Sonny Chiba, the Japanese actor who rose to stardom thanks to his martial-arts skills, died on August 19, according to TheWrap and Japanese outlet Oricon. He was 82 and had been hospitalized due to COVID-19. Chiba began acting in Japanese action and crime series and films early in his adulthood, striking a collaborative partnership with director Kinji Fukasaku. He later starred in The Street Fighter in 1974, which reached international popularity, along with its sequels. Chiba went on to star in movies including Bullet Train and Shogun’s Samurai. A black-belt martial artist, he also served as the action director on a number of films and trained stunt artists through the Japan Action Club, which he founded. In the 2000s, Chiba appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1 as the retired sword-maker Hattori Hanzō along with the third Fast and the Furious film, Tokyo Drift, while continuing to star in Japanese films. Chiba’s work has been a major influence on Tarantino, with his True Romance protagonist, Clarence Worley, describing the star as “bar none, the finest actor working in martial-arts movies today” at the beginning of the film.