Ken Shimura, comedian, dead at 70 from COVID-19 complications

March 30 (UPI) -- Ken Shimura, a famed Japanese comedian, has died at the age of 70 due to complications from COVID-19.

Shimura died of pneumonia caused by COVID-19 in a Tokyo hospital on Sunday, his agency Izawa Office confirmed.


The comedian was admitted to the hospital on March 20 with severe pneumonia before he tested positive for the virus on March 23.

Shimura was a regular on Japanese television and was a member of comedy band, The Drifters, along with Cha Kato, Boo Takagi and Joki Nakamoto.

He has been described as "Japan's Robin Williams" and is known for his facial expressions.

Shimura is the first Japanese celebrity figure to die from COVID-19.

Musician Alan Merrill who co-wrote "I Love Rock 'N' Roll, country singer Joe Diffie, CBS broadcast journalist Maria Mercader, actor Mark Blum, fashion designer Jenny Polanco, playwright Terrence McNally and jazz great Manu Dibango have also died from the virus.

Notable deaths of 2020

Richard Thornburgh
Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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