He is best known for directing Grave of the Fireflies a movie that many here, including myself hold in high regard. According to Yahoo Japan he died at age 82 and his health had been declining steadily. He also directed the films Only Yesterday, My Neighbor the Yamadas, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, for which he received an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Film. I think Miyazaki is more famous but Takahata's film were special in their own right.
Please Watch/Share this video so it gets shown in Hollywood.