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Kazuo Kitamura, a veteran actor of the Bungakuza theatrical troupe who appeared in numerous Japanese films and TV dramas, died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital on Sunday, his family said. He was 80.

In 1953, after joining Bungakuza, one of the biggest theatrical troupes in Japan, Kitamura was given the role of Stanley in the stage production of a Japanese adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams.

On the big screen, he starred in “Black Rain” and a number of other films by famed director Shohei Imamura, who was a close friend of his since primary school days.

He had been chairman of the Japan Stage Players’ Association since 1997. His eldest son Yukiya and eldest daughter Yuri are also pursuing acting careers.

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