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Godzilla Actor Haruo Nakajima Dies

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Haruo Nakajima, the Japanese actor best known for playing the role of movie monster Godzilla, died.

The 88-year old actor died of pneumonia after being hospitalized last month, the film company behind the monster said.

Nakajima, who began his career as a stunt actor in Samurai and war films in 1952, wore the monster suit in 1954.

Nakjima's adeptness at performing as Godzilla prompted the film's Japanese producers Toho studio to hire him in 11 more Godzilla sequences. He portrayed the lizard monster for the last time in the 1972 version, Godzilla vs. Gigan.

Godzilla is the story of a beloved but feared giant beast who emerges from the deep after a nuclear test, and as such was seen as symbolic of the evils of nuclear war.

The original Godzilla body suit was made from ready mixed concrete, which was painfully heavy, and would become hot under the studio lights.

Godzilla has since become a monster classic with dozens of Japanese and Hollywood movies featuring the character.

Most of the modern era movies use computer graphics to create the monster.

Nakajima, who studied elephants and gorillas to prepare for his beastly role, believed that his Godzilla was the best.

by RTT Staff Writer

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