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Setsuko Hara dead: Tokyo Story actress dies at 95

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Setsuko Hara, a Japanese actress best known for her work in director Yasujiro Ozu’s films, died Sept. 5 of pneumonia, her family announced Wednesday. She was 95.

Hara was born in June 17, 1920, as Masae Aida in Yokohama, Japan. She made her onscreen debut in 1935, breaking through in 1937’s The Daughter of the Samurai. Hara gained even wider prominence after World War II, working with seminal directors like Akira Kurosawa (No Regrets For Our Youth) and Kozaburo Yoshimura (A Ball at the Anjo House).

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Collaborating with Ozu, beginning with 1949’s In Late Spring, ushered the best work from both. They frequently worked together for the next 12 years, including on 1953’s Tokyo Story, up until Ozu’s second-to-last film The End of Summer.

In 1962, Hara retired from acting at the age of 42 and lived a reserved life in Kamakura, seldom if ever giving interviews.

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