Haruo Nakajima, the actor who played the original Godzilla in the 1954 Japanese classic, has died at the age of 88.
On Monday, Nakajima died of pneumonia after being hospitalized last month.
Nakajima started his film career as a stuntman, getting his first big gig at the age of 25 as the easily recognizable giant monster.
Nakajima said that playing the giant lizard at first gave him “a sense of isolation.”
“But, I started to enjoy playing Godzilla,” he added.
The Japanese actor had to wear a 220-lb. suit which was extremely heavy for him to hold. He struggled to walk just 30 ft. while wearing it.
According to the film company’s website, Nakajima prepared to play the imaginary monster by visiting a Tokyo zoo to analyze the movements of elephants, bears, and gorillas.
The film inspired several adaptations, including an American version in the same year. But Nakajima was not a fan. In an interview he gave back in 2014, he said, “I am the original, the real thing. My Godzilla was the best.”
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