Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Mizuho Suzuki, 'Godzilla 1985's' Foreign Minister Emori, Passes Away at Age 96

Mizuho Suzuki.

Actor Mizuho Suzuki, best known to Godzilla fans for his role as Foreign Minister Emori in Godzilla 1985 (1984), passed away due to heart failure in Tokyo at 11:01 p.m. on November 19. He was 96. A private funeral has already been held. 

Aside from his turn in the Godzilla series, Mr. Suzuki's other notable credits include the Daiei period horror film The Snow Woman (1968), Kihachi Okamoto's Battle of Okinawa (1971), Submersion of Japan (1973), The Last Days of Planet Earth (1974), Conflagration (1975), the Toei all-star actioner The Bullet Train (1975), and Deathquake (1980). 

He was also responsible for dubbing Charlton Heston in the theatrical version of Solar Crisis (1990). On the small screen, Mr. Suzuki provided the voice for Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather (1972), as well as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, for the Nippon TV broadcasts of those films. 

Born in Manchuria on October 23, 1927, Mr. Suzuki moved to Japan after the war at the age of 18 with his father, who was a Japanese soldier, and began his acting career in 1952 when, after graduating from college, he reportedly helped establish the Mingei Theatre Company, although the theater troupe's home page does not mention Mr. Suzuki's involvement in its founding. (It should also be noted that this source only asserts that Mr. Suzuki dropped out of Kyoto University and makes no mention of his graduating from another university.)

By 1958, Mr. Suzuki had made the transition from the stage to the big screen, appearing in several movies for Nikkatsu. In the 1970s and '80s, he would appear in numerous tokusatsu productions at Toho, usually playing government officials, which would earn him a measure of international recognition. 

In September of this year, I reached out to Gekidan Dora, the theater company Mr. Suzuki helped found in 1972, about interviewing the actor. I never received a reply, but, given his advanced age, I wasn't too surprised. Unfortunately, it turned out that Mr. Suzuki would pass away less than two months later.

Rest in peace, Mr. Suzuki.

No comments:

Post a Comment