Child actors all grown up: Hiroyuki Takano, Hiroko Saito, and Yoshinobu Kaneko. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Last night, I attended a special dinner event as part of a celebration of Hiroyuki Takano's 50th anniversary celebration as an actor. (As you can imagine, he got started very young.) The celebration included two other former child actors: Yoshinobu Kaneko and Hiroko Saito.
With Yoshinobu Kaneko.
Yoshinobu Kaneko was a child actor with a varied career. In the West, Kaneko-san would be best known as the young boy in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) who begs his mother to go see Godzilla, only to be told that they're not going to the zoo. He stars in the title role of the Toei fantasy/action film Watari, Ninja Boy (1966) and co-stars as Blue Shadow in the Toei TV series Red Shadow (1967-68) and the movie spin-off Ninja Scope (1969). He also can be seen in episode 15 of Ultraman (1966-67), among numerous other TV and film appearances. Despite rumors to the contrary, he is not the younger brother of the late child actor Mitsunobu Kaneko, who starred in Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (1967-68). I first met Kaneko-san four years ago and never had a chance to see him again until last night. It was wonderful to see him again.
With Hiroyuki Takano.
Naturally, Hiroyuki Takano was a guest at his own celebration. Among other movie and TV appearances, Takano-san can be seen in Ultra Seven (1967-68), Fight! Mighty Jack (1968), Operation: Mystery (1968-69), Spectreman (1971-72), Return of Ultraman (1971-72), Kamen Rider (1971-73), Silver Mask (1971-72), and Submersion of Japan (1974-75). However, his most notable role was co-starring in the Toei superhero series Barom-1 (1972) as Kentaro Shiratori. It was a blast talking about San Diego and other California locations with him!
With Hiroko Saito.
Hiroko Saito has appeared in Kamen Rider (1971-73), Kamen Rider V3 (1973-74), Kikaider (1972-73), Barom-1, Inazuman (1973-74), Kamen Rider X (1974), Star Wolf (1978), Toei's Spider-Man (1978-79), and Ultraman 80 (1980-81). She was a regular on Tsuburaya Productions' Time of the Apes (1974-75) as the young girl Yurika. Saito-san is a lovely lady, and I look forward to seeing her again soon.