A Japanese actress known as the female Sherlock Holmes has apparently killed herself—which, if confirmed, continues a spate of suicides among Japanese entertainers. Yuko Takeuchi was found at home Sunday by her husband without a note, but Variety reports that it looks like suicide. "It came all of a sudden, and we are all stunned and saddened by the news," her talent agency said, per the Japan Times. The 40-year-old enjoyed an impressive film and TV career that included the 1998 horror film Ring, the 2018 series Miss Sherlock, and three consecutive Japanese Academy Awards for best lead actress from 2004 to 2007, the BBC reports.
She was also a hit with advertisers and appeared in ad campaigns ranging from Panasonic to Suntory and Shiseido. Takeuchi's death follows a string of suicides among Japanese talents, including wrestling star Hana Kimura in May, Haruma Miura in July, and actress Sei Ashina in early September. Japan has one of the world's worst suicide rates, but the South China Morning Post reports that numbers have fallen amid the coronavirus pandemic. A study suggests that government financial support and fewer working hours have helped. If only they had saved Takeuchi, who leaves behind two sons. "Waking up to the news of Yuko Takeuchi's death by presumed suicide has really saddened me," a fan tweeted. "She was so talented & will be missed." (Read more suicide stories.)