The man behind the monster has died: Haruo Nakajima, who wore the Godzilla bodysuit for every Godzilla film from the original to 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan, has died at 88.
Nakajima’s career began in samurai and war films, notably Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa and Eagle of the Pacific. He landed the Godzilla role starting with 1954’s Godzilla, King of the Monsters, directed by Ishiro Honda.
Nakajima took on the monster role in more than just Godzilla films, however. As the principal suit actor for Toho, he also played Mothra in 1961 and King Kong in 1967’s King Kong Escapes, among many other Japanese kaiju roles such as War of the Gargantuas and Frankenstein Conquers the World.