I first heard of Sonny Chiba, the recently deceased martial arts superstar, in the early fall of ’93. It was during my first viewing of Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino‘s True Romance, and specifically a scene in which Christian Slater‘s “Clarence Worley” praises Chiba for being the greatest martial arts actor in the world.

If Worley hadn’t delivered that ringing endorsement, I would’ve never heard of Chiba. In the 28 years since that first viewing, have I watched a single Chiba film? Have I watched any martial-arts films apart from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon over the span of my entire life? Due respect but not a one — donut.** And I’m completely cool with that.

Due respect to Chiba all the same, and condolences to his friends, family, fans and colleagues. The 82 year-old performer died from Covid-19.

** Yojimbo, Sanjuro, The Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress don’t count.