Momoko Ōkōchi, who would later be well known by her stage name of Momoko Kōchi, was born in Tokyo, Japan, on 7 March 1932. She was the daughter of Nobuhiro Ōkōchi, a painter, and Chieko Ōkōchi. Her grandfather Masatoshi served as the director of Riken from 1921 to 1946. Momoko was a descendant of the Ōkōchi Matsudaira clan.
After graduating from high school, Momoko was an office lady until she was discovered by Toho through its New Face program in 1953. Her first role with Toho was in A Woman's Heart Released. Throughout 1954, she acted in movies directed by Kajirō Yamamoto. Momoko's most famous role that year, however, was in Godzilla, which was directed by Ishirō Honda.
After Godzilla's later success in Japan, Momoko was typecast in other science fiction films, including The Mysterians, in 1957. She left Toho in 1958 to pursue a formal acting career.
Momoko debuted as a stage actress in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. She eventually acted in other plays and in television dramas as well as a few subsequent films.
Momoko married television producer Sadataka Hisamatsu in 1961. Sadataka was a descendant of the Hisamatsu-Matsudaira clan. With Sadataka, Momoko had a daughter, Emiko, in 1963.
In 1995, she made a short cameo appearance in Takao Okawara's Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. However, her final film appearance was in Ryōkan in 1997.
She also acted in radio plays, including Kokoro no Tomoshibi, for which she won papal awards from Pope John Paul II. While being hospitalised for colon cancer, for which she was diagnosed in January 1998, she asked her daughter Emiko to arrange for her baptism. On 29 October, she was baptised under the name of "Maria."
Momoko died in Tokyo on 5 November 1998, at the age of 66. Her funeral mass was celebrated on November 9 at St. Ignatius Church. She was buried at Yanaka Cemetery.
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