Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Akira Takarada!


Yesterday, David and I went to the semi-annual Chiller Theatre Convention in Parsippany, NJ. I don't have time to share all the experiences. However, I thought I'd share one today in honor of Japanese actor Akira Takarada's 79th  birthday.



When Chiller Theatre announced Akira Takarada as a guest of honor for the April convention, David got super excited. The Japanese star's appearances in the US are rare. Takarada played Hideto Ogata in the 1954 sci-fi classic Godzilla. If you're a fan of Toho Studios, you may also recognize Takarada from Mothra vs. Godzilla, Invasion of Astro-Monster, and Godzilla vs. Sea Monster. 


Akira Takarada & Momoko Kochi with Godzilla

David and I decided that we would go to Akira Takarada's room first on Sunday (April 28th). While getting on line, a man excused himself for bumping into David. When we turned around, we discovered it was Takarada. He shook our hands and welcomed us. Already, we were having a great experience! David had made a sketch card of Takarada as he appeared in Godzilla. In addition, he purchased an 8 x10 photo of Takarada with his leading lady in Godzilla, Momoko Kochi. When it was our turn to meet the Japanese actor, we found out that he enjoyed taking pictures with the fans -- FOR FREE!!! 


David with Akira Takarada
I had the camera, so I was ready to take a photo of David and Takarada. The Chiller staff member assisting Takarada said that he could take the picture because he assumed Takarada would want me in the picture too. I said that I was not keen on having my photo taken. I told the staff member I would play photographer unless Takarada requested me to join him and David. When he motioned just for David to join him, I took the photo. 


Tracy aka Gilby with Akira Takarada

As we were getting ready to leave, Takarada motioned that it was my turn. I realized that it would be rude to say no. In spite of being camera shy, I joined the actor while David played photographer. Takarada gave me a big hug and told the others to eat their hearts out. It was then I realized I was the only female in the room. Now, David refers to Takarada as my "boyfriend." Honestly, he is a sweet man who gave me a great memory. I wish him a Happy Birthday and many more!

13 comments:

  1. Takarada san is a gentleman in a wonderful actor ! And ... he shows excellent taste in women ! :)

    GREAT article by the way honey !

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    1. Thanks Hubby! It was great memory to share the experience with you!

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  2. Tracy, how wonderful, you guys will cherish those awesome pictures forever!!

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    1. Hey, Dawn! Sorry to be a stranger. Glad to have you stop by -- I'll need to visit your great blog soon!

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  3. Wow--that's pretty cool. I get tongue-tied around celebs!!!

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  4. It was cool and surprising too! Glad you read my piece.

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  5. Gilby, I remember all these films fondly from my childhood. Your "boyfriend" looks remarkable for his age. Sounds (and looks) like you had a grand time.

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    1. Rick, I did have a great time. It's always cool when actors are truly nice people who appreciate us fans!

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  6. What a terrific experience! It's fantastic when people like this are kind and generous, and not full of themselves.

    I like the Godzilla photo you've posted, too. He's so short! :)

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    1. It was a great experience -- and many modern "stars" could learn modesty from the old school true stars!

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  7. Gilby, we totally enjoyed your post about Akira Takarada, being fans of Godzilla and many other Japanese films, with and without monsters! :-) But are you aware that we've been unable to get your post for the Mary Astor Blogathon? You might want to check into that, if you haven't already. Thought you'd want to know!

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    1. Thanks Dorian. I think the problem is now resolved!

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  8. Lucky you to have Akira Takarada hug you. Envy. I remember seeing him in a Toho-Cathay co-production of "A Night in Hong Kong" released in 1961 and he was just gorgeous. There is a scene where he kisses the hand of Lucilla You Min, and for this Asian American teenager, it was so romantic.

    Happy Birthday and waiting to see Godzilla 2014.

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