夢の始まり…俳優 宝田明さん 81". Yomiuri Shimbun. August 13, 2015. Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  6. ^ Rome, Florence (1971). The Scarlett Letters. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-46171-1., p.154.
  7. ^ Filmography: "AKIRA TAKARADA". Complete Index to World Film. Retrieved January 29, 2010., Akira Takarada at IMDb, 宝田明 たからだ・あきら (in Japanese). allcinema.net. Retrieved January 29, 2010., 宝田明 (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2010., and 宝田明( 出演 ) (in Japanese). Kinema Junpo. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2010. "Akira Takarada Filmography". Eiga.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  8. ^ "かくて自由の鐘は鳴る : 作品情報". Eiga.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  9. ^ "水着の花嫁 : 作品情報". Eiga.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  10. ^ "世の中にたえて桜のなかりせば". eiga.com. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "映画「キャッツ」に山寺宏一や宝田明が参加、日本語版の新キャスト発表". Natalie. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  12. ^ disney-studio.jp Aladdin DVD
  13. ^ a b c d e f "声優さん出演リスト 個別表示:宝田 明(Akira Takarada)" [Voice actor's appearance list individual display: Tomomichi Nishimura]. Voice Artist Database (in Japanese). GamePlaza-HARUKA-. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  14. ^ disney-studio.jp The Return of Jafar DVD
  15. ^ disney-studio.jp Olivia-chan no Daibōken(The Great Mouse Detective) BD/DVD
  16. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Akira Takarada - 9 Character Images | Behind The Voice Actors". behindthevoiceactors.com. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]