The original voice actor of Professor Oak in Pokemon Unsho Ishizuka has passed away on Monday, August 13 from esophageal cancer.
The 68-year-old (by traditional Japanese age reckoning) voice actor passed away on August 13, and the news was released today, August 17, by Aoni Production on their website. According to Aoni Production ‘Professor Oak’ had been receiving medical care for some time before his death but without a positive outcome.
Since his 1984 debut in voice acting as the narrator in Giant Gorg, Ishizuka played a large number of starring roles in anime. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop; Professor Oak, Narrator, and various Pokémon in the Pokémon franchise; Mr. Satan in Dragon Ball Super; and Joseph Joestar in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable. Most recently he has voiced the characters Willibard Joachim von Merkatz in The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These, Dino Golzine in Banana Fish, Cain Ibrahim Hassan in Last Hope, and the narrator in Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online. Ishizuka was also active in Japanese dubs of Western films, most notably dubbing roles played by Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburne.
Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Unsho Ishizuka.