Japanese actor Akira Kubodera has died in a suspected suicide at the age of 43, according to the Japanese media.
Kubodera was found in a coma in his apartment in Tokyo last Friday (Nov 13) and was pronounced dead after arriving in hospital. Preliminary investigations by the police showed that he had committed suicide.
His agency confirmed his death in a press statement last Saturday, adding that the death was so sudden that both his family and the staff could not accept it.
Kubodera, who was born and grew up in Tokyo, was discovered by a talent agent when he was an undergraduate.
He started out as a model in 1995, turning to the stage in 1999 before moving on to television serials in 2003. He was most famous for playing the character Kunzite in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (2003 to 2004), a TV adaptation of the manga series Sailor Moon.
He has also acted with late actress Yuko Takeuchi in the movie Strawberry Night (2013) and with late actor Haruma Miura in the TV series Last Cinderella (2013).
Kubodera's income was said to have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic due to a reduction in acting gigs. Last week, he promoted on social media his stage show which was to run in January.
The Japanese entertainment industry has been hit by a spate of suicides in recent months.
Takeuchi, 40, actress Sei Ashina, 36, and actor Takashi Fujiki, 80, were found dead in their respective homes in September.
Miura, 30, was found dead in his home in July, while professional wrestler and reality series Terrace House star Hana Kimura died in May at age 22. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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