Actor Mako passes away

The classically-trained Japanese actor, Mako, passed away on Friday, July 21st of esophegeal cancer at age 72. Mako has had a long and productive career in both film and television, appearing regularly in shows such as M*A*S*H* and even receiving a 1966 Academy Award nomation for Best Supporting Actor due to his role in “The Sand Pebbles”. Mako also appeared in numerous cult films such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Crying Freeman” and “Robocop III”.

However, Mako might be best known by today’s youths for his extensive voice-over work. Doing much narration, his voice could be heard at the beginning of every episode of Dexter’s Laboratory. Some of his best roles, at least in my personal memory, were from his animated appearances. Roles such as Aku (Samurai Jack), Happy Cat (Duck Dodgers) and especially Uncle Iroh (Avatar: the Last Airbender) were magnificent, each in their own way.

It was announced only a week ago that Mako had been cast to voice the character of Splinter in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film. It is a shame we’ll never get to hear his voice in that role. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and fans the world-over.

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