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Harada Yoshio (1940-2011)
By Stephen Cremin
Tue, 19 July 2011, 18:13 PM (HKT)
HARADA Yoshio 原田芳雄 one of Japan's most charismatic and distinctive actors, died this morning aged 71. He had acted in over one hundred movies in the past four decades.
Early highlights of his career include SADANAGA Masahisa 貞永方久's Song of Vengeance 復讐の歌が聞こえる (1968), KUROKI Kazuo 黒木和雄's The Assassination of Ryoma 竜馬暗殺 (1974), SUZUKI Seijun 鈴木清順's Zigeunerweisen ツィゴイネルワイゼン (1980).
He regularly worked with a wide variety of directors from different generations including FUJITA Toshiya 藤田敏八, FUKASAKU Kinji 深作欣二, TERAYAMA Shuji 寺山修司, HAYASHI Kaizo 林海象, KORE-EDA Hirokazu 是枝裕和 and SAKAMOTO Junji 阪本順治.
Hayashi told Film Business Asia, "He was both a brilliant actor and a wonderful human being who helped each new generation of film people. For me, he is as iconic as MIFUNE Toshiro 三船敏郎 and KATSU Shintaro 勝新太郎. He is the last of the three greats."
Sakamoto Junji's Someday 大鹿村騒動記 (2011), starring Harada in the leading role, opened in Japan on Saturday. He attended the film's premiere on 11 July in a wheelchair and it was reported that he was ill with both pneumonia and an intestinal obstruction. In 2008, he underwent surgery for bowl cancer.