THE ROAD TO M78! Bin Furuya on His Early Toho and Suit-Acting Roles!

Bin Furuya achieved stardom as Ultraman's first suit actor in the groundbreaking series Ultraman (1966-67) from Tsuburaya Productions. However, years before finding success on television, Mr. Furuya got his acting start working as an extra in movies at Toho Studios. Born on July 5, 1943, in Tokyo, Mr. Furuya was a member of Toho's 15th … Continue reading THE ROAD TO M78! Bin Furuya on His Early Toho and Suit-Acting Roles!

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REFLECTIONS IN A GLOWING EYE! Tomoko Ai on Her Breakout Role as Katsura Mafune!

Tomoko Ai never dreamed of becoming an actress, but once she became one, she achieved international attention with her starring role as Katsura Mafune in Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Prior to her casting in the final Godzilla movie in the Showa series, she portrayed Monster Attacking Crew (MAC) member Haruko Matsuki in Ultraman Leo (1974-75). In July … Continue reading REFLECTIONS IN A GLOWING EYE! Tomoko Ai on Her Breakout Role as Katsura Mafune!

INSIDE THE ULTRA-SERIES! Scriptwriter Shigemitsu Taguchi on Writing for Tsuburaya Productions!

Shigemitsu Taguchi is a television scriptwriter who shaped much of Tsuburaya Productions’ output during the 1970s. Born on February 4, 1944, Mr. Taguchi joined Tsuburaya Productions in the late 1960s, but officially began his career as a scriptwriter with the series Return of Ultraman (1971-72), which led to a successful career in tokusatsu. Mr. Taguchi wrote … Continue reading INSIDE THE ULTRA-SERIES! Scriptwriter Shigemitsu Taguchi on Writing for Tsuburaya Productions!

AN ULTRA-ADVENTURE IN AUSTRALIA! Actor David Grybowski Reflects on Ultraman: Towards the Future!

David Grybowski is a Canadian-born actor in Australia who was cast to play the recurring comic-relief character Ike on Ultraman: Towards the Future (1992), one of the two ‘90s-era Ultra-series filmed in the West. In March 2019, Mr. Grybowski reflected on his contributions to the Ultraman franchise in an interview with Brett Homenick. Brett Homenick: What can you tell … Continue reading AN ULTRA-ADVENTURE IN AUSTRALIA! Actor David Grybowski Reflects on Ultraman: Towards the Future!

HOSHINO ON ULTRAMAN! Akihide Tsuzawa Opens Up About His Career in Tokusatsu and More!

Tokusatsu is a genre that has seen its share of child actors over the years, but there is no doubt that Akihide Tsuzawa is one of its most famous. Mr. Tsuzawa was born on September 24, 1954, to Masako Tsuzawa, a famous haiku poet. Mr. Tsuzawa began working as a child actor and soon found … Continue reading HOSHINO ON ULTRAMAN! Akihide Tsuzawa Opens Up About His Career in Tokusatsu and More!

ULTRAMAN GETS A REWRITE! John Douglas on Scripting Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero!

Santa Clarita resident John Douglas has worked in the entertainment industry in various capacities, but it was on the American-produced Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (1993) where he arguably made his greatest contribution. Although his most obvious credit was penning two of the show’s episodes (“A Quartet of Creatures” and ”The DaDa Effect”), this interview reveals … Continue reading ULTRAMAN GETS A REWRITE! John Douglas on Scripting Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero!

CHASING THE LAST DINOSAUR! A Candid Conversation with Joan van Ark!

Joan van Ark is an accomplished actress who is best known for her work on the hit television series Dallas and Knots Landing (as Valene Ewing in both series). An Emmy- and Tony Award-nominated performer, her other credits include television programs as diverse as The Mod Squad, Bonanza, Night Gallery, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, … Continue reading CHASING THE LAST DINOSAUR! A Candid Conversation with Joan van Ark!

THE ULTIMATE DIRECTOR! King Wilder on Directing America’s Take on Ultraman!

King Wilder may have directed all 13 episodes of the made-in-America series Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (1993), but his involvement in the entertainment industry stretches far beyond that. Born in Los Angeles in 1958, Mr. Wilder lived most of his early life in Long Island, New York. In 1986, he secured a job as location … Continue reading THE ULTIMATE DIRECTOR! King Wilder on Directing America’s Take on Ultraman!

REMEMBERING ULTRAMAN: THE ULTIMATE HERO! Producer Julie Avola on Bringing Japan’s Greatest Hero Stateside!

Julie Avola served as producer on Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (a.k.a. Ultraman Powered), a 13-episode series produced in 1993 by Tsuburaya Productions. Prior to her involvement on the only American-made Ultraman program, Ms. Avola did post-production work on such films as Troll (1986), Rawhead Rex (1986), Puppet Master (1989), and Robot Jox (1990). She also co-produced … Continue reading REMEMBERING ULTRAMAN: THE ULTIMATE HERO! Producer Julie Avola on Bringing Japan’s Greatest Hero Stateside!

MAKING GODZILLA AND ULTRAMAN! Bruce Fuller on Recreating Japan’s Greatest Sci-Fi Icons!

Bruce Fuller makes monsters for a living. In the course of working on such blockbusters as Predator 2 (1990), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Mr. Fuller built many of Ultraman’s opponents for Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (1993), designed the Gryphon’s Probe-Bat for … Continue reading MAKING GODZILLA AND ULTRAMAN! Bruce Fuller on Recreating Japan’s Greatest Sci-Fi Icons!