Japanese actor Sonny Chiba passed away on Thursday at the age of 82, The Wrap reports . The actor starred in dozens of Japanese films, but also appeared in some major Hollywood productions, including Kill Bill.
The actor died from the effects of the corona virus. After his infection, he became ill and hospitalized.
Chiba started his career in several Japanese action movies and series and was featured in many films by director Kinji Fukasaku ( Battle Royale ). Before his film career, he obtained his black belt in karate, which he was able to use in the many fighting films in which he starred. He was taught by karate master Masutatsu Oyama, who played Chiba in three films.
The great Sonny Chiba passed away today at age 82, another victim of Covid-19. A martial arts legend with six black belts who started out in tokusatsu TV, Chiba made over 120 movies for Toei and was Japan's most popular action star for decades. Watch one of his films today. 🤜🏻💔 pic.twitter.com/sIIqS1Gf5A— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) August 19, 2021
His international breakthrough came in 1974 with his role in the film The Street Fighter . He also played in the sequels.
Chiba is probably best known for his role as the retired sword maker Hattori Hanzo in the first part of Kill Bill, directed by Quentin Tarantino. The actor has also appeared in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift .