Sonny Chiba, martial arts great & ‘The Street Fighter’ star, RIP
Sonny Chiba, the Japanese actor and martial arts great who starred in classics like The Street Fighter, Bullet Train, and Shogun’s Samurai, has died at age 82. According to Japanese site Oricon, Chiba had been hospitalized due to Covid.
Born in 1939, Chiba began acting in the early 1960s, making a name for himself in crime and action films, and by the end of the decade had started a martial arts school for actors and stunt performers. He achieved international success in the title role of 1974 classic cult film The Street Fighter, which received an X rating in the U.S. for violence alone and spawned two sequels. He was an influence on 21st century film as well: Quentin Tarantino cast Chiba in Kill Bill Vol 1 as swordmaker Hattori Hanzo, and he also appeared in Takashi Miike's Deadly Outlaw: Rekka and Battle Royale II.
Rest in peace, Sonny. Watch a few clips of him in action below.