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Ken Takakura dies at 83; outlaw and hero in Japanese films
Ken Takakura dies at 83; outlaw and hero in Japanese films

Ken Takakura, a quiet, craggy-faced star known for playing outlaws and stoic heroes in scores of Japanese films, has died. He was 83. Perhaps best known abroad for his role as a police inspector in Ridley Scott's 1989 film "Black Rain," Takakura died Nov. 10 at a Tokyo hospital, where he was being treated for lymphoma, according to his office and media reports Tuesday. He surged to stardom after his 1956 debut, becoming an icon in yakuza films such as "Abashiri Prison" in the 1960s. Much of his appeal to the Japanese public stemmed from his image as a hero fighting authority figures on behalf of the poor and weak. But in a career spanning more than 200 films,...

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