Japanese Actor Toru Watanabe Dies at 61

Society Culture

Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--Toru Watanabe, a popular actor who appeared in many television dramas and variety shows, died of sepsis at a Tokyo hospital Monday. He was 61.

Watanabe was hospitalized Nov. 20 for symptoms such as fever and abdominal pain, Bungakuza, the Japanese theater company he belonged to, said Friday.

After joining the Bungakuza-linked actors' school in 1980, Watanabe, a native of Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan, gained popularity the following year when he made his debut in a TV drama, "Taiyo ni Hoero," in the role of a young detective.

He made his screen debut in a leading role in 1983.

As a singer, Watanabe enjoyed cumulative sales of over 500,000 copies for the single "Yakusoku," which was used in a TV commercial.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press