Japanese actor and martial arts great Sonny Chiba has died at the age of 82 from complications related to Covid.
Chiba was a star in Japan and was best known to Western audiences for his memorable role as the swordsmith in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
He enjoyed an on-screen career spanning five decades, which also included the 1970s Street Fighter trilogy and 2006’s The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.
His agent Timothy Beal said he was “a humble, caring and friendly man”.
Beal told the AFP news agency it was “such tragic news”, adding: “He was a great friend and an awesome client.”
Paying tribute online, Mortal Kombat actor Lewis Tan wrote: “A true action legend. Your films are eternal and your energy an inspiration.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is responsible for the Oscars, also said he was a “legend” who “blended toughness with depth”.