Headshot of actress Akiko KunoOn August 23, talent agency Yaza Papa announced that stage actress Akiko Kuno passed away on August 22. She was 71 years old. According to news reports, Kuno succumbed to breast cancer at 8:31PM in a Tokyo hospital.

A funeral service for Kuno’s immediate family is planned, with husband Hiroshi Nakagawa serving as chief mourner during the procession.

Kuno entered the entertainment industry in 1972, when she joined the Shiki Theater Company, while still attending Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts as a student. She quickly gained a reputation for her powerful singing voice and acting abilities, and would gain prominent roles in works like Jesus Christ Superstar‘s Mary Magdalene, West Side Story‘s Maria, and Grizabella in Cats.

She left Shiki in 1986, and continued her career as an actress and singer.

In 2001, Kuno played Ratchet Altair in Sakura Wars: The Movie, a role that she would reprise in Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, as well as several stage shows. In 2020, Kuno appeared as a special guest on the Dandy Shokai’s From Sakura Wars: The Men of the First Dream performance.

The Combat Revue Review would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Akiko Kuno’s friends and family.