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Machiko Kyo, internationally acclaimed Japanese actress, dies at 95

Kyodo

Actress Machiko Kyo, who starred in a number of films by legendary Japanese directors including Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” has died of heart failure, Toho Co. said Tuesday. She was 95.

Kyo, whose real name was Motoko Yano, died on Sunday at a Tokyo hospital, according to the film company. She started her career as a dancer and in 1949 joined Daiei Co., a major film production firm at the time, where she quickly rose to stardom in “Chijin no Ai” (“Love for an Idiot”) the same year.

Kyo, an Osaka native, was nicknamed “Grand Prix actress” after films she starred in won top awards at film festivals overseas.

“Rashomon” was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, while “Gate of Hell,” directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, was given the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1954.

Other notable works starring Kyo included “Ugetsu Monogatari” (“Tales of Ugetsu”), directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and released in 1953, and Kon Ichikawa’s “Odd Obsession” in 1959.