×

Actor Yoshio Harada dies at 71

Appeared in Japanese exploitation, art films

Yoshio Harada, an actor who played everything from long-haired rebels to irascible granddads in a four-decade career, died of pneumonia in Tokyo on Tuesday, July 19. He was 71.

Harada was a favorite of generations of Japanese helmers for his rugged features, low, rumbling voice and distinctive presence, with shades of darkness and wildness that made him a natural for antihero roles in his youth. As he aged he played more character roles and fewer lead roles, but he was never out of demand and made more than 100 films during his career.

Born in Tokyo, Harada entered the film business relatively late, in 1968, but a series of appearances as rebels and outlaws in the Nikkatsu studio’s New Action line of exploitation pics boosted him to stardom. He also appeared in the serious art films produced by the Art Theater Guild, such as Kazuo Kuroki’s “The Assassination of Ryoma” (1974) and “Preparation for the Funeral” (1975) and Seijun Suzuki’s “Tsigoineruwaizen” (1980).

Among the directors for whom he worked are Azuma Morisaki, Kaizo Hayashi, Kihachi Okamoto, Genjiro Arata, Rokuro Mochizuki, Jun Ichikawa, Katsuhito Ito, Toshiaki Toyoda and Koji Wakamatsu. He kept working steadily into his seventh decade, including turns for indie maestro Hirokazu Kore’eda in “Still Walking” (2008) and “I Wish” (2011).

Harada made his last public appearance on July 11 for the opening of the Jun Sakamoto comedy “Oshikamura Sodoki.”

More Scene

  • Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba

    Dwayne Johnson: Idris Elba Nixed 'Black James Bond' Joke in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

    In the “Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw,” the movie’s villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, spreads his arms out wide and declares “I’m black Superman.” It turns out that might not have been the original line. Dwayne Johnson tells Variety that Elba was first asked to proclaim he’s “black James Bond,” but the [...]

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk – and success — hanging [...]

  • Dwayne Wade holds up the legend

    Dwyane Wade, Megan Rapinoe Win Big at 2019 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards

    The 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards was filled with incredible athletes, inspiring moments and — of course — a massive amount of slime. “I love the kids. I love the slime. I loved the games. I love seeing celebrities and athletes like become kids again. And it’s like my favorite thing,” Michael Strahan told [...]

  • Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani

    Dave Bautista Talks Representation in Hollywood and Defying Stereotypes with 'Stuber'

    Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani make an unlikely duo in “Stuber,” an R-rated comedy about a police officer and his Uber driver. But the two connected over the rare chance to star in the film as actors of Asian descent (Baustia is half-Filipino and Nanjiani is Pakistani). “I’ve been stereotyped for a couple different reasons [...]

  • Skin

    How Jamie Bell Transformed Into a Neo-Nazi for 'Skin'

    Anyone who still associates British actor Jamie Bell with his breakout role as a young boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer will quickly forget all about “Billy Elliot” after seeing “Skin,” which screened at ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday night. “I was shocked,” the film’s writer-director, Guy Nattiv, told Variety of his leading man’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content