Voice actor and radio host Genzo Wakayama died on May 18 of heart failure. He died in his home in Tokyo city, and he was 88 years old. He mainly voice acted after his retirement from NHK, and he worked as a radio host for 22 years on Genzo Wakayama’s Tokyo Dial 954. Wakayama was most known as the voice actor for Ansem the Wise in the Kingdom Hearts series. [Thanks, Ryokutya2089!]
Besides his work as Ansem/DiZ Kingdom Hearts, Wakayama also provided the voice for President Shinra in Final Fantasy VII Remake and Sean Connery in movies such as his James Bond films. He also voiced Zeus in Disney’s Hercules and John Silver in Treasure Planet. He was also Long John Silver in the 1978 anime television series Treasure Island, which is based off of the same book that inspired Treasure Planet. Between 1978 and 2003, Wakayama narrated over 800 episodes of Abarenbo Shogun.
According to Asahi Shimbun, Wakayama’s family held a private funeral, and there are currently no plans for a more public service. Earlier this year, two manga artists, Ichiro Tominaga and Miura Kentaro, died as well. Miura died of an acute aortic dissection at 54 years old, and Tominaga died of natural causes at age 96.
Genzo Wakayama died of heart failure earlier this month, though the news only broke on May 31. There is currently no announcement on whether Wakayama’s ongoing roles will be retired or if they will be passed onto other voice actors.