Actress Yoko Nogiwa, known for her appearances in TV dramas such as "Key Hunter" and "I've Loved You from the Start" (Zutto Anataga Sukidatta), passed away from lung cancer on June 13, it has been learned. She was 81.
Nogiwa was born in the city of Toyama, Toyama Prefecture, and joined NHK as a newscaster in 1958 after graduating from Rikkyo University. She left the broadcaster in 1962 and debuted as an actress the following year in the TV drama "Vessel of Sadness" (Hi no Utsuwa). Nogiwa shot to nationwide stardom in her role as a former intelligence agent in the detective series "Key Hunter," a huge hit that ran for five years from 1968.
She married "Key Hunter" co-star Shinichi Chiba in 1973, but they divorced in 1994. The couple's daughter is actress Juri Manase.
In the 1992 series "I've Loved You from the Start," Nogiwa played the doting mother to a son played by Shiro Sano, raising the popularity of the term "mazakon" (short for "mother complex"), or mama's boy.
She also was active in variety programs and movies, and continued to take roles in TV dramas. Most recently, she appeared in TV Asahi's "Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Investigative Section 1" and "Yasuragi no Sato," which is still being broadcast.