Japanese actress Takeuchi Yūko has died. Her husband, actor Nakabayashi Taiki, found the 40-year-old Takeuchi in their apartment on Sunday morning. Takeuchi leaves behind her husband and two children, including an infant born in January. Takeuchi's death is presumed to be a suicide, although authorities did not find a note. If suicide is confirmed, Takeuchi will become the latest in a series of suicides by Japanese celebrities after Ashina Sei earlier in September and Kimura Hana in May. As an actor, Yuko leaves behind a long list of film and television credits, plus a collection of Japanese industry awards.
"It came all of a sudden, and we are all stunned and saddened by the news," Stardust Promotion Inc., Takeuchi's talent agency, said in a statement. The agency also notes that it is still examining the details of the actress' death.
Takeuchi made her acting debut in the drama Cyborg in 1996. Three years later, she earned the lead role in NHK drama Asuka. In 2001, she followed that up with the lead performance in Love and Life in the White. Her film career began in 1998 with her performance in the breakout horror hit Ring and the starring role in teen drama Innocent World.
Takeuchi remained busy after that. She had a talent for comedic roles such as Kimiko Taguchi in The Triumphant Return of General Rouge. She could also handle dramatic leads like her character, a gender-swapped version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective Sherlock Holmes, in Miss Sherlock, produced by Hulu and HBO Asia, which broadcasts and 18 countries around the world.
Takeuchi won the Japan Academy Film Prize three years in a row from 2003 through 2005. The prizes were awarded for performances in the films Yomigaeri, Be with You, and Spring Snow. In 2007 and 2008, she won six different Best Actress awards for her performance in Dog in the Sidecar. Her most recent award was in 2014 for her performance in the drama Cape Nostalgia. Her most recent film is the comedy The Confidence Man JP: Princess, which opened in July. She also appeared in several ad campaigns for companies, including high-profile clients like Panasonic, Suntory, and Shiseido.
If you or anyone you know in the U.S. is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images