Kumi Mizuno

Kumi Mizuno was born on New Years Day of 1937 as Maya Igarashi in Nigata, Japan. After she graduated from acting school in 1957, her screen debut was in the Minoru Shibuya film Crazy Society. By the time her second film Futari dake no hashi (1958) came out, she changed her name to “Kumi Mizuno.” Her attractive looks and pleasant demeanor made her a favorite of director Ishirô Honda. Thus, she was cast in a host of drama, comedy and sci-fi films from Toho Studios. She became one of Japan’s most popular actresses in their “Golden Age” of cinema, appearing with actor Nick Adams in Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) and Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965). They were claimed to be romantically linked during the filming of these two films, but they denied the claims as gossip. Kumi’s role as Daiyo in Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) was one of her most memorable performances. This film was originally written to star King Kong, hence the love relationship between Godzilla and Kumi–a love relationship more associated with King Kong.

Even though she has few specific memories of her work on sci-fi films during the 1960s, she does reminisce those films fondly. Evidently, she became a Godzilla legend, as she returned to appear in two of the six Godzilla films from the “Millennium” series in 2002 and 2004.

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