Haruo Nakajima, who played Godzilla during the golden age of Japan's most celebrated monster character, has passed away, it was announced today. He was an actor who looked to be making his living in samurai movies - he had a role in Seven Samurai - when Toho called and he was cast by Ishiro Honda to play the big green guy in the original Gojira in 1954. He would go on to don the scaly rubber suit many more times through such favourites as Godzilla vs Mothra and Destroy All Monsters until Godzilla vs Gigan, a record twelve times, after which he retired, though he remained on Toho's staff. He also played King Kong in King Kong Escapes, among other creatures. Considered by most as the definitive Godzilla actor, he was a fixture of fan conventions for many years after his heyday too.