Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Tribute to Andrew Smith

Heisei Godzilla series actor Andrew Smith holds his copy of the Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II script in July 2013. Photo by Brett Homenick.

According to his brother Jim, Andrew Smith, an American-born actor who appears in several Heisei Godzilla films, passed away today due to a pulmonary embolism. He was admitted to the hospital in late March after breaking his hip. His passing was completely unexpected, and I was hoping to catch up with him after he recovered.

Mr. Smith appears as an American serviceman on Lagos Island in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), a NASA space observatory officer (asking the question, "What's its estimated point of impact?") in Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Garuda pilot Andrew Johnson in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), and a NASA astronaut Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994). Not only has he acted in Godzilla films, but Mr. Smith also wrote the English-language scripts for Godzilla vs. Mothra and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. Moreover, Mr. Smith translated the correspondence between Toho and Hollywood during negotiations for the proposed American Godzilla film in 1993.

I interviewed Mr. Smith in 2008 about his involvement with the Godzilla franchise. In July 2013, I was finally able to meet him in person during a visit to Tokyo. We had an enjoyable Japanese lunch and talked about his various experiences in Japan. He is survived by his wife Mina, his son Jay, and his daughter Mirie.

Rest in peace, Andrew.

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