TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) – Japanese rock singer and actor Yuya Uchida, who performed as an opening act for the Beatles’ historic Toyko concerts in 1966, has died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital. He was 79.
Uchida’s death was confirmed by his management office on Monday (March 18).
A native of Hyogo Prefecture, Uchida was regarded as a key figure in spreading rock ‘n’ roll music throughout Japan both as a performer and as a producer of music festivals.
According to Japanese publication, The Mainichi, Uchida was a fan of Elvis Presley and fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll as a teen. He honed his skills by performing at the Nichigeki Western Carnival, a pioneering rock music festival in Japan established in the late 1950s, and on other stages before he was selected to open for the Beatles.
As an actor, Uchida was known for his roles in English-language films such as “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” and “Black Rain,” and domestic films such as “A Pool Without Water” (Mizu no nai Puru) and “Mosquito on the 10th floor” (Jukkai no Mosukito). He also wrote the scripts for “Comic Magazine” (Komikku Zasshi nanka Iranai!) and “Dioxin from fish!” (Sakana kara Daiokishin!).
He is survived by his daughter Yayako.