Veteran Japanese voice actor Kiyoshi Kobayashi, aged 89, died of pneumonia on July 30, as announced on the official website of the Tokyo Actor’s Consumer’s Cooperative Society (HAIKYO).
According to the agency, a farewell party dedicated to Kobayashi will be set at a later date, although the wake and funeral will only be available to family members. Agency President Koji Asada has expressed his gratitude to Kobayashi during his years of working with him.
“I would like to thank actor Kiyoshi Kobayashi for his support, guidance and encouragement over the years,” he said.
Kiyoshi Kobayashi has served as a voice actor and narrator for a variety of TV shows and series for over 50 years after officially retiring in 2021 due to old age. He is best known for his role as Daisuke Jigen in the Lupin The Third series. He has been the original voice for Jigen since its first anime series in 1971 up until the 2019 anime film Lupin The Third: The First.
Following the announcement, the official online channels for Lupin The Third posted their own obituaries on Kobayashi’s passing. The official website has a dedicated page where the series’ cast members and staff have expressed their condolences. You can also check the official Twitter thread for the series’ obituary for the actor:
Other notable anime roles he had include Kouga Danjo in Basilisk, Watari and Quillsh Wammy in Death Note, Adrian Rubinsky in the 1988 OVA of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Muhammad Avdol in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, among others.
Kobayashi also served as a narrator for several tokusatsu series and films, such as Zone Fighter (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), Kamen Rider Black (1987), and Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie (2012).
He also served as the official Japanese dub actor for films voiced by James Coburn (The Magnificent Seven, Our Man Flint, Maverick, American Gun), Lee Marvin (The Caine Mutiny, Avalanche Express, Donovan’s Reef), Tommy Lee Jones (Fire Birds, The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals), Sam Elliott (Shakedown, Ghost Rider, The Golden Compass), among others.
Other dubbed roles he had were for other non-Japanese TV shows such as Adventure Time, Batman: The Animated Series, Samurai Jack, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Totally Spies!, and X-Men.
Source: Tokyo Actor’s Consumer’s Cooperative Society (HAIKYO), Lupin The Third Official Website
Featured Image: Lupin The Third / Monkey Punch ©TMS ©MONKEY PUNCH/TMS・NTV