Kazuo Kumakura, the actor and producer who is best known for singing the theme song for the first Gegege no Kitarō anime, passed away due to rectal cancer on October 12, 2015. He was 88 years old at the time of his passing.
His anime voice roles included Papa Panda in Panda! Go, Panda!, Torahige in Hyokkori Hyōtan-jima, Higeoyaji in the second Astro Boy anime, and Oz the Great in The Wizard of Oz anime.
Outside anime, he was the Japanese dubbed voice of the title detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Alfred Hitchcock in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents projects, Geppetto in Pinocchio, Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, Doc in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Scooby-Doo in the American animated series of the same name. He reprised his roles from the various Disney films in the Kingdom Hearts games.