Newswire: R.I.P. Setsuko Hara, Japanese screen legend

Setsuko Hara, the luminous Japanese movie star of the 1940s and ’50s, has died. Best known today for the films she made with director Yasujirô Ozu, the prolific and popular Hara starred in more than 100 movies before unexpectedly retiring from acting and public life in the early ’60s. Refusing to grant interviews or make public appearances, she lived the rest of her life in de facto seclusion. Hara died of pneumonia on September 5, the news of her death only being made public today. She was 95.

Born Masae Aida in Yokohama, Hara entered the film world with the help of her brother-in-law, a contract director at the Nikkatsu studio. She made her screen debut at age 15, in 1935’s Don’t Hesistate, Young Folks. Her first big starring role came in the notorious German-Japanese co-production The Daughter Of The Samurai (1937), co-directed by Arnold Fanck, the mountaineering-obsessed …

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