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Director Senkichi Taniguchi dies at 95

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TOKYO -- Director Senkichi Taniguchi died Monday at a Tokyo hospital after a bout with pneumonia, his family said Wednesday. He was 95.

Tokyo native Taniguchi was a childhood friend of Akira Kurosawa. In 1947, he made his debut behind the camera for "The Snow Trail," which the legendary director had written. The film starred Toshiro Mifune and actress Setsuko Wakayama, whom Taniguchi married in 1949.

Taniguchi and Kurosawa switched roles for the 1949 movie "The Quiet Duel," also starring Mifune.

He made a string of movies during the 1950s, but it was during the '60s that he made many of his best known works including "Man Against Man," "The Lost World of Sinbad," "The Gambling Samurai" and "Man in the Storm."

He divorced Wakayama in 1956 and the next year married another actress, Kaori Yachigusa, with whom he spent nearly half a century.