The Man Who First Played Godzilla Has Died

Haruo Nakajima, the suit actor who played Godzilla from 1954’s Godzilla to 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan, has died. He was 88.

Nakajima started his career playing small bit roles, but his big break was bringing Godzilla to life in its seminal debut. He would go on to play the character for the 12 consecutive films that followed over the next 18 years.

While the gig paid well, Nakajima said he didn’t initially get the respect he deserved donning the 100 kilogram Godzilla suit. “Back then, people didn’t speak positively of suit actors,” says Nakajima. “There’d be whispers going around that working inside (a suit) is not an acting job.”

The character he played is one of the most famous in movie history.

According to Sponichi Annex, Nakajima died yesterday afternoon after contracting pneumonia.

Rest in peace legendary sir!

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