This martial arts pro, idol of Quentin Tarantino, died of Covid.
Sonny Chiba died, at 82, of complications related to Covid-19, announced his agent Timothy Beal in the Japanese press. He had been hospitalized since August 8 in Kimitsu, he said: “He was a great friend and actor, he was so humble, caring and friendly.”
Born in 1939 in Fukuoka, Japan, Sonny Chiba developed a passion for martial arts in the 1960s, specializing in hand-to-hand combat, and his practice of multiple sports opened the doors to cinema and the country’s television. In particular Toei studios, with whom he has collaborated more than a hundred times (!), Especially for the popular series Key hunter, before flying to Hollywood. Committed to films The Street Fighter in 1974, which at the time were too violent to be released in France (only the 2 was broadcast here, under the title Gone with the nunchaku, prohibited under 18), he then became samurai Hattori Hanzo for the series Shadow warriors, from 1980 to 1985, and took over this role, in the form of a tribute, in the first Kill Bill, by Quentin Tarantino (released in 2003), where this name designates a blacksmith whom the Bride (Uma Thurman) calls on to make him a katana. The director had already winked at him ten years earlier in True Romance, which he wrote, where the hero played by Christian Slater was a fan of his films. In 2006, Sonny Chiba also appeared in a successful Hollywood saga: Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift.
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