Action star and martial arts legend Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba died Thursday from COVID-19 complications. He was 82. The Japanese actor starred in several American films such as Kill Bill Volume 1, in which he created a sword for Uma Thurman’s character, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, where he played a Yakuza boss. Chiba’s career spanned decades with appearances in many Japanese films and television programs. He was a first-degree black belt and used his expert knowledge of martial arts in many of his roles, later choreographing fight scenes throughout his career. He got his start in 1960 with roles in Seven Color Mask and Messenger of Allah but his breakout role in the international market came in 1974 with the release of The Street Fighter. He is survived by his three children.
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