Keiju Kobayashi, whose earnest performances endeared him to viewers throughout his nearly seven-decade long career, died of heart failure at a Tokyo hospital Thursday, his agency said Saturday. He was 86.
A Gunma Prefecture native, Kobayashi made his movie debut in 1942 and gained popularity in the 1950s starring in a series of comedies featuring salaried workers with ordinary man-next-door personalities.
Appearing in about 260 movies and TV dramas in roles ranging from prime ministers to police detectives, Kobayashi received medals of honor from the government for his longtime achievements and cultural contributions.
His works include the 1958 movie “Hadakanotaisho,” in which he played artist Kiyoshi Yamashita.