Haruo Naka­jima, who played the orig­i­nal 1954 Godzilla, dies.

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

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

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