RIP Mr Takagi: JOE looks at Die Hard's most memorable supporting characters 9 years ago

RIP Mr Takagi: JOE looks at Die Hard's most memorable supporting characters


Sad news has reached JOE Towers today as we learned that the talented character actor James Shigeta, better known as Mr Takagi from Die Hard, has passed away.


james shigeta die hard

We will never forget his role in the 1988 Bruce Willis classic because that film has provided us with some of our favourite action memories. To honour Shigeta and his co-stars, we have decided to take a look at some of the film's most memorable minor characters.

Just F.Y.I,  we don't consider Hans Gruber, Sgt. Al Powell, Holly McClane or the slimy journalist Richard Thornburg to be small roles.

We were thinking more along the lines off...


Harry Ellis

The arrogant and self-proclaimed 'white knight' stockbroker believed that he was the man to talk sense into Eamon De Valera , Hans Gruber because, in his own words, he "negotiates million dollar deals for breakfast."

Oh how wrong he was.

Ellis thought he could convince McClane to hand over the C4 detonators but he forgot the golden rules of any negotiation: 1) Don't insult Germans with guns by saying "sprechen ze talk?" 2) Don't call Hans Gruber "bubby" and 3) Don't pretend to have personal ties with the cop that all the bad guys are desperately trying to kill.


Maybe it was the drugs talking?

Ellis did redeem himself though, his final line before dying  is probably one of the greatest ever; "Hans, baby, put away the gun, this is radio, not television.

Take a look at this musical tribute...


Clip via - Mads Knutsen


"Now I have a machine gun.Ho, ho, ho! " Never before has one taunt provoked such a volcanic eruption of rage, but this is why we absolutely love Karl.

Not only is he one of the most formidable henchman of all time but he also got some of the film's best lines.

After McClane killed his baby brother, Karl uttered all of these brilliant quotes; "No one kills him but me!", "We are both professionals. This is personal," "I don't want neutral. I want dead."


Fun bit of trivia, Karl was the only deceased terrorist member who was not killed by McClane in Die Hard.

This fight scene is brilliant...

Clip via - NystedtFord

Joseph Takagi

The scenes between the late James Shigeta and Alan Rickman in this film are just superb, as Takagi and Prof Snape Hans Gruber play a tense game of cat and mouse at gunpoint regarding the access codes to his vault.

In an alternate world, JOE would like to see the two men talk about "industrialization and men's fashion all day". Shame that Snape had to ruin such a beautiful suit.


JOE regularly takes trips in the back of limos but we have never met a driver as cool and loyal as Argyle.

Not only does he have excellent taste in Christmas music, but he is equally as comfortable talking to teddy bears as he is crashing his limo into an ambulance in order to stop the baddies from escaping.

In his famous words, "Just remember that when you sign for the tip."


The unfortunate terrorist hacker was knocked out cold by Argyle's right hook and JOE remembers this nerd vividly... he reminded us of Urkel.

We still cheer when Theo gets his comeuppance, especially after he proclaimed with glee that "the quarterback is toast" when an RPG laid waist to a squadron of police officers.

Clip via - Heardr5829


Our favourite martial arts-knowing, long hair-growing, Fu Manchu moustache-wearing, Bazooka-blazing, chocolate bar-eating henchman. We don't need to add anything else do we.


Special Agents Johnson & Johnson

About as useful during the Nakatomi hostage crisis as a bottle of their namesake's shampoo would be, these bumbling FBI agents were memorable for all the wrong reasons.

They argued with Al Powell, shut down the building's power thus opening the vault for the terrorists, were prepared to fire on innocent civilians and they eventually started shooting at John McClane.

These are the good guys though, right?

Fun fact though, the two agents Johnson were named after the actor who played Sgt. Al Powell, Reginald VelJohnson.

This video that makes them out to be the heroes is great though...

* They Hit Without Warning * - DIE HARD - ROBERT DAVI - from Frederik " ManofMysteria " on Vimeo.

Harvey Johnson 

Like the Pulitzer prize-winning journalists that we are, JOE would never say anything lightly because we always do our research and check all the relevant facts and information.

It's a shame then that the bumbling talk-show host didn't do the same after he thought that Helsinki was in Sweden. He also had an epic Ron Burgundy moment when he was caught staring off-camera while the show was still on air. Muppet.