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Haruo Nakajima (中島春雄Nakajima Haruo?) was a Japanese actor and stuntman, most famous for playing Godzilla in the character's first twelve films from 1954 to 1972. During that time, he appeared in nearly every one of Toho's science-fiction films, either as a monster, an extra, or both. He retired from suit acting in 1972, several years after the death of Eiji Tsuburaya, who was a close friend of Nakajima as well as the special effects director for most of Toho's kaiju films in the Showa era. In 2010, he published an autobiography titled Monster Life: Haruo Nakajima, the Original Godzilla Actor.
|| I already knew I could hardly become a star like Akira Takarada. I didn't have the face for it. At first, I could only become a bit player; and then, I was offered this. For the first time in Japanese film history. And once I was inside Godzilla, I became irreplaceable; it would be possible to replace all of the other actors, but not me. If I didn't get to work because I was sick, none of the staff would be able to do their work. All of this gave me a tremendous sense of pride.
— Haruo Nakajima
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Previously Featured Articles
Kaiju Profile: Hedorah - watch on YouTube
This video focuses on the Showa and Godzilla: Final Wars incarnations of the pollution monster Hedorah, going into detail about its history, abilities, and trivia.
In the News
Today is November 19, 2017.
- [11/17/17] GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters is released to Japanese theaters. In addition, the Japanese title, release date, and first teaser image for the second entry in the GODZILLA anime trilogy are revealed. (src)
- [11/1/17] Ten Showa Godzilla films, along with Rodan and War of the Gargantuas, become available to stream on STARZ. Thumbnails for each film label them as part of the Criterion Collection. (src)
- [10/25/17] GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, the official prequel novel to GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, is released in Japan.
- [10/19/17] City Shrouded in Shadow is released in Japan.
- [10/18/17] The one-shot comic Kong: Gods of Skull Island from BOOM! Studios is released.
- [10/13/17] It has been reported that Chikara Hashimoto, who portrayed Daimajin in the character's three film appearances, passed away on October 11 at the age of 83. (src)
- [10/12/17] Takayuki Hattori will compose the score for GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters. (src)
- [10/3/17] Japanese singer XAI will perform "WHITE OUT," the theme song for GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters. (src)
- [10/1/17] Toho announces that GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, a novel that serves as a prequel to GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, will be released on October 25. (src)
- [9/27/17] Legendary Comics releases the third issue of Skull Island: The Birth of Kong.
- [9/26/17] Legendary Pictures releases the first three posters for Pacific Rim Uprising.
- [9/5/17] It has been reported that actor Yoshio Tsuchiya, who appeared in Toho science-fiction films such as The Mysterians, The Human Vapor, Invasion of Astro-Monster, and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, passed away earlier this year on February 8, at the age of 89. (src)
- [8/15/17] Toho releases the first full trailer for GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, along with a new poster. (src)
- [8/14/17] Toho announces five additional cast members for GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters: Daisuke Ono, Kenta Miyake, Kenyu Horiuchi, Kazuya Nakai, and Kazuhiro Yamaji. (src)
- [8/9/17] BOOM! Studios announces a six-issue crossover comic series called Kong on the Planet of the Apes, written by Ryan Ferrier with art by Carlos Magna. (src)
- [8/7/17] Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla suit actor, passes away at the age of 88. (src)
- [8/2/17] The release date of Pacific Rim Uprising is pushed back a month, to March 23, 2018. (src)
- [8/1/17] Shin Godzilla and Colossal are released on home video in the United States.
- [7/18/17] Kong: Skull Island is released on home video.
- [7/6/17] A teaser trailer for GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters is released. (src)
- [7/5/17] A new trailer for City Shrouded in Shadow is released, revealing the inclusion of Gyaos. In addition, the game's release date is announced as October 19. (src)
- [6/19/17] Principal photography for Godzilla: King of the Monsters begins at Blackhall Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. (src)
- [6/12/17] Godzilla's design in GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters is revealed by way of a new poster. (src)
- [6/8/17] Zhang Ziyi joins the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and will be playing a prominent member of Monarch. (src)
- [6/2/17] Bradley Whitford joins the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. (src)
- [5/31/17] Thomas Middleditch joins the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. (src)
- [5/30/17] The release of City Shrouded in Shadow is officially announced for fall 2017 in Japan. In addition, King Ghidorah, Gamera, Legion, and other characters are revealed to be appearing in the game. (src) Adam Wingard is named as the director of Godzilla vs. Kong. (src)
- [5/24/17] Randy Havens joins the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. (src)
- [5/18/17] Charles Dance joins the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, while Sally Hawkins returns to reprise her role as Vivienne Graham. (src)
- [5/15/17] Funimation announces that Shin Godzilla will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on August 1, 2017. (src)
- [5/7/17] Yoshimitsu Banno, director of Godzilla vs. Hedorah and executive producer for Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, passes away at the age of 86. (src)
- [5/3/17] Warner Bros. pushes up the release date for Godzilla vs. Kong from May 29 to May 22, 2020. (src)
- [5/1/17] Anthony Ramos is added to the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and will be playing the character Cpl. Mendoza. (src)
- [4/18/17] Aisha Hinds joins the cast of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. (src) A King Kong television series is confirmed to be in development. (src)
- [4/12/17] The first issue of Skull Island: The Birth of Kong is released.
- [3/31/17] Toho Animation releases a behind-the-scenes video for GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters. (src)
- [3/25/17] It is announced that GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters will be the first in a trilogy of anime Godzilla films. In addition, six main characters in the film are revealed. (src)
- [3/24/17] The official title for the upcoming Godzilla anime, GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, is revealed, along with the film's official story, release date, and a new poster. (src)
- [3/16/17] Another piece of concept art for the GODZILLA anime film is revealed. (src)
- [3/12/17] Netflix has acquired the anime GODZILLA film for global distribution, which will occur sometime in 2017 following the film's theatrical Japanese release. (src)
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