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Pixels star and accomplished voiceover actor Denis Akiyama dies at 66

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Jul 3, 2018

Character and voiceover actor Denis Akiyama, best known for playing a fictionalized version of Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani in Pixels and for voicing the characters of Iceman/Bobby Drake, Silver Samurai, and Sunfire in X-Men: The Animated Series, died June 30 in his hometown of Toronto, Canada, various media outlets are reporting. He was 66.

His son Kintaro Akiyama told The Hollywood Reporter that Akiyama died after battling a “very rare and aggressive cancer.”

Born May 28, 1952 in Toronto, Denis Van Akiyama studied psychology at York University and later worked in child care before shifting his focus to acting at George Brown College.

In addition to Pixels (2015), Akiyama’s film credits include Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Repo Men (2010) and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). He was a prolific voiceover actor whose work can be heard in such animated series as Sailor Moon, X-Men, The Adventures of Tin-Tin, Monster House, Little Bear, Delilah & Julius and Scaredy Squirrel, as well as in such anime series as Power Stone and Medabots. Akiyama also appeared on an episode of the TV series 12 Monkeys.

A memorial service website for the actor has been set up. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. local time on July 5 at Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre in Toronto. 

Akiyama is survived by his wife, Danielle; daughter, Miya; and brother, Barry. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.