News from Japan - http://www.oricon.co.jp/news/entertainment/87779/full/
Veteran actor, programme host and writer Kodama Kiyoshi passed away at 12:28pm on 16 May 2011 from stomach cancer. He was 77 years old.
Since 1958, Kodama-san had starred in 50 movies; 55 TV dramas and theatre. He had authored 4 books since 2003. A well known variety show and radio presenter, he hosted the quiz show “Panel Quiz Attack 25 (パネルクイズ アタック25) continuously for over 35 years from its start in 1975 until he was forced to step down due to poor health last month. Some of his dramas included Hero, Top Caster, Code Blue, Fight and as Sakamoto Ryoma’s father Hachihei in Ryomaden.
Masha fans will know him well. They have worked together in Beauty or Beast?; the 2004 Athens Olympics and Ryomaden, and are very good friends on a personal basis. Kodama-san had written and talked about Masha in the past (anan 2006.10.18 and The Nikkei 2008.07.10) and they shared a long interview in the Chiyuu Magazine published in Jan 2009.
His gentleness, modesty and warm personality shine out in his speech and writings.
I will miss him very very much.
Kodama-san Official site: http://kodama-kiyoshi.tys-kei.co.jp/index.html