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Japanese actor Tadao Takashima dies at 88

Tadao Takashima is pictured in October 1988. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tadao Takashima, a Japanese film actor and television host, died of natural causes on Wednesday at his home in Tokyo, his office said Friday. He was 88.

    Born in Kobe, Takashima entered show business after passing an audition in 1951 for new talent by the now-defunct film company Shintoho Co. He starred in numerous films including the comedy movie "Botchan" (Boy) and played a major role in the musical "My Fair Lady" in the 1960s.

    He appeared in many TV programs, hosting the popular quiz show "Quiz! Do-re-mi-fa-don!" as well as the cooking show "Gochisosama," together with his wife Hanayo Sumi, a former actress in the Takarazuka all-female musical troupe.

    Takashima and his wife also often appeared in TV commercials and programs with their sons Masahiro and Masanobu, who also became actors. He had developed depression in 1998 but later recovered with the support of his family.

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