The Asahi Shinbun newspaper in Japan has reported that veteran actor Hisashi Katsuta has passed away at the age of 92. Noting the cause as senility, Katsuta passed away on Friday and his estate has confirmed the death through the report on Saturday. Katsuta has provided the voice for several classic anime characters, but will likely be most remembered for his time as the voice of Professor Hiroshi Ochanomizu in the 1960s anime adaptation of Astro Boy. Not only that, he would return to voice the character in the 1980s and 2000s version of the series as well.
Not only did Katsuta perform for Ochanomizu in various incarnations of the anime series over the years, he has also returned for anime films such as Astro Boy: Hero of Space and Astro Boy: Shinsen-gumi, and specials such as Tezuka Osamu ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken. Currently licensed by Nozomi Entertainment, you can currently find Astro Boy's original anime now streaming with FunimationNOW if you wanted to see some of his classic work in action.
Hisashi Katsuta has also provided voice work for series such as The Rose of Versailles, Tosho Daimos, Astroganger, Groizer X, Sasuke, Oishinbo, Megazone 23, Cat's Eye, Dororo, Perman, Jungle Emperor Leo, Kimba the White Lion, Jetter Mars, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Musashi no Ken, and Kaibutsu-kun: Demon no Ken among many others.
With a long and storied career like Katsuta's, this loss is certainly going to be felt by quite a few people who have not only felt the impact of his performances but knew him throughout his personal life. ComicBook.com sends our condolences to Katsuta's family and loved ones at this time.
Are you a fan of Astro Boy? What did you think of Katsuta's performance throughout the years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime @Valdezology on Twitter!
Astro Boy was created in the early 1950s by legendary manga and anime creator Osamu Tezuka, who continues to be described as Japan's equivalent to Walt Disney. The Astro Boy newspaper strip ran for decades and was collected into manga form before being adapted into multiple anime incarnations, enjoying worldwide popularity throughout the '70s and '80s. Astro Boy's origin is that he's a robot created by a scientist to replace the scientist's dead son. Astro strikes out on his own, going on a journey that eventually lands him with a new home, new owner, and new mission – to battle the forces of evil using his robotic powers.
via Asahi Shinbun