Celebrated Japanese actor Ryo Ikebe has died of blood poisoning at a Tokyo hospital. He was 92.
Ikebe, who appeared in more than 150 movies throughout his career, passed away on Friday (08Oct10), his family has confirmed.
He made his acting debut in 1941 movie Togyo (Fighting Fish) but took a brief hiatus to serve in the Japanese military.
He resumed his acting career in 1945 and rose to fame starring in films including Akatsuki no Dasso (Desertion at Dawn), Soshun (Early Spring), and 1949 black and white film Aoi Sanmyaku (The Green Mountains).
In the 1960s and 1970s, he became well-known for starring with actor Ken Takakura in a series of yakuza movies, about the Japanese mafia.
Ikebe received further acclaim as a best-selling writer - his 1991 autobiography Soyokaze toki niwa Tsumujikaze (A Light Breeze and Sometimes a Whirlwind) won a special honour as part of the Japan Literary Awards.
Ikebe last appeared as an actor in 2002 drama series Natsu no Hi no Koi (Love on a Summer's Day), and he continued writing essays for a Tokyo magazine until last year (09).