Taking a break on the set of GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH (1971) ©Toho
This is the first photo I ever saw of the man who played Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, in an early '70s issue of Greg Shoemaker's seminal Japanese Fantasy Film Journal (which subsequently appeared in the pages of Randall D. Larson's Cinefan and Forrest J. Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland), and I consider it to be the definitive image of the man (thanks Greg!). Mr. Nakajima turns a spry 81 today, and wants his fans to know that he is still going strong (check out my 2009 birthday notice for more information on Japan's dean of monster actors)! We cannot thank him enough for his myriad of kaiju roles which started in 1954 with the roar that was heard around the world in GODZILLA. Help us to wish Mr. Nakajima have one of the greatest years ever, by expressing your own personal greetings and sending them to Armand Vaquer, who will officially forward them to Godzilla himself!