Cliff Harrington (left) spots Godzilla in his best-known role to Western kaiju eiga fans, that of Al in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962).
Former actor and voice actor in Japanese films, Cliff Harrington, died in Kyushu, Japan, on August 9, 2013. He was 81.
Born in Seattle, WA, on June 18, 1932, military life eventually brought Cliff to Japan where he became involved in the entertainment industry. He appeared as Al in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), and by happenstance ended up dubbing the voice of the helicopter pilot he sat next to (in the Japanese version). Cliff dubbed a lot more films via William Ross and Frontier Enterprises, and even worked as cinematographer on Robert Dunham's independent film Time Travelers (1966).
I interviewed Cliff in 2006 and remained in touch with him over the years. He moved to Kyushu in 2011 to be closer to his wife Tomoko's aging parents. While Cliff had been healthy during the time I knew him, he suddenly became ill several months ago and never recovered. I last spoke to Cliff (from the hospital) in April or May, but he didn't sound well at all. Only tonight did I learn of the sad news.