Veteran actor Ren Osugi, a regular of Takeshi Kitano’s films who also portrayed Japan's prime minister in “Shin Godzilla” (Godzilla Resurgence), died of acute cardiac failure Feb. 21. He was 66.

Osugi's death was announced by his management agency.

The native of Komatsushima, Tokushima Prefecture, started out in the theater and appeared in many X-rated and gangster-themed films in his early career.

Osugi gained mainstream fame in his 40s when he portrayed a senior yakuza member in Kitano's much-acclaimed “Sonatine,” released in 1993.

He received a number of awards for his role of a wheelchair-bound former police detective in “Hana-Bi" (1998), also by Kitano.

His versatility won him the role of Japan's prime minister in the award-winning “Shin Godzilla” by Hideaki Anno in 2016.

Osugi appeared in numerous theater plays, films and TV dramas.

On the day before he died, Osugi worked into the night shooting a TV drama series that is being aired. After the shoot, he felt unwell and was admitted to a hospital accompanied by a fellow actor.