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Yakuza film star Joe Shishido dies at 86

Joe Shishido, right, in “A Colt Is My Passport”
TOKYO (TR) – Actor Joe Shishido, known for his roles in yakuza films, has died, it was learned on Tuesday. He was 86, reports the Nikkei Shimbun (Jan. 21).

Shishido is recognized internationally for his roles as tough guys in gangster films by director Seijun Suzuki for studio Nikkatsu.

In “Gate of Flesh” (1964), he plays the role of a former soldier who befriends a brothel of prostitutes. Three years later, in “Branded to Kill,” he is a married hitman who falls for another woman.

From a style standpoint, his most recognized role might be that of contract killed Shuji Kamimura in Takashi Nomura’s “A Colt Is My Passport” (1967). Throughout the high contrast black-and-white film, the camera presents the characters from unconventional angles.

Shishido joined studio Nikkatsu in 1954. The native of Osaka City made his debut the following year in “Policeman’s Diary,” which was directed by Seiji Hisamatsu. He went on to appear in about 170 films for the studio.

On Tuesday, Shishido was found collapsed at his residence in Setagaya Ward. Emergency personnel arriving at the scene later confirmed him dead.