Actor Nitani dies

Kyodo

Actor Hideaki Nitani, an action star during the heyday of the Japanese film industry and a fixture on a popular TV police drama, died Saturday of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital, his family said Sunday. He was 81.

The Kyoto Prefecture native worked as an announcer for a local broadcaster in Nagasaki before switching careers in 1956 by joining a new lineup of actors needed by filmmaker Nikkatsu.

Nitani soon made his name as a mainstay character in the company’s action movies, playing alongside stars including Yujiro Ishihara and Akira Kobayashi.