Ken Shimura
A man wearing a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walks past in front of a huge screen reporting death of Japanese comedian Ken Shimura. Image Credit: Reuters

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Tokyo: Days after being hospitalised for coronavirus, veteran Japanese comedian Ken Shimura died of pneumonia caused by the virus on Sunday, reported Japan Times.

The 70-year-old comic was admitted to the hospital on March 20 for symptoms of fever and severe pneumonia and was declared coronavirus positive on March 23.

He was the first Japanese celebrity to contract the highly contagious virus.

According to the Japan Times, Shimura belonged to Higashimurayama city in Tokyo and his real name was Yasunori Shimura.

The icon joined a Japanese comic series group 'Drifters' in 1974. The group later became one of the biggest successes in the history of Japanese Comedy.

Shimura rose to prominence after he starred in the prime-time television comedy show of the group 'Hachijidayo Zeninshugo.'

He is known for his easy-going gags and parodies and one of the most successful ones is 'mustache dance' and a song which is a reference to his hometown in Tokyo

The veteran comedian is much acclaimed for his satirical characters 'Baka Tonosama' (foolish lord) and 'Henna Ojisan' (weirdo uncle).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the novel coronavirus has affected 6,38,146 globally and has claimed the lives of 30,105.