On that note, may Haruo Nakajima, the classic Godzilla suit actor of 24 years, rest in peace following his death at the age of 88. Given the shortages of such materials as rubber in post-war Japan, the original Godzilla suit was made of ready-mix concrete - and weighed an estimated 220 pounds. Born January 1, 1929 in Yamagata, Japan, Nakajima established himself over the course of his career in the Japanese filmmaking industry as perhaps the best suit actor to ever work for the Toho film studio.
The Japanese actor served as a stuntman in movies including "Seven Samurai" and "Eagle of the Pacific" before taking on the king of the monsters for the first time in 1954. It was so heavy and hot, and with the lighting, it was even hot just to touch it.
After the success of the original, which was directed by Ishiro Honda, Nakajima went on to play Godzilla a dozen times.
According to the film company's website, Nakajima prepared to play the imaginary creature by visiting a Tokyo zoo for a week to analyse the moves of elephants, bears and gorillas. He also played various kaiju in Frankenstein Vs. Baragon, The War Of The Gargantuas, King Kong Escapes, and Mothra, where he played Mothra's head.
Nakajima told Great Big Story he was proud of his role as Godzilla. "He showed our audiences that atomic bombs are frightening". After several roles in samurai and WWII films, Haruo Nakajima would make an impression on director Ishirō Honda, earning him a spot in Honda's upcoming, untitled monster movie. In 2014, he gave an interview where he said: "I am the original, the real thing".