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Name: Shimura Takashi
Native name: 志村 喬
Born: March 12, 1905
Died: February 11, 1982
Takashi Shimura was a Japanese actor. He was born in Ikuno, Hyogo, Japan. His debut as actor was the film Akanishi Kakita (Capricious Young Man, 1936) and cast in the Kenji Mizoguchi's film Osaka Elegy (1936).
In company with Toshiro Mifune, Shimura is the actor most closely associated with Akira Kurosawa and he appeared in 21 of Kurosawa's 30 films. His roles include the doctor in Drunken Angel (1948), the veteran detective in Stray Dog (1949), the flawed lawyer in Scandal (1950), the woodcutter in Rashomon (1950), the mortally ill bureaucrat in Ikiru (1952), and the lead samurai Kambei in Seven Samurai (1954).
In fact, Kurosawa's cinematic collaboration with Shimura, from 1943 to 1980, started earlier and lasted longer than his work with Mifune (1948–65). Shimura appeared in the director's debut film Sanshiro Sugata (1943), and the last film of Kurosawa's in which he acted was Kagemusha (1980), for which Kurosawa specifically wrote a part for Shimura. However, the scene was cut from the Western release and so many did not know that he had been part of the film. The DVD release of the film by The Criterion Collection restored Shimura's footage.
Outside of his career working with Kurosawa, Shimura is probably best known for his roles in several Japanese monster films, including the scientist Kyohei Yamane in the first two Godzilla films (and the first to reprise the role before Raymond Burr in the English form of Godzilla and Megumi Odaka in the Heisei Godzilla films).
Shimura died on February 11, 1982 in Tokyo, Japan, from emphysema at the age of 76.
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