GODZILLAFEST SPECIAL GUESTS!

HIROSHI KOIZUMI
Born on August 12, 1926 in Kamakura City, Japan, Hiroshi Koizumi, graduated from Keio University in 1948, and joined NHK television as an announcer. He was selected as part of the 3rd annual Toho New Face acting class in 1951. He soon made his acting debut the following year in Kon Ichikawa's MR. LUCKY (1952) and appeared in four other films that same year. The hansome leading man was featured as a young urban hipster in such films as MY WONDERFUL and MR. PU (both in 1953), and found himself constantly in demand.

In 1955, Koizumi made his first appearance in Toho's fantasy films, starring as the hero "Shoichi Tsukioka" in GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN. Koizumi first worked with genre director Ishiro Honda in 1957 in BE HAPPY, YOU TWO, and worked for Honda several times in fantasy films, most notably as scientists, such as ATRAGON (1963) and CATASTROPHE: 1999 (1974), and appeared in Godzilla's 10th, 20th, and 30th anniversary films: GODZILLA VS. THE THING (1964), GHIDRAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (1964), GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1974), and GODZILLA 1985 (1984).

One of his best remembered roles was that of "Shinichi Chujo" in the spectacular MOTHRA (1961), which he reprised 42 years later for GODZILLA: TOKYO SOS (2003). Looking back, he sites his favorite fantasy film being Honda's MATANGO (1963), in which he co-starred with fellow GODZILLAFEST Guest of Honor, Akira Kubo.

Koizumi also appeared in a number of dramas and high-profile pictures for some of Japan's most famous directors, such as Mikio Naruse's LATE CHYSANTHEMUMS (1954), Shuei Matsubayashi's I BOMBED PEARL HARBOR (1960) and Hiroshi Inagaki's CHUSHINGURA (1962). In the 1990s, Koizumi served as a producer, and also served as the popular host of the long-running game show "Quiz Grand Prix," and is still acting today. GODZILLAFEST is Mr. Koizumi's first appearance on the West Coast.

AKIRA KUBO
Born on December 1, 1936 in Tokyo, Akira Kubo made his acting debut in 1952 for director Seiji Maruyama in the youth film ADOLESCENCE. Kubo first worked with genre specialist director Ishiro Honda the next year in ADOLESCENCE PART II and the war drama FAREWELL RABAUL (1954).

Kubo soon became a very popular young star after appearing in director Senkichi Taniguchi's THE SOUND OF WAVES (1954), based on the novel by Yukio Mishima, and he also appeared in films by noted directors, such as Shiro Toyoda's THE GRASS WHISTLE (1955) and Mikio Naruse's A WHISTLE IN MY HEART (1957).

Kubo appeared in many period dramas throughout his career, including Akira Kurosawa's THRONE OF BLOOD (1957) and SANJURO (1962) as well as Hiroshi Inagaki's CHUSHINGURA (1962) and WIRLWIND (1964) -- and war films such as Seiji Maruyama's RETREAT FROM KISKA (1965) and BATTLE OF JAPAN SEA (1969).

As one of Toho`s stable of young, popular thespians, Kubo's was cast as restless and determined young heroes, as the amesiatic astronaut "Tatsuo Kanai" in Ishiro Honda's GORATH (1962), the tourtured "Kenji Murai" in MATANGO (1963); nerdy "Tetsuo Torii" in MONSTER ZERO (1965), the photo-journalist Goro Maki in SON OF GODZILLA (1967), the no-nonsense SY-3 captain "Katsuo Yamabe" in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) and combat journalist "Taro Kudo" in YOG: MONSER FROM SPACE (1970).

Kubo continues to act, and has most recently appeared in Hiroshi Teshigahara's RIKIYU (1989), Koreyoshi Kurahara's HIROSHIMA (1995) and Yutaka Osawa's I LOVE YOU (1999). Kubo returned to the kaiju eiga in a cameo, as the captain of a nuclear transport ship, in Shusuke Kaneko's GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE (1995). GODZILLAFEST is Mr. Kubo's first-ever US appearance.

TSUTOMU KITAGAWA
Tsutomu Kitagawa (b.12/21/1957) joined Sonny Chiba's legendary Japan Action Club movie stunt organization in January of 1975, shortly after graduating High School in Sakuragaoka, Tokyo. Nicknamed "Kita" ("Tom" to his American friends), he quickly moved up the ranks, and became one of JAC's top stuntmen. He was assigned to the Super Sentai series, where he played the costumed blue or black rangers in Toei Company Ltd.'s ever-popular television series, better known in the US as "Power Rangers."

Mr. Kitagawa left the JAC organization in 1994 to become a freelance stuntman, and landed the job of playing the famous three-headed monster, King Ghidorah in Toho Motion Picture Company's 1998 production of REBIRTH OF MOTHRA 3: INVASION OF KING GHIDORAH. Soon afterwards, he was offered the honored role of playing Japan's most famous creation, Godzilla in GODZILLA 2000 (1999). Mr. Kitagawa also climbed into the monster suit again for GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS (2000), GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA (2002) and GODZILLA: TOKYO SOS (2003).

This past year, he was given the role as Action Director for the monster scenes in Toho's upcoming GODZILLA FINAL WARS, in which he also returns as the title King of the Monsters. The film will have its World Premiere in Hollywood in late November, and open nationwide in Japan on December 14, 2004.

GODZILLAFEST will be Mr. Kitagawa's first US apperance, and will be interviewed live, take questions from the audience, and sign autographs in the lobby of the Castro Theatre throughout the seven-day event (dates and times of appearances and autograph sessions, to be announced).

RUSS TAMBLYN
Born in Los Angeles on December 30, 1934 to character actor Eddie Tamblyn, Russ Tamblyn was a child star who made a transition to a successful acting career as an adult. After starring as the titular character in THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR (1948) when he was just a teenager (then billed as "Rusty"), he appeared in a string of stage, radio, and motion picture productions, including the films SAMSON AND DELILAH, GUN CRAZY (both 1949), FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950), and HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL! (1958).

His skill as a champion gymnast and acrobat at West Hollywood High School made him well-suited for the acrobatic dancing seen in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), HIT THE DECK (1954), his best-loved classic WEST SIDE STORY (1961), and the epic HOW THE WEST WAS WON (1962). Mr. Tamblyn also appeared in the classic fantasy films TOM THUMB (1958), THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM (1962), and THE HAUNTING (1963). He was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his role in PEYTON PLACE (1957).

Even after leaving the movie industry in the late 1960s to focus on his interests in the arts, he occasionally came out of semi-retirement to appear in films for friends like Dennis Hopper (THE LAST MOVIE, 1971) and Dean Stockwell (WIN, PLACE OR STEAL, 1975). He had a major comeback with the role of "Dr. Jacoby" in the cult David Lynch teleseries TWIN PEAKS (1990-1991). Still acting today, Mr. Tamblyn has appeared in such recent television outings as BABYLON 5, but concentrates on managing the acting career of his daughter, Amber (THE RING, JOAN OF ARCADIA). His brother is Larry Tamblyn of the 1960s rock band The Standells.

In 1966, he starred in the film for which he is known by kaiju eiga fans around the world; Toho's WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS. As "Dr. Paul Stewart", Mr. Tamblyn (alongside Kumi Mizuno and Kenji Sahara) attempted to uncover the mysterious connection between the peaceful creature Sanda and the man-eating monster Gaira. In the years since the film’s release, he has rarely spoken of the movie or his involvement in its production. Now that is all about to change…

Godzillafest is hosting a rare theatrical screening of WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, and we are pleased to announce that Russ Tamblyn will attend the film, take part in his first-ever Q&A about the movie, and be available to sign autographs and talk with fans. Its taken decades for this to happen, so don’t miss this great opportunity to meet an American star of one of the classics from Toho’s Golden Age!

Mr. Tamblyn Sponsored by Tsuburaya Productions Co., ltd

JERRY ITO
Born in New York City, Jerry Ito was a popular and well-known entertainer and Master of Ceremonies in the nightclubs and cabarets of post-war Tokyo. Because of his command of Japanese and English, Mr. Ito was tapped for a number of acting roles on television and feature films.

His best-remembered -- and loved -- role was that of the vile Clark Nelson, the dispicable international treasure-hunter, who snatches the Twin Faeries from Infant Island in MOTHRA (1961). Other fantastic film roles include THE MANSTER (shot in the late 1950s, but not released until the early 1960s), a US horror potboiler filmed in Japan, and Shuei Matsubayashi's end-of-the-world thriller, THE LAST WAR (1961).


Mr. Ito Sponsored by Clawmark Toys

ED KEANE
Ed Keane became attached to Japan during the Korean War, and moved there in the late 1950s. Soon afterwards, he became involved with the film industry, starting with EMPEROR MEIJI AND THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR (1957) -- where he proved to be invaluable, since he spoke fluent Russian.

Mr. Keane co-founded the "Kokusai Agency" to hire gaijin talent for Japanese films -- and US films shot in Japan, such as John Huston's THE BARBARIAN AND THE GEISHA (1958), Raoul Walsh's MARINES LET'S GO (1961) and MY GEISHA (1962), with Shirley MacLaine.

He would often cast himself in films, and is best remembered by kaiju fans as the "Mayor of New Kirk City" in MOTHRA (1961). During his career, Mr. Keane had the distinction of torturing Tatsuya Nakadai in the HUMAN CONDITION (1959) and being slapped up by Toshiro Mifune in BOSS OF THE UNDERWORLD (1959).

Mr. Keane can also be seen in, among others, ATOMIC RULERS OF THE WORLD (1957), BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1959), THE LAST WAR (1961) and GORATH (1962).

BOB WILKINS
If you grew up in Northern California in the 60s / 70s, you probably remember the late night horrorfest on Friday and Saturdays, broadcast on KTVU Channel 2 Oakland, and hosted by the one and only Bob Wilkins.

Bob was a true horror icon, and he gave Night of the Living Dead
it's national TV premiere in the early 70s. He left the show in the late 70s, to be replaced by John Stanley, who took the show to it's next level.
JOHN STANLEY
John Stanley hosted the popular Creature Features TV series in the San Francisco Bay area for six years. He has covered the science fiction, fantasy, and horror scene for the San Francisco Chronicle for more than thirty years. He has interviewed dozens of superstars and genre stars.

John also wrote and produced the 1976 feature NIGHTMARE IN BLOOD (available on DVD through Image Entertainment) and has authored the Creature Features Movie Guide series of movie-review books
CLEVE HALL
Cleve hall has been a Creature Fabricator for 27 years, but is best known to Kaiju fans as the actor in the Godzilla suit in PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, for which he also made the suits. His exposure to this genre started at the age of one when his mother took him to see Mothra and Gorgo... a four years later, after seeing GODZILLA VS THE THING, his destiny was set. At this early age he knew he wanted to make and play monsters.

He has appeared in dozens of low budget horror films in the 80's, always as a mad killer, and was responsible for the monster dog in Sandlot, the creatures in Troll and Terrorvision, and contributed to the gore in Re-animator. His most recent monster projects have been Monster Smash, a kaiju battle show and the giant ant effects for Fred Olan Ray's the Glass House. He now divides his time between making monsters, raising his daughter's, and playing in the Goth band Insecto Circus.