Wednesday, August 9, 2017

R.I.P. Haruo Nakajima

   World pop culture was recently hit by the loss of an icon, though one which seldom had his face before the public. Haruo Nakajima was Toho's monster man, the actor who played Godzilla from 1954 to 1972, in addition to seemingly hundreds of other Japanese giants including Rodan, Baragon, King Kong, the Green Gargantua, and numerous Ultraman enemies. By all accounts a sweet, gentle man about which has never been said a bad word, Nakajima-san was without argument a major part of countless boys' lives. He infused his roles with life and a level of research many would not think required for playing giant monsters. He did play a few human parts in various Japanese films, but his being the Big Blue Dinosaur saw him on screens all over the world. His retirement in the early 70's was a major blow to the genre of Japanese monster movies, and his passing truly denotes the end of a golden era of science fiction adventure. Rest In Peace, Nakajima-san. God bless you, and thanks for so many great memories. I can't imagine my childhood without his impact. Many actors have played Godzilla, but none with the abilities of the man who really created the part. His Godzilla had character those who followed him never captured. His Godzilla created moments which stick with you. My favorite may be the scene in GODZILLA VERSUS THE SEA MONSTER in which he tears the claw from a giant lobster, and then taunts his foe with the severed limb! Most Godzilla movies starred Godzilla, but Haruo Nakajima's Godzilla movies really starred Haruo Nakajima. Goodbye Sir, and thanks again.

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