Ken Shimura, famed Japanese comedian, dead at 70 after contracting coronavirus

Famed Japanese comedian Ken Shimura has died after contracting novel coronavirus, according to his representatives.

Shimura suffered pneumonia-like symptoms and passed away on Sunday night, his agency, Izawa Office, told CNN.

He reported symptoms, including fatigue, on March 17 and was hospitalized on March 20 with severe pneumonia before testing positive for coronavirus on March 23.

Shimura is likely to be deeply mourned in Japan. He has been described as “Japan’s Robin Williams,” with the country’s television networks heavily covering his death.

Shimura began his comedy career in 1974 after joining the comedy group Drifters. He was known across Japan for his Charlie Chaplin-like “Mustache Dance.”

In his memoir, Shimura said he was inspired by American comedian Jerry Lewis.

Japan’s health ministry recorded 173 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, with 68 in Tokyo.

This is the biggest single-day spike for the capital and comes a week after the 2020 Olympics scheduled to be held in the city were postponed until next year.