Haruo Nakajima, who played the original 1954 Godzilla, dies.
TOKYO» He stomped over miniature bridges and buildings in a rubber suit and gave the world Godzilla, the fire-breathing, screeching monster that became Japan’s star cultural export and an enduring symbol of the pathos and destruction of the nuclear age. Haruo Nakajima, who portrayed Godzilla in the original 1954 classic, died Monday of pneumonia. He was 88.
The film, which went on to become a mega-series and inspired Hollywood spinoffs, struck a chord with postwar Japan, the only nation in the world to suffer atomic bombing, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the closing days of World War II.
Vivacious and energetic, Nakajima said he invented the character from scratch, and developed it by going to a zoo to study how elephants and bears moved. He said it was important to show the pathos of the creature. — The Associated Press