Voice actor Hideyuki Umezu, most well-known for voicing Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter films, Yukinojyo from Tenchi Muyo! and Splinter from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, sadly passed away on May 17. His agency, 81 Produce, announced the news on the company’s website earlier today. He was 68. Umezu died due to interstitial pneumonia. A funeral service was held only with his relatives in accordance with his bereaved family’s wishes. “We would like to express our deepest gratitude for your friendship during your lifetime,” read a statement on 81 Produce’s website. 

Hideyuki Umezu: A Short Biography 

Hideyuki Umezu was born in Aichi Prefecture on July 24, 1955. Studying at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, he planned to become a dentist after graduating. However, a friend from Waseda University wanted to start acting and the pair decided to join a theater group together. Putting aside his dentistry ambitions, Umezu pursued a career in acting instead and appeared in a few period dramas. In 1982, he made his voice acting debut as San Dr. Hyblow in the TV Tokyo anime Bobby the Rascal. 

He went on to voice characters in some of most successful anime ever produced, including Naruto (Amachi), Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Barry the Chopper), Hunter × Hunter (Battera) and One Piece (Diamante). He also provided the dubbed Japanese voice for characters in several major overseas films, dramas and cartoons such the Buddy Holly waiter (Steve Buscemi) in Pulp Fiction, Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) in Hotel Rwanda, Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) in Shameless, Zazu in The Lion King, Artie Ziff in The Simpsons and most famously Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams) in the Harry Potter franchise. Umezu could play several instruments, including the violin, the shamisen and the flute.

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