Tetsuro Tamba, one of Japan's most famous and prolific actors, died of pneumonialate September 24 at the age of 84.

Born in Tokyo in 1922, Tamba became a translator for alliedoccupation forces after Japan was defeated in WWII. He made his film debut in 1952,going on to appear in over 300 features and scores of TV dramas.

Tamba was perhaps best knownby Western audiences for his role as Tiger Tanaka in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967).

Some of his most famousJapanese films included Hideo Gosha's ThreeOutlaw Samurai, Shohei Imamura's PigsAnd Battleships, Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri And Kwaidan, Kinji Fukasaku's Black Lizard and Under The Flag Of The Rising Sun, Teruo Ishii's Abashiri Prison and the originaladaptation of Submersion Of Japan.His lead role in TV series G-Men '75is one of his best known in Japan.

He also won the JapaneseAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1981's The Battle Of Port Arthur (203 Kochi), which also starred Toshiro Mifune.

Tamba remained active in theindustry, with recent roles in Yoji Yamada's Oscar-nominated The Twilight Samurai and cult directorTakashi Miike's The Happiness Of The Katakuris and Gozu(Cannes 2003 Directors' Fortnight).