Ulf Otsuki

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Ulf Otsuki
Ulf Otsuki in 2017. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Born August 27, 1934
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Died August 2020 (age 85-86)
Occupation Former actor
Notable role(s) L-Banda, Seatopian, Garoga
First work Phantom Agents (TV 1964-1966)
Notable work Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973),
Daitetsujin 17 (TV 1977)
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It is not easy to talk about all the experiences I've done in Japanese show business. I would say it was totally crazy and amusing. Please give me another crazy role in Hollywood. I can fuck up Godzilla with chopsticks.
„ 

— Ulf Otsuki, on his life as an actor[1]

Ulf Georgii-Hemming (ウルフ・ゲオルギー=ヘミング,   Urufu Georugī Hemingu), given the Japanese name Yoshio Otsuki (大月 良雄,   Ōtsuki Yoshio) and known professionally as Ulf Otsuki (大月 ウルフ,   Ōtsuki Urufu),[a] was a Swedish-Japanese actor best known for playing various villain characters in Japanese tokusatsu productions between the 1960s and 90s. Recognizable for his unique expressions and pantomimed performances, he is best remembered among kaiju fans as a bearded Seatopian agent in Godzilla vs. Megalon.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Ulf Otsuki was born Ulf Georgii-Hemming at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo City, Tokyo Prefecture (presently Tokyo Metropolis) on August 27, 1934.[2] He is the son of Russian-Swedish[2] architect Gösta Georgii-Hemming and Japanese pianist Toako Otsuki.[1] Ulf was given Swedish nationality at birth, but was forced to stay in Japan with his mother and elder sister Fujiko due to the Nazi occupation in Sweden; upon turning 20, he lost his Swedish nationality due to having never set foot in the country.[1] His parents separated by the end of World War II, and by the 1970s Ulf had become a Japanese citizen.[1]

Ulf found an interest in acting as a child,[1] and began appearing in theater productions as a junior high school student.[2] He joined the theater company Haiyuza for a time, but quit to pursue acting in TV and film.[1]

Ulf made his television debut in the 1966 Fuji TV series Phantom Agents under the Japanese name Tokuo Otsuki.[2] The same year, he appeared in the Daiei film The Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Seduction. Ulf continued to make appearances in tokusatsu series through the 1960s into the 1970s, including as George Yamaguchi in Ambassador Magma, a scientist in Giant Robo and Commander Q in Tsuburaya Productions' Fight! Mighty Jack.[2] Ulf appeared as the hitman L-Banda in two 1973 episodes of Toho's superhero series Warrior of Love Rainbowman; he would later cite the role as one of his favorites of his career.[1] The same year, Otsuki was assigned the role of a Seatopian agent in the 13th film of the Godzilla series, Godzilla vs. Megalon. Of director Jun Fukuda, Otsuki recalled, "I think he is an enthusiast for movies. At the end of my role in this Godzilla film, director Fukuda asked me if I could tumble down a cliff myself instead of a stunt man. As a Japanese actor, I should have done it, whether I wanted to or not. I mean that, in the Japanese film industry in those days, directors had absolute power, and we poor Japanese actors used to be ordered to do stunts without any insurance."[1] Ulf continued to play eccentric villain characters through the Second Monster Boom of the 1970s and beyond, including as the recurring character Professor Hessler in Daitetsujin 17.[2]

Otsuki continued to be active as a performer through the 1980s and 90s, appearing as yet more villains in such series as Kamen Rider Super-1, Ninja Olympiad, Cyber Cop, and three entries in Toei's Super Sentai series. In 1994, Otsuki portrayed Michel de Nostredame in the 1994 Toei film, The Terrifying Revelations of Nostradamus. He took an 11-year hiatus[2][3] from acting beginning in the early 2000s, but returned to the industry to play the character Harley Hendrickson in three episodes of the 2015 series Kamen Rider Drive, his final tokusatsu role.

Aside from acting, Otsuki owned the coffee shop La Campanella inside his sister Fujiko Hemming's Memorial Art Museum.[2][3] Fujiko, a pianist, announced to the press on January 26, 2021 that her brother Ulf had passed away in August of 2020.[2][3]

Selected filmography[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Also rendered Wolf Otsuki.

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Ulf Otsuki. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Homenick, Brett (30 June 2018). AN ACTOR AND A GENTLEMAN! Ulf Otsuki Talks Tokusatsu in the 1970s!. Vantage Point Interviews.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Ulf Otsuki (大月ウルフ). ja.wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 14 July 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ragone, August (12 February 2021). REQUIESCAT IN PACE: ULF GEORGII-HEMMING (1934-2020).... Facebook.

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