Sonny Chiba, Kill Bill’s star dies due to COVID-19 complications At age 82

Martial arts legend Shinichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba passed away, age 82, from COVID-19 complications at a hospital in Kimitsu on Thursday.

American audiences were familiar with the Japanese legend, who was not believed to have been vaccinated. They remember Hattori Hanzo’s role in Kill Bill: Volume 1 2003.

Quentin Tarantino, a two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter was a big fan of Chiba’s work – even making references to his films Pulp Fiction (1995) and True Romance (1993).

Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, a legend in Martial Arts, died on Thursday, aged 82. He succumbed to COVID-19 complications in a Kimitsu hospital (pictured in 2003).

American viewers knew this Japanese icon – apparently not vaccinated- from Hattori Hanzo’s memorable role in Kill Bill: Volume 1 2003.

The ex-gymnast played Kamata, the main character in Justin Lin’s 2006 sequel The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift. He also played Makio Mimura as part of Kinji Fukasaku’s 2003 film Battle Royale II: Requiem.

Sonny has a long acting history in Japan, dating back to 1960, with 209 credits on film and TV, such as The Street Fighter.

To gain mainstream acceptance internationally, he enjoyed playing the role of the anti-hero.

Near: Quentin Tarantino, the two-time Oscar winning screenwriter (pictured in 2007, L) was an avid fan of Chiba’s work – even making references to his film Pulp Fiction in 1995 and True Romance in 1993

The Yakuza boss. The ex-gymnast played Kamata (pictured), in Justin Lin’s 2006 sequel The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift (pictured), as well Makio Mimura, in Kinji Fukasaku’s 2003 film Battle Royale II: Requiem.

Anti-heroes: Sonny has an acting career that dates back to 1960 in Japan. He had 209 credits on television and film, including The Street Fighter.

Chiba, born Sadaho Maeda, was an impressive black belt in ninjutsu and shorinji kempo as well as judo, dojo, kendo and goju-ryu.

His three children, daughter Juri Manase and Mackenyu-Arata sons, as well as his two marriages to Tamami Chiba and Yoko Nogiwa, are his survivors.

His final role in the drama Bond of Justice: Kizuna will be played by Jou. It hits Los Angeles theatres on October 1.

Curtain Call: His final role as Jou will be played by Ryuji Yamakita in Bond of Justice: Kizuna. It hits Los Angeles theatres on October 1.

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Publiated at Thu, 19 August 2021 15:42.55 +0000

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