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RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

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RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

Old 08-07-17, 09:17 PM
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RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

The first man to play Godzilla has died.

Haruo Nakajima, an actor who gained fame for suiting up as Godzilla from the monsterís earliest days on screen, has died at age 88. Long before the age of CGI and motion-capture, he helped pioneer the look and feel of blockbuster moviemaking. After appearing in war and samurai films, including Eagle of the Pacific and Akira Kurosawaís Seven Samurai, Nakajima was chosen to get inside the monster suit for 1954ís Godzilla, which added the subtitle King of the Monsters for its later U.S. release. Because rubber was in short supply after the war, materials like concrete were used to make the original suit, pushing its weight to 100 kilograms.

After the success of the original, which was directed by Ishiro Honda, Nakajima went on to play Godzilla a dozen times. His final outing was Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972. As a stuntman and contract player for Toho Studios, Nakajima starred in several other kaiju (monster) movies. He played Mothra in 1961 and King Kong in King Kong Escapes, also appearing in War of the Gargantuas and Frankenstein Conquers the World.


...He may not have been a household name, but man, what a legend in kaiju circles. RIP, Godzilla.
Old 08-07-17, 09:37 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

RIP Gojia
Old 08-07-17, 09:56 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

I had the pleasure of meeting him once, and got a signed photo.

My entire childhood was Godzilla. I couldn't even tell you how many times I've watched him on screen.

Absolute legend.

Old 08-08-17, 05:14 AM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

He also acted out of costume. He was one of the bandits in THE SEVEN SAMURAI.

He was interviewed in last year's documentary about Toshiro Mifune, "Mifune: The Last Samurai."

Old 08-08-17, 12:59 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

Rip
Old 08-08-17, 02:48 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

For the years of awesomeness you are responsible for, kudos to you, sir.

Old 08-08-17, 05:07 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

Thanks for the great movies, which I've watched pretty regularly for most of my life.
Old 08-08-17, 07:23 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

I watched his work for many years, but never knew the name of the man till a lot later in life. Only a truly devoted performer could pull off what he did under 100+ pounds of rubber and intense heat. May he RIP.
Old 08-08-17, 07:44 PM
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Re: RIP to the first Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima

My nephew's son was playing with Godzilla toys on Friday night. I got him turned on to Godzilla last Thanksgiving when I insisted the TV stay on El Rey, which was doing a Godzilla marathon, and my great-nephew was absolutely mesmerized.

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