Haruo Nakajima

Biography: HARUO began playing GODZILLA (known as GOJIRA in JAPAN) in 1954 in the first flick called GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS. He got the part because ISHIRO HONDA, who directed the picture, liked his acting in EAGLE OF THE PACIFIC in 1953 and recommended him to EIJI TSUBURAYA for the part. MR. TSUBURAYA contacted the TOHO COMPANY and they agreed.
HARUO learned how to play the part wearing the GODZILLA suit by watching the movies KING KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG. He also studied the movement of large animals to get an idea of how he should move in the suit.
The original suit weighed about 220 pounds and was stiff. He could only go about 30 feet and then needed to get out of it. With the studio lights and other reasons, it sometimes got up to 120 degrees in the outfit. A few times he fainted and fell on miniature creations which had to be rebuilt. In the next movie, GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955), the "Kaiju" suit he wore was custom fitted for him and was much lighter. He faced
HARUO began playing GODZILLA (known as GOJIRA in JAPAN) in 1954 in the first flick called GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS. He got the part because ISHIRO HONDA, who directed the picture, liked his acting in EAGLE OF THE PACIFIC in 1953 and recommended him to EIJI TSUBURAYA for the part. MR. TSUBURAYA contacted the TOHO COMPANY and they agreed.
HARUO learned how to play the part wearing the GODZILLA suit by watching the movies KING KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG. He also studied the movement of large animals to get an idea of how he should move in the suit.
The original suit weighed about 220 pounds and was stiff. He could only go about 30 feet and then needed to get out of it. With the studio lights and other reasons, it sometimes got up to 120 degrees in the outfit. A few times he fainted and fell on miniature creations which had to be rebuilt.

In the next movie, GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955), the "Kaiju" suit he wore was custom fitted for him and was much lighter. He faced another actor, KASUMI TEZUKA, who played the monster, ANGUIRUS. At the end, HARUO had to stand in the middle of the set while a lot of crushed ice fell down on him. Because of the weight of the ice, the floor collapsed and he and another person who was in the floor below, were buried under the ice.

While playing the part of RODAN in 1956, in which he was flying over a bridge, suspended from a pulley, the pulley broke and he fell about 25 feet. Fortunately his injuries were not severe as he fell in the water.

While filming the movie VORAN (1957), he was injured while a model truck was exploded underneath him. His stomach was badly burned and he was rushed to a hospital.
He was one of several men in the MOTHRA suit, one of them being KASUMI TEZUKA who was the head of the acting division.

When he played KING KONG, the arms of the suit were so long that he had to used sticks attached to the hands. However, in the fight scenes with other monsters, the suit he wore hand shorter arms.

He retired in 1972 and has been appearing at many Sci-Fi conventions. Although he has starred in many other JAPANESE films besides GODZILLA, he will always be remembered for that role.
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