Japanese film actor Yosuke Natsuki passed away on Sunday, January 14th, from a form of skin cancer. He was 81 years old.
Godzilla fans know Natsuki best for his lead performance as Detective Shindo in Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964). He returned twenty years later to the series in The Return of Godzilla (1984). As Dr. Hayashida, he took over a role initially intended for Akihiko Hirata. Hirata passed away before The Return of Godzilla began filming. Natsuki also lead the kaiju-drama Dogora (1964).
Natsuki joined Toho in the 1950s and was in the 10th class of Toho's institute for acting. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka (producer of the first 22 Godzilla films) was later responsible for placing him in specific projects.
His first film role was a bit part in Ishiro Honda's The H-Man (1958). Natsuki landed his first lead role in Mikkokusha wa dar ka that same year.
He later worked with Japanese superstar Toshiro Mifune in The Osaka Castle Story (1961) and Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). In the mid-1960s Mifune asked Natsuki to join his production company and stable of actors. He went on to star in multiple TV series throughout the 1960s and 70s, including Tokyo Bypass Directive and the smash hit Gmen '75.
In later years Natsuki made a small return to special effects and kaiju, briefly lending his voice to the prime time Ultra series, Ultraseven X (2007). He also made an appearance in Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit (2008).