007 Japanese Spymaster Dies at 84

Tetsuro Tamba, who played the sardonic head of the Japanese Secret Service in the Bond film "You Only Live Twice," has died.

The 84-year-old actor passed away in Tokyo on Monday, Sept. 25 as a result of heart failure following a bout of pneumonia, report news sources.

Born Shosaburo Tamba, the actor was a veteran of more than 300 films, beginning with 1952's "Muder Suspect." The Western world would recognize him from 1967's "You Only Live Twice," in which he played the suave Tiger Tanaka, who helps Agent James Bond to defeat the villainous Ernst Stavro Blofeld with a team of martial arts-trained warriors.

Tamba is best known in his homeland for playing a variety of character roles, from jaded police detectives to crime bosses and samurai warriors. His TV work with the series "G-Men 75" and "The Three Samurai" reflects this trend as well.

His more recent credits include voicing the Cat King in Studio Ghibli's acclaimed animated feature "The Cat Returns" as well as roles in the more gruesome Takashi Miike films "The Happiness of the Katakuris" and "Gozu."

Later in life, he began researching religion and became a spiritual leader of sorts by writing books and producing documentaries on the subject.

His son is actor Yoshitaka Tanba.

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