Minoru Chiaki

Minoru Chiaki

Original Name 千秋 実
Birth Name Katsuji Sasaki (佐々木 勝治)
Born April 28, 1917
Onnenai, Nakagawa, Hokkaido, Japan
Died November 1, 1999 (82)
Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan

Round faced, jovial actor who appeared as a regular in many of Kurosawa’s films. He was the first of the titular Seven Samurai to be killed in that film, yet he himself outlived all his co-stars. He and Kamatari Fujiwara’s bumbling pair of poor villagers in The Hidden Fortress (1962) inspired George Lucas’ characters R2-D2 and C-3PO in Star Wars (1977).

Chiaki was honored with a Japanese Academy Prize - among other accolades - for his portrayal of a man with Alzheimer’s in Hana Ichi Monme (1985).

Chiaki is the son-in-law of actor Takamaru Sasaki (q.v.), through whom it appears he was able to enter the acting business. He is the father of actor Katsuhiko Sasaki (q.v.), who began playing in Toho’s science fiction and horror films in the 70s.

Original Name 千秋 実
Birth Name Katsuji Sasaki (佐々木 勝治)
Born April 28, 1917
Onnenai, Nakagawa, Hokkaido, Japan
Died November 1, 1999 (82)
Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan

Round faced, jovial actor who appeared as a regular in many of Kurosawa’s films. He was the first of the titular Seven Samurai to be killed in that film, yet he himself outlived all his co-stars. He and Kamatari Fujiwara’s bumbling pair of poor villagers in The Hidden Fortress (1962) inspired George Lucas’ characters R2-D2 and C-3PO in Star Wars (1977).

Chiaki was honored with a Japanese Academy Prize - among other accolades - for his portrayal of a man with Alzheimer’s in Hana Ichi Monme (1985).

Chiaki is the son-in-law of actor Takamaru Sasaki (q.v.), through whom it appears he was able to enter the acting business. He is the father of actor Katsuhiko Sasaki (q.v.), who began playing in Toho’s science fiction and horror films in the 70s.