LOS ANGELES • Hollywood celebrated the life of legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune on Monday, honouring him with a star on its iconic Walk of Fame two decades after his death.
Mifune rose to stardom through Akira Kurosawa's classics, including Rashomon (1950) and Seven Samurai (1954), with masculine portrayals of powerful warlords that earned him a reputation as the world's best samurai actor.
"My grandfather passed away when I was nine, so the memories I have of him are mainly as a grandfather figure. But I remember him as a gentleman at home," said his grandson, actor Rikiya Mifune.
"He would talk in a gruff and manly manner and always have perfect posture, like a true samurai, even at home."
Toshiro Mifune appeared in about 170 feature films, including foreign productions such as Terence Young's Red Sun (1971) and Steven Spielberg's 1941 (1979). He also starred in the popular 1980 American television mini-series Shogun, based on James Clavell's best-selling book.
He died in Tokyo at age 77 in 1997. His life is the subject of the documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai, screened at the American Film Institute's AFI Fest this year. It is set to be released in United States theatres on Dec 2.