Anime News Network is reporting that anime voice actor Kousei Tomita passed away on September 27, 2020 due to a stroke. He was 84 years old at the time of his passing.
Tomita was a Tokyo native who began his career as a stage actor with the Gekidan Tōgei theatrical troupe. His more than 50-year career in the anime industry began with a role in the original 1963 Astro Boy series, and he reprised the role of Higeoyaji in various anime from Osamu Tezuka.
His other credits include Doraemon in the 1973 Doraemon anime, Bakabon’s papa in Heisei Tensai Bakabon, Dr. Hell and Nuke in Mazinger Z, Inspector Ohtsuka in Shin Tetsujin 28, Dr. Saotome in Getter Robo, Alexander Bucock in The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Bouleuse Gotho in Armored Trooper Votoms, and Emperor Daibazaal and the narrator in Beast King GoLion (which is better known to Western audiences as Voltron).
Tomita provided Japanese dub voices for Western films and television series such as Rocky, Airwolf, Emperor of the North Pole, and the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. film. He had a role in the Appare Sanma Daisensei variety program, and also worked as a narrator. Tomita’s voice recordings featured in Tokyo Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain ride.