was a Japanese actor.
Tamba is perhaps best known by Western audiences for his role as Tiger Tanaka
in the 1967 James Bond
film You Only Live Twice
(he was dubbed by Robert Rietti
). By then, he had among other roles appeared in two films by director Masaki Kobayashi
. He also portrayed the lead character in the police dramas Key Hunter
and G-Men '75
, the latter of which remains his best-known role in Japan.
He also portrayed the voice of the "Cat King" in the original Japanese version of the Studio Ghibli anime film The Cat Returns. More recently, he had parts in Twilight Samurai and two Takashi Miike films, The Happiness of the Katakuris and Gozu, as well as acting as a spokesperson for the Dai Rei Kai spiritual movement.
Tamba's son, Yoshitaka Tamba, is also an actor.
In February 2005, Tamba was hospitalized for influenza and appendicitis. He lost weight drastically and his health degenerated. On September 25, 2006, he died in Tokyo at the age of 84 of pneumonia.
Awards and Nominations