More extremely sad news for our community tonight as it has been reported the “man inside the suit”, Godzilla actor Haruo Nakajima has passed away at the age of 88!
Nakajima wore the Godzilla suit for every Godzilla film from the original 1954 film through Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972.
He became Toho Studios principal suit actor who not only was the suit actor for Godzilla but was the suit actor for Mothra (1961), King Kong in King Kong Escapes (1967), Frankenstein Conquers The World (1965), Rodan (1956), Mogera in The Mysterians (1957), Varan in Varan the Unbelievable (1958), Gaira in The War of the Gargantuas (1966), and more.
Nakajima’s career began in samurai and war films, notably Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa and Eagle of the Pacific. He landed the Godzilla role starting with 1954’s Gojira directed by Ishiro Honda.
In 2010, Nakajima wrote a Japanese language autobiography entitled, Monster Life: Haruo Nakajima, the Original Godzilla Actor.
In the mid-1990’s, Nakajima made several appearances at conventions around the U.S. including Chicago’s famous G-Fest convention.
Nakajima made such an indelible impact on my childhood and love of Godzilla and other kaiju (giant monster) films was cemented by his portrayal of these monsters. I owe him such a debt for his career that can never be repaid. His films will indeed live on until the end of time in the hearts and minds of his fans and cinephiles.
All of us at Horror Patch send our condolences to Haruo Nakajima’s family and friends!
R.I.P. Haruo Nakajima (1929 – 2017)