Pokémon and Studio Ghibli Voice Actress Kumiko Okae Dies from COVID-19

Japanese actress Kumiko Okae has passed away after contracting COVID-19. She was 63 years old.

According to reports, Okae developed a fever on April 3 then was rushed to the hospital 3 days later when her condition worsened. She tested positive for COVID-19 and developed pneumonia as a complication of the virus. Her immune system is believed to have been weakened by the radiation therapy she was undergoing for early-stage breast cancer.

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Okae debuted as an actress in 1975 starring in TBS’ Omitsu then later appeared in Ten Made Todoke, and was a co-host of the Hanamaru Market information show.

She is perhaps best-loved for her work in the world of anime where she voiced Jenny in Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and Haru’s mother in Studio Ghibli’s The Cat Returns, among others.

She passed away on April 23 after a long battle with COVID-19.

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