‘Godzilla’ costume actor Kenpachiro Satsuma dead at 76

‘Godzilla’ costume actor Kenpachiro Satsuma dead at 76‘Godzilla’ costume actor Kenpachiro Satsuma dead at 76
via RetroHelix, Creature Features
Kenpachiro Satsuma, famous for donning the Godzilla costume in the classic kaiju franchise, has died at 76.
What happened: Satsuma, whose real name is Yasuaki Maeda, died from interstitial pneumonia on Dec. 16, his family confirmed in a social media post. The official Japanese Godzilla X account also confirmed his death in a post that day.
View post on X
Maeda first contracted the illness in November, according to Anime News Network.
What they’re saying: In the post on X, the official Godzilla account expressed its condolences for the sudden death of Satsuma, noting how “His time as a suit actor for Godzilla is forever engraved in the hearts of fans.”
A funeral is reportedly being planned for family members, with an “owakarekai” or “farewell gathering” for acquaintances in the movie industry set for a later date.
His legacy: Born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1947, Satsuma was credited as the second actor to don the Godzilla costume in the classic kaiju movies. He first appeared as the monster’s enemies, such as Hedorah and Gigan, in earlier films starting in 1971.
Satsuma first acted in the Godzilla costume in the 1984 movie “The Return of Godzilla” and returned as the kaiju six more times in the next 11 years, including “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” (1991), “Godzilla vs. Mothra” (1992) and “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II” (1993).
Outside the franchise: Besides the Kaiju franchise, Satsuma is also known for appearing in other films, such as “Hong Kil-dong” (1986), “Japanese Hell” (1999) and the controversial North Korean Kaiju movie “Pulgasari,” where he played a giant monster likened to Godzilla.
His latest film appearance was in the 2002 movie “Kawana Mariko: Sakuragai no amai mizu.”
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