Several weeks ago, I attended a horror convention at the Wyndham Hotel in Indianapolis. Knowing that two of the Godzilla suit actors were scheduled to appear, I invited my dad (also a science fiction fan) to tag along and take pictures of the event.
First, I decided to purchase a signed 8×10 from character actor Sid Haig. Known for grisly horror films such as The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses, Haig guest starred in a variety of popular television programs (Batman, Mission: Impossible, and Star Trek: The Original Series to name a few) in the 1960s before gaining recognition as a cult movie icon.
Sid Haig as the First Lawgiver in “The Return of the Archons,” a season-one episode of Star Trek.
The next celebrity I met was Tsutomu “Tom” Kitagawa, who portrayed Godzilla throughout the Millennium series (1999-2004). He also played King Ghidorah in Rebirth of Mothra III, beginning his career as a suit actor.
Kitagawa-san’s autograph on an 8×10 photo from Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. Some of the ink got a little smeared due to the excessive heat inside the venue, but the actual signature was unaffected by the temperature.
I then had the pleasure of meeting Toho Studios’ original Godzilla suit actor, Haruo Nakajima. In addition to portraying the king of monsters from 1954-1972, Nakajima-san played Rodan, Mothra, Gaira, Baragon, Moguera, and King Kong in various films produced during the Showa era. He also had a minor role in Seven Samurai, currently ranked #19 on IMDb’s list of top-rated movies.
Nakajima-san’s autograph on a production still from Gojira.
Nakajima-san and Kitagawa-san were very humble and gracious when I approached them, gladly posing for pictures after signing the 8×10 posters that I purchased from their table. We also had a professional photo-op with Nakajima-san later in the day.
After lunch, I stopped by the table of Sherman Howard—famous for playing an intelligent, domesticated zombie in George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead.
“Bub” aims a 9mm pistol at an off-screen Captain Rhodes.
Having been a huge fan of the Scooby-Doo franchise when I was younger, I felt compelled to visit Matthew Lillard’s table before heading home. Since he played one of the killers in Scream, I thought it would be a cool idea to have him sign the Ghostface mask that I once wore on Halloween.
While his prices were a tad steep ($80 for a picture/autograph combo), Lillard made the experience worthwhile by taking the time to converse with me in a casual, down-to-earth manner. He also offered to pose for a free picture with my dad, who spent nearly half an hour waiting in line with me.
Speaking of Halloween, look who was hanging around the front entrance when I arrived…
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