Takashi Shimura

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Takashi Shimura bigraphy, stories - Japanese actor

Takashi Shimura : biography

March 12, 1905 – February 11, 1982
was a Japanese actor. 

He was born in Ikuno, Hyogo, Japan.http://www.allcinema.net/prog/show_p.php?num_p=46229 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.

Partial filmography

  • Singing Lovebirds (鴛鴦歌合戦 Oshidori utagassen) (1939)
  • Sanshiro Sugata (1943)
  • The Most Beautiful (1944)
  • The Men Who Tread On the Tiger’s Tail (1945)
  • No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
  • Snow Trail (1947)
  • Drunken Angel (1948)
  • The Quiet Duel (1949)
  • Stray Dog – as detective Sato. He won award for Best Actor at the 1950 Mainichi Film Concours. (1949)
  • Boryoku no Machi (1950)
  • Scandal (1950)
  • Rashomon (1950)
  • Elegy (1951)
  • The Idiot (1951)
  • Ikiru (1952)
  • The Skin of the South (Nangoku no hada) (1952)
  • Seven Samurai (1954)
  • Godzilla (1954)
  • Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  • I Live in Fear (1955)
  • Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)
  • The Mysterians (1957)
  • Throne of Blood (1957)
  • Zoku Aoi sanmyaku Shinko no maki (1957)
  • The Hidden Fortress (1958)
  • The Loyal 47 Ronin (Chūshingura) (1958)
  • Storm Over the Pacific (1960)
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
  • Yojimbo (1961)
  • Mothra (1961)
  • Sanjuro (1962)
  • Gorath (1962)
  • Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki (1962)
  • High and Low (1963)
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  • Kwaidan (1964)
  • Samurai Assassin (1965)
  • Red Beard (1965)
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
  • Zatoichi and the Fugitives (1968)
  • The Sands of Kurobe (1968)
  • Zatoichi’s Conspiracy (1973)
  • Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)
  • Ogin-sama Love and Faith (1978)
  • Kagemusha (1980)

Television

  • Akai Unmei

In popular culture

Shimura was featured as a character in Andrez Bergen’s novel One Hundred Years of Vicissitude, released in 2012.