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Actor Go Kato, known for ‘Ooka Echizen,’ dies at 80

Jiji Press

Go Kato

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prominent actor Go Kato, known for his role in popular television period drama “Ooka Echizen,” died of gallbladder cancer on June 18, it was learned Monday. He was 80.

Kato, whose real name was Takeshi Kato, started to draw attention in 1962 with his appearance in TV drama “Ningen no Joken.”

After joining Haiyuza Theater Co. in 1964, Kato, a native of Shizuoka, took part in a number of theatrical plays as one of the top stars in the theatrical company. On the strength of his clear-cut features and a fine delivery of his lines, he was also active in movies and TV dramas.

In “Ooka Echizen,” Kato became popular in the lead role of a samurai magistrate, helping the drama continue for some 30 years from 1970.

Good at playing the roles of intelligent, honest and handsome characters, Kato showed an excellent performance in the 1974 movie “Suna no Utsuwa” as an egoistic genius pianist who commits a murder.

He also appeared in such movies as “Senso to Ningen” and “Shinobu Kawa,” as well as yearlong dramas “Kaze to Kumo to Niji to” and “Shishi no Jidai,” broadcast by NHK.

Kato received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2001 and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2008.Speech

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