Matsumoto Yuri Dies in Apparent Suicide

Matsudaira Ken, Matsumoto YuriTokyo police are investigating as a suicide the death of former actress Matsumoto Yuri (42) at the Meguro Ward, Tokyo home where she lived with her husband, actor Matsudaira Ken (56). She was found hanging by the neck from the doorknob of her bedroom by a babysitter at about 3am on Monday morning. According to management for Matsudaira, he has been away from home since November 2, as he is appearing in a stage production in Kyushu.

The couple married in October 2005 and held their wedding ceremony in April 2006 (photo), a period during which Matsudaira was riding a huge wave of popularity following the runaway success of his “MatsuKen Samba II” single. The story even made it as far as the New York Times. The cheesy song represented a complete change of image for the veteran actor, who was already a household name due to his lead role in the long-running TV Asahi samurai drama series “Abarenbo Shogun” (1978-2004). He was married to actress and former Takarazuka star Daichi Mao (54) from 1990 to 2004. Real name Suzuki Yuriko, Matsumoto was the daughter of an actor and a Takarazuka star. Her own career started out in 1983 when she was spotted performing with her father in an amateur song contest. She debuted as an aidorusinger the following year, a path she followed only briefly before making the switch to acting, mostly on the stage. Her showbiz career came to an end after she and Matsudaira married. She gave birth to a son in October 2006.