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Japanese actor Ren Osugi, famed for his roles in Takeshi Kitano’s yakuza films, dies at 66

Kyodo

Japanese actor Ren Osugi, best known for his supporting roles in director Takeshi Kitano’s yakuza films, died Wednesday from a heart attack, according to TV Tokyo. He was 66.

According to the network, Osugi had complained of stomach pain on Tuesday after shooting scenes for the TV drama series “By Players.” He was taken to hospital later that night and died early the next morning.

Osugi appeared in numerous movies and TV dramas and was well-known as an outstanding actor having played a wide variety of characters, with roles ranging from a gangster to a family man.

The Tokushima Prefecture native joined a theatrical company in 1974 and made his film debut in 1980.

His film credits include roles in Kitano’s “Sonatine” and “Hana-bi,” as well as “Postman Blues” directed by Sabu, and Yoichi Sai’s “Inu Hashiru.”

Osugi also showed his softer side recently, starring in his own TV travel series and appearing on shows hosted by popular comedians.