Veteran Japanese film star Ken Takakura has died at the age of 83, it has been announced. The actor passed away on November 10th at a Tokyo hospital after suffering from lymphoma. A private funeral has already taken place in Japan.

Known as the ‘Clint Eastwood of Japan’, Takakura was recognised for his brooding style of acting and his portrayal of stoic characters, particularly in Japanese yakuza and action movies.

He began his career in 1955 working for the Toei Film Company, making a name for himself playing gangsters throughout the late 50s and 60s. In 1965 he had first breakout role as an escaped prisoner in Teruo Ishii’s Abashiri Prison, which was based loosely on Stanley Kramer’s The Defiant Ones.

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His international profile was then lifted in 1970 when he starred in war film Too Late the Hero as Imperial Japanese Major Yamaguchi opposite Michael Caine and Henry Fonda. He then starred opposite Robert Mitchum in Sydney Pollack’s The Yakuza in 1974.

But Takakura will perhaps best be remembered by Western Audiences for his role as Japanese police officer Matsumoto opposite Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia in 1989’s Black Rain, directed by Ridley Scott. His next next big role then came in Fred Schepisi’s 1992 comedy Mr Baseball with Tom Selleck.

Takaura’s last major role came in 2005 when he portrayed an ageing widower in Zhang Yimou’s Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. For his performance Takakura won the Best Actor award at San Diego Film Critics Society Awards in 2006.