Anime Voice Actors And Authors Who Died In 2020 (R.I.P)

kaguya sama salute anime

Anime Actors, voice actors, and authors have died in 2020. Not all because of the #coronavirus, but some were spurred on by it.

It’ll be 2021 this Friday, so I wanna put the limelight on these people who played their part in the anime industry, and made history while they were at it.

Legendary roles,  contributions, memorable anime, the whole lot.

Let’s get to it.


Anime Actors & Authors Who Died In 2020:


1. Kumiko Okae

kumiko okae pokemon voice actress 1

Back in May 2020, Kumiko Okae was announced dead because of the coronavirus. Or Covid-19. The death happened in April 2020.

She was 63 years old!

The roles Kumiko played in the anime industry are varied.

  • Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew.
  • The Cat Returns.
  • Attack No. 1.
  • Ten Made Todoke.

Back in 2019 she went through surgery for breast cancer. But from 2020 her health started to get worse as a result.

COVID-19 then came along, worsened her condition, and in the end, contributed to her death.

Relevant: Did You Know The Biggest Pokemon Fans In The World Are In These Top 25 Countries?


2. Keiji Fujiwara

Keiji Fujiwara anime voice actor japan 1

Keiji Fujiwara was a Japanese voice actor who started a talent and production company in 2006. His death was due to Cancer in April 2020.

He’s known for his role in the anime Crayon Shin-Chan.

Other roles he took part in:

  • Blue Exorcist.
  • Eureka Seven.
  • Kingdom Hearts.
  • Hunter x Hunter.
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Rurouni Kenshin.
  • School Rumble.
  • Initial D.
  • Death Note.
  • Gintama.
  • Shakugan No Shana.

And the never ending list of other anime from 1991 to 2019.

He was even the dubbing voice actor for Tonky Stark in Iron Man!

He’s had so many roles in the anime industry in well known and underground anime. And many classics.

Relevant: 40+ Blue Exorcist Quotes That Will Trigger Your Emotions


3. Kirby Morrow

kirby morrow anime voice actor 1

Kirby Morrow was a Canadian voice actor in the anime industry. His death followed 8 days after the death of his own father on November 18th 2020.

This man like many others made part of my childhood with his feature in the Ocean DUB of Dragon Ball Z! He played Goku.

Other roles Kirby Murrow took part in:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
  • Project Arms.
  • Dragon Ball Z.
  • Inuyasha.
  • Death Note.
  • Hamtaro.
  • Z-Mind.
  • Hikaru No Go.
  • Tokyo Underground.
  • Gintama.
  • Kurozuka.
  • Star Ocean EX.

And many more anime shows with different levels of fame and success.

Outside the anime industry he’s done even more in the live action space, and western Animation (like X-Men).

Related: 5 Dragon Ball Z Life Lessons You Can Benefit From


4. George Akiyama

george akiyama manga author

Japanese manga artist George Akiyama died May 12 2020 at 77 years of age.

The cause of death is unknown.

He’s the kind of guy who’d tackle controversial topics and wasn’t afraid to try the things most are afraid of.

I relate to that.

Here’s some of the work George Akiyama is known for:

  • Bara no Sakamichi.
  • Ashura.
  • Patman X.
  • Lovelin Monroe.
  • Pink No Curtain.
  • Kaijin Gonzui.
  • The Moon.
  • Ikinasai Kiki.
  • Hakuai no Hito.

Most of his work spans from 1967 to 2005!


5. William Dufris

William Dufris voice actor

William Dufris was an American anime voice actor who died March 24th 2020. At the age of 62.

His career actually started here in the UK, London in particular, taking part in BBC Radio Plays.

That pushed him to start his own audio company. And eventually being in the USA.

X, a Shoujo manga originally, Appleseed, an OVA adaptation of a manga, and LUPIN III is the anime roles he played in.

His catalog of work is varied and isn’t just specifically anime related.

Related: The Greatest Anime Dub Actors Who VOICE Your Favorite Characters


6. Yoshisada Sakaguchi

Yoshisada Sakaguchi anime voice actor

Yoshisada Sakaguchi was a Japanese anime voice actor, and actor. He died 13th February 2020 at the age of 80 years old.

The roles he’s took part in:

  • Alexander Senki.
  • Mushishi.
  • Appleseed.
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood.

And a f*ck load of other TV shows outside of the anime industry as well, like Die Hard and others.

Yoshisada Sakaguchi’s body of work is also varied.


7. Hisashi Katsuta

Hisashi Katsuta anime voice actor

Hisashi Katsuta died at the age of 92 years old on the 21st February 2020. An insanely long life.

He’s known for his classic role in the anime: Astro Boy!

Other roles Hisashi Katsuta played in:

  • Kimba The White Lion.
  • Dororo.
  • Astroganger.
  • Marine Boy.
  • Cats Eye.
  • Donchuck Monogatari.
  • Musashi No Ken.

And many classic, old school anime shows that are foundational.

The anime industry was early during the late 1960’s and 70s, but it wouldn’t be here without anime voice actors like Hisashi Katsuta.


8. Kazuhiko Kishino

Kazuhiko Kishino anime voice actor

Kazuhiko Kishino died at the age of 86 on February 22nd, 2020.

He played an iconic role in the anime Kinnikuman as a voice actor.

Other roles Kazuhiko Kishino played in:

  • Gun X Sword
  • After War Gundam X.
  • Mobile Suit V Gundam.
  • Kinnikuman.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula.
  • Densetsu no Yuusha Da Garn.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin.
  • PaRappa The Rapper.
  • Nintama Rantarou.
  • Burst Angel.
  • Phoenix.
  • Full Metal Panic!
  • Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl.
  • Record of Lodoss War.
  • Code Geass.
  • Waka kusa Monogatari.

As Kazuhiko’s age suggests, he’s been in dozens of anime roles. And has played his part.

And that’s it.

These are the anime voice actors and authors who died in 2020. Both from Japan, the USA and Canada.

Some due to COVID 19, others because of other conditions like Cancer. And some natural deaths.

In any case, R.I.P!



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