Godzilla actor Haruo Nakajima has died aged 88

  • Godzilla actor Haruo Nakajima has died aged 88

Godzilla actor Haruo Nakajima has died aged 88

Born in January 1929, in Yamagata, Haruo established himself over the course of his career in the Japanese and American film industries as the best star to ever work for the Toho film studio.

Haruo Nakajima, the actor who wore the Godzilla suit in the 1954 film, has died aged 88.

Haruo Nakajima, the first actor to portray Godzilla on screen, died Monday. After studying animal movements at a local zoo, Nakajima donned the thick rubber suit in Gojira and nine other movies through the 1970s.

"It was so heavy and hot, and with the lighting it was hot just to touch it", Nakajima said. "I was so happy".

"Since materials were so rare, things like rubber were not available". The original monster costume was created from ready-mixed concrete. It spawned three Hollywood remakes, in addition to 29 original Toho films. And by the grace of his own Japanese-language autobiography from 2010 - namely Monster Life: Haruo Nakajima, the Original Godzilla Actor - his personage will be remembered well beyond his immediate resume. The actor went on to become the favourite bodysuit model for the Japanese production house, Toho and played other beasts in the movies Rodan, Mothra and King Kong. "At that time, there was an elephant from India there called Indira and I observed how it walked", he said in 2014.

Nakajima's last appearance as Godzilla was in the 1972 movie, "Godzilla vs. Gigan". The last Hollywood outing was in 2014, with a sequel now in works. But author Steve Ryfle, who wrote a book about Godzilla and its sequels, told NPR in 2004 that appearing real wasn't really the point.