Shintaro Katsu (1931-1997) turned a blue-collar film career into that of a big-time movie star with the Zatoichi series of films.

He also starred in Daiei's 16-film "Tough Guy" series (1961-74) and produced the long-running "Lone Wolf and Cub" film and television series which starred his brother.

He was cast in the dual title role of Takeda Shingen and his "shadow" in Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha, but clashed with the director during the first week of filming. He was replaced by Tatsuya Nakadai.

Later in the decade, Katsu was arrested on a drug possession charge, and later still his son accidentally, but fatally injured a crew member with a sword on the set of one of his father's films.

Katsu's popularity however remained unabated right up to his death.

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