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Ghidorah & Godzilla 1984 Star Yosuke Natsuki Passes Away

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"What is good about the movie industry, I think, is that I could share inspiration, emotion, courage, and pleasure with many people, and 50 years later, I can see my movies now, and see my works when I was young, and throughout different times in my life. So it’s fun to be in this industry. On top of that, I was lucky to get to know many different people, thanks to this industry." - Yosuke Natsuki, February 2013

With deep regret and sorrow we pass along news from Nikkan Sports that actor Yosuke Natsuki passed away on Sunday, January 14th, from a form of skin cancer. He was 81 years old.

Godzilla fans know Natsuki best for his lead performance as Detective Shindo in Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964). He returned twenty years later to the series in The Return of Godzilla (1984). As Dr. Hayashida, he took over a role initially intended for Akihiko Hirata. Hirata passed away before The Return of Godzilla began filming. Natsuki also lead the kaiju-drama Dogora (1964).

Natsuki joined Toho in the 1950s and was in the 10th class of Toho's institute for acting. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka (producer of the first 22 Godzilla films) was later responsible for placing him in specific projects.

His first film role was a bit part in Ishiro Honda's The H-Man (1958). Natsuki landed his first lead role in Mikkokusha wa dar ka that same year.

He later worked with Japanese superstar Toshiro Mifune in The Osaka Castle Story (1961) and Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). In the mid-1960s Mifune asked Natsuki to join his production company and stable of actors. He went on to star in multiple TV series throughout the 1960s and 70s, including Tokyo Bypass Directive and the smash hit Gmen '75.  

In later years Natsuki made a small return to special effects and kaiju, briefly lending his voice to the prime time Ultra series, Ultraseven X (2007). He also made an appearance in Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit (2008).

We offer our condolences and prayers to Natsuki's family. We've lost an excellent talent and wonderful soul.

Thank you to to wolfmanwalter13 on Twitter for bringing this to our attention.
--
Sources:
Nikkan Sports
Vantage Point Interviews

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Written by G. H. (Gman)Published on 2018-01-18 16:28:17

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7 Comments

The King of the Monsters

MemberBaragonJan-18-2018 4:59 PM

Not even a month into 2018 and sadly we've already lost the first veteran of the series this year. Natsuki didn't make quite as many appearances in the series as some of his contemporaries, but he played very strong leading roles in both Dogora and Ghidorah that still remain among my favorite human characters. His role as Hayashida in The Return of Godzilla, while not the main character, really stole the show from the other human characters in my opinion. Natsuki played the role with a great deal of dignity and class, and the film is worth watching just for his terrific performance. Definitely one of the most memorable roles from the Heisei series onward.

I was struck by how in an interview, Natsuki mentioned that had he known the role of Hayashida was originally intended for Akihiko Hirata at the time, he never would have accepted the role because he couldn't hope to live up to an actor like him. I'm sure Hirata would have been proud of Natsuki's portrayal of the character.

As always, it's sad to see an iconic face of the Godzilla franchise pass away, but like Yoshio Tsuchiya and Haruo Nakajima, Natsuki left behind a legacy through his work that will be remembered by fans for a long time. My thoughts and condolences go out to his friends and family as well.

Super Godzilla

MemberMothra LarvaeJan-18-2018 5:19 PM

I really enjoyed the role he played in 84'.  RIP my good sir.

BigDave

MemberKing GhidorahJan-19-2018 1:50 AMR.I.P

riggzamortis86

MemberTitanosaurusJan-19-2018 4:26 AM

The sadness and darkness he portrays as Hayashida in 84 has always stuck with me. His portrayal in that film really carries this tone left from 54 and help make 84 one of the best entries in the whole series in my opinion. Since 84 was the first Godzilla movie I saw as a young child, the characters always stuck with me and helped me become such a die hard G fan.

RIP

RR44

MemberBaragonJan-23-2018 11:23 AM

wonderful actor.. he will be missed.. but never forgotten.

MinecraftDinoKaiju

MemberTitanosaurusFeb-07-2018 9:48 AM

Gone but not forgotten.

Big Bri

MemberMothra LarvaeFeb-15-2018 5:50 AM

RIP Yosuke Natsuke. I haven't seen Ghidorah or Return of Godzilla in a while. But i remember him in the movies. Thank you for being a great actor. Condolences to his family and friends. Here's to another actor that will never be forgotten. 

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