‘Godzilla’ Actor Haruo Nakajima Passes Away

The King is dead! Haruo Nakajima, has died at the age of 88. Though most American audiences may not know the name by heart, they will immediately recognize the iconic character he portrayed. Nakajima was the man behind Godzilla. More specially he was the man inside of Godzilla.

Nakajima was the suit actor from the first Godzilla film Gojira, which came to america as Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The effort and dedication he put behind the performance became the stuff of legend as getting into the costume was a time consuming process. It was documented, Nakajima lost a lot of weight from carrying the heavy suit through only the first appearance. Still his effort paid off as the original version of Gojira is hailed by some to be one of the greatest anti-war films to ever be created.

Godzilla vs. Gigan

Afterward Nakajima would continue to work for Toho Studios, donning the role Godzilla for 12 films. Modifications would be made to the suit to allow easier access for the actor so he could take more breaks and not suffer as much through production. He would also play King Kong in King Kong Escapes and Baragon from Frankenstein Conquers The World. His non-suit acting roles included being featured in Akira Kurosawa films such as Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, and Yojimbo. In 90s, he made several guest appearances at pop culture related conventions all over America where he talked about how much of an honor it was to play Godzilla through so many movies.

Seeing the passing of Mr. Nakajima strikes a personal cord with this writer. Had it not been for picking up Godzilla vs. Monster Zero at an early age, the joy of giant monster movies may never have been revealed. Thank you Mr. Nakajima for all your hard work and for creating films which will no doubt serve as a reminder to the world, how nature points out the folly of man. Go, Go, Godzilla.

Anthony Wendel
Anthony Wendelhttp://www.thegiganticproject.com
Anthony is a geek through and through who still looks forward to new releases, sneak peeks, Giant Monsters, and robots of all shapes and sizes. He loves animation of all shapes and sizes. He has a distinct apprehension for trolling and clips shows. His books, The Handbook for Surviving A Giant Monster Attack and Santa Claus Conquers Manos: The Hands of Fate are available on Amazon.