Actor Yamauchi Ken passed away in the early morning of September 24th, at the age of 67. He died of pneumonia at a hospital in Shinjuku, Tokyo, where he had been hospitalized since September 13th.
Yamauchi, whose real name was Fujise Noriaki, got his acting start in 1955 under the stage name Kubo Ken. That same year, he appeared in “Asunaro Monogatari,” playing a younger version of the main character, who was played by Yamauchi’s older brother, actor Kubo Akira. After appearing in a few Toho movies in the next several years, he signed with Nikkatsu in 1962 and changed his stage name to Yamauchi Ken.
During his Nikkatsu years, he often co-starred with actress Izumi Masako, and together they sang several hit duet songs, such as “Futari no Ginza.”
In the 1970s, Yamauchi also started appearing in television dramas, including the “Abare Hacchaku” series.
Veteran actor Harada Yoshio died of pneumonia at around 9:35am on Tuesday, July 19, at a hospital in Tokyo. He was 71 years old.
Harada joined the Gekidan Haiyuza theater troupe in the 1960s. He made his television debut in 1967 with “Tenka no Seinen,” and one of his best known television dramas during his early career was the historical series “Juichibanme no Shishi” in 1968. On the big screen, his first film was “Fukushuu no Uta ga Kikoeru” in 1968, and he soon began building his popularity through movies such as “Hangyaku no Melody” in 1970.
Harada left the Gekidan Haiyuza in 1971. After that, he started playing major roles in a slew of big films, including “Ryouma Ansatsu,” “Dotsuitarunen,” “Zigeunerweisen,” “Utsukushii Natsu Kirishima,” and many more. He also played supporting characters in countless television dramas. His most recent appearances included “Shinzanmono” in 2010 and “Koukousei Restaurant,” which ended earlier this month.
“Oshika-mura Soudouki,” which opened in theaters on July 16, was his final film. His last public appearance was at a press conference for the film that was held on July 11.