Mako Iwamatsu, or just Mako for short, passed away last Friday at the age of 72 from esophageal cancer. He's been around ever since I could remember, appearing in many films... though mostly I will probably remember him as Akiro the Wizard from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan movies. Mako will be also be remembered mostly for his gravelly voice, heard a lot in animation series like Dexter's Laboratory (Narrator), Samurai Jack (where he played the villain Aku) and more recently, Avatar: The Last Airbender (as the wise Uncle Iroh). Mako's been around forever, so it really is a shame that his voice is now gone. But thankfully, his voice will be heard yet in the remaining 2nd Season episodes of Avatar and in next year's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (where he plays the role of Splinter).
Most assuredly, such a distinct voice can be imitated or emulated, but just knowing the man behind the character is gone leaves a mark on you. Rest in peace, Mako-san.
What Happened Since May 2017
4 weeks ago