Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi found dead at 40

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Yuko Takeuchi, pictured taking a selfie with fans, in 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Yuko Takeuchi had taken the lead role in many TV series and films, including Miss Sherlock

Award-winning Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi has been found dead at her Tokyo home at the age of 40.

Police have launched an investigation and suspect the mother of two took her own life, media reports say.

She is said to have been found by her actor husband Taiki Nakabayashi at their home in Shibuya Ward. Her death was confirmed at hospital.

Ms Takeuchi was a well-known actress in Japan, having appeared in many films and TV series during her career.

She played a female Sherlock Holmes in the 2018 HBO series Miss Sherlock, which was broadcast in several countries including the US.

She also won best actress in a leading role category three years in a row, between 2004 and 2007, in the Japanese Academy Awards.

Along with her long list of acting credits, Ms Takeuchi’s warm, smiling, woman-of-the-people image made her popular with advertisers, Variety Magazine reports.

Although suicide has not been confirmed in Ms Takeuchi’s case, it has been the cause of death for a number of Japanese talents recently, including the actress Sei Ashina earlier this month, actor Haruma Miura in July and wrestling star Hana Kimura in May.

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world although figures have dropped since preventative measures were introduced in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

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