ICHIKAWA RAIZO (1931 - 1969) - Born in Kyoto, Ichikawa was adopted into a kabuki family where he began his acting career, he joined Daiei Studios in the early 1950's and became popular when he starred in Kenji Mizoguchi's "Tales of the Taira Clan". He worked there exclusively, becoming one of the studio's top box-office draws starring in over 27 movies and appearing in 158.
He was a favorite of action auteurs like Kenji Misumi, Kazuo Ikehiro and Kazuo Mori, who used his feline grace and eerie, mask-like features in period thrillers like SHINOBI NO MONO and the KYOSHIRO NEMURI films.
Ichikawa's exquisitely romantic presence inspired legions of female and male fans, and earned him the title of the "Japanese James Dean." His meteoric career was tragically cut short by cancer in 1969 at the age of 37.