Active from 1934, Japanese actor Takashi Shimura was famous for appearing in more than 200 films during his acting career. Particularly, he caught attentions for his starring roles in Akira Kurosawa's films like Drunken Angel (1948), Ikiru (1952) and Seven Samurai (1954). He earned Best Actor award for his appearance as Detective Sato in Kurosawa's Stray Dog (1949) at 1950 Mainichi Film Concours.
As an English Literature student in Kansai University, he was inspired an enthusiasm for drama by the playwright Toyo-oka Sa-ichirō and the Shakespeare scholar Tsubouchi Shikō. He then attended the University's Theatre Studies Society and founded an amateur theatrical group named Shichigatsu-za in 1928. After joining in the Kindaiza theatre company, he began fully professional acting career in 1930s.
His wife was Masako Shimazaki.