Veteran Japanese comedian Ken Shimura has died after testing positive for coronavirus last week, according to reports. He was 70.
After developing fever and being diagnosed with serious pneumonia Shimura was hospitalized in Tokyo few days ago. He tested positive for the virus
First Japanese celebrity to go public
Shimura was first celebrity of Japan to go public with a coronavirus diagnosis and now with his tragic death, the comedian becomes first Japanse celebrity to die due to coronavirus.
Shimura's career in entertainment industry began when he joined the Japanese rock band and comedy group 'The Drifters'.
Formed in 1964 by the late actor Chosuke Ikariya and four other men, the group which opened in 1966 for the Beatles in Japan became one of the greatest successes in the history of Japanese comedy, a report by Japantimes said.
'Hachijidayo Zeninshugo' show made popular
Shimura rose to fame when he featured in Hachijidayo Zeninshugo (It's 8 o' clock, assemblee everyone), a comdey show and it was during the show that he established his trademark style of slapstick humour and ddeadpan delivery.
Shimura was also known for his popular TV characters like Baka Tonosama, a stupid lord and Henna Ojisan meaning strange uncle.
Jerry Lewis influenced Shimura
American commedian Jerry Lewis had left an impact on Shimura and influenced him, the late comedian wrote in his memoir.
Shimura's representative was quoted by Japantimes as saying that he don't think Shimura had expected that he would die such a death. "I'm sure he'd worked hard with a sense of purpose to get people laughter" added the representative.
Till now, globally more than 35,000 people have died due to Covid-19 and more than 7 lakh have been tested positive.