Haruo Nakajima, actor who played original Godzilla, dies

FILE - In this April 28, 2014 file photo, original Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima, who has played his role as the monster, points a figure of the monster he made for the movie, as he speaks during an interview at his home in Sagamihara, near Tokyo. Nakajima, the actor who stomped in a rubber suit to portray the original 1954 Godzilla, has died on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. He was 88. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa, File)

 

 

TOKYO (AP) — Haruo Nakajima, the actor who stomped in a rubber suit to portray the original 1954 Godzilla, has died. He was 88.

Nakajima’s daughter Sonoe Nakajima told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had been hospitalized last month and died of pneumonia Monday.

Nakajima was a stunt actor in samurai films when he was approached to take the role of the Japanese monster that became an iconic symbol of the nuclear era. He invented the character from scratch, and went to a zoo to study how elephants and bears moved.

He believed it was important to show the pathos of the creature, which could only smash everything in its way.

Until recently, Nakajima had continued to be a star guest at festivals and events. He lived in a Tokyo suburb.

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