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Japanese actor Hiroyuki Watanabe, known for film 'Everly,' dies at 66

Actor Hiroyuki Watanabe is seen in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, in this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo. (Mainichi/Chie Yamashita)

TOKYO -- Actor Hiroyuki Watanabe, who appeared as a yakuza boss in the 2014 American movie "Everly" among other roles in Hollywood and in Japanese films, dramas and TV commercials, has died, it was learned on May 5. He was 66.

    According to his agency, Watanabe died at his home around noon on May 3. There will be a private funeral.

    A native of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Watanabe debuted in the 1982 film "On the Road" and appeared in TV commercials for Taisho Pharmaceutical Co.'s "Lipovitan D" energy drink, known for the catch phrase "Fight, Ippatsu!"

    He also appeared in the 1983 film "Daijobu, My Friend," the 1984 Japan-West Germany film "Uindii" (Windy Story), the 1987 Japan-U.S. comedy "Too Much," the 2001 movie "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah" and the 2013 film "Sake-Bomb."

    The talent agency of Watanabe's widow and actress, Hideko Hara, released a statement on its website on May 5, saying, "Hideko Hara is in shock, and is not prepared to answer questions at this time. She will release a comment to you all after she has found some peace."


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