Tagged: 90, birthday, tatsuya nakadai
As I’m sure most of you know, Nakadai (one of Japan’s most legendary actors, second only to Mifune in fame) was the leading man in Kurosawa’s “Kagemusha”, “Ran”, Kobayashi’s “The Human Condition”, “Hara-kiri”, and “Kwaidan”, as well as Teshigahara’s “Face of Another”. He also appeared in Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo”, “Sanjuro”, and “High and Low”. He’s still kicking as far as I can tell, at the ripe old age of 90. Man, what do they have in the water over there? Another Japanese star of the Golden Age living to 90 or more.
Others still living from Japan’s Golden Age of Cinema include actress Shima Iwashita, age 81 (who co-starred with Nakadai in “Hara-kiri”) and her husband director Mashiro Shinoda, aged 91. Kurosawa regular Kyôko Kagawa, aged 91, who played the wife in Kurosawa’s “High and Low” & “Madadayo”, and most famously, the Mantis Woman in “Red Beard”, is still alive and active in the film industry as well.
Nouvelle Vague director Yoshishige Yoshida died on December 8th (the day before Nakadai’s birthday on December 9th), just shy of 90 at age 89.
Given that they seem to have spent a most of their time smoking and drinking (the male stars/directors anyway) that generation do seem to have remarkable longevity. I can’t think of many Hollywood names from that period still alive. Nakadai seems particularly sprightly.
Clint Eastwood comes to mind, as does Wm. Shatner, James Earl Jones, Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke, all over 90 and Eastwood is still working. Not sure if any of them have a career as long as Nakadai, but Eastwood and Shatner had film roles in the 50’s.
Japanese and Spaniards seem to have had longer lifespans than other nationalities, although living into the 90s has become much more routine in the USA as well in recent years.
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