Sonny Chiba, the veteran Japanese actor famous for his role as Hanzo in the Quentin Tarantino film. Kill bill, has died at the age of 82.
Chiba died today (August 19) of pneumonia caused by contracting Covid-19, his agent confirmed to Variety. He was admitted to the hospital for the first time on August 8.
Chiba was recognized as a skilled martial artist and rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s on television shows such as Street Fighter Y Yakuza Police.
He later gained additional recognition for his roles in various English language films, including Quentin Tarantino. Kill bill series in which he played a legendary sword maker.
Chiba also played the villain in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Horror filmmaker Ted Geoghegan topped the tributes on social media, tweeting: The great Sonny Chiba passed away today at age 82, another Covid-19 victim.
“A martial arts legend with six black belts who started out on tokusatsu TV, Chiba made more than 120 films for Toei and was Japan’s hottest action star for decades. Watch one of his movies today. “
The actor worked prolifically throughout his life, earning more than 120 credits to his name.
Some of his best known Japanese films include Champion of Death, Karate for life Y Invasion of Neptune’s men.
He acted for several big names in world cinema, including Tarantino, Justin Lin, Takashi Miike, and Kinji Fukasaku.
He also worked as a fight scene choreographer later in his career.
Chiba is survived by a daughter and two sons.