Japanese actress, voice actress and TV host Kumiko Okae (nee Kumiko Owada) died at a Tokyo hospital from pneumonia complications caused by the COVID-19 virus. She was 63. Her death was confirmed by her management office.
Okae entered the hospital on April 3 with a high fever. Her condition was complicated by radiation therapy she underwent in January after surgery for breast cancer.
Okae voiced the character of “Jenny” in the 2005 feature film Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Her voice credits include the animated 1997 movie adaptation The Dog of Flanders as Elina, and Studio Ghibli’s The Cat Returns (2002) as Haru’s mother, Naoko. She was also Ryouko in the 2005 live-action series adaptation of Chikako Urano’s Attack No. 1 volleyball manga.
Born in Setagaya preficture of Tokyo, Okae debuted in Tokyo Broadcasting System Television’s Omitsu in 1975. She went on to appear in many live-action series, including Ten Made Todoke and Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s Renso Game. She was a host on the Hanamaru Market morning show from 1996 to 2014.
Her most recent credits include the 2017 mini-series My Lover’s Secret for NTV, and the Fuji TV detective drama Lucky Seven (2012-).
Survivors include her husband, actor Baku Ohwada, and their daughter, Miho, an actress.
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