TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Masahiko Tsugawa, an actor with numerous appearances in movies and TV dramas, died of heart failure Saturday, his management agency said Tuesday. He was 78.
A native of Kyoto, Tsugawa, whose grandfather and uncle were famed film directors, began performing on the stage and in movies when he was little.
His funeral has been conducted only by his family members and close relatives, and the place of his death was undisclosed.
His career as an actor took off after he appeared in the movie "Kurutta Kajitsu" (Crazed Fruit) in which the late singer and movie star Yujiro Ishihara played the leading part.
Tsugawa appeared in a number of movies made by the late director Juzo Itami, who was internationally known for his satirical films.
Tsugawa directed his first film in 2006 under the name of Masahiko Makino. His brother Hiroyuki Nagato, who died in 2011, was also a well-known actor.