Tags: richard kiel | dies | bond | villain

Richard Kiel, Infamous 7-Foot-2 Bond Villain, Dies at 74

By    |   Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 07:33 AM

Richard Kiel, a veteran Hollywood character actor best known for playing a larger-than-life James Bond villain in two 007 movies starring Roger Moore, died Wednesday just days short of his 75th birthday.

Variety reported that Kiel suffered a broken leg recently but could not confirm whether that contributed to his death. He was to turn 75 on Saturday.

The 7-foot-2 actor played the fan favorite Jaws in 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me" and 1979's "Moonraker." He also had supporting roles in such popular films as 1976's "Silver Streak" starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, as well as the Burt Reynolds football/prison flick "The Longest Yard" in 1974.

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"Blessed and/or cursed with metal teeth that could bite through just about anything, [Kiel's character Jaws] gave Moore's Bond major headaches as he pursued the spy through Egypt, England, and Brazil before ultimately seeing the error of his criminal ways," Deadline.com's Erik Pedersen wrote.

"He also had a memorable role in the 1974 Burt Reynolds flick 'The Longest Yard' playing Samson, an inmate who clotheslines a prison guard during their football game and utters the oft-repeated line, 'I think I broke his f***ing neck!'"

Younger audiences would remember Kiel from Adam Sandler's "Happy Gilmore" in 1996. He also voiced the character Vlad in the 2010 animated feature "Tangled."

"It took me from being a successful working actor who people in America recognized but didn't know my name to a worldwide movie character who got so much publicity that the name Richard Kiel became a household word in Finland," Kiel said of his James Bond roles in a 2000 interview posted on RogerMoore.com.

Kiel was a Detroit native who also appeared as a guest star on numerous television shows throughout his career, including "Lassie," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "Gilligan's Island," "The Monkees," "I Spy," "It Takes A Thief, "The Wild Wild West," "Starsky & Hutch," "The Fall Guy," and "Simon & Simon."

Even though Kiel made a name for himself on the silver screen, he did miss out on one iconic television role. He was reportedly was one of the original actors in the running to play the title role in "The Incredible Hulk," but producers eventually went with popular bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno instead, Deadline.com noted.

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Richard Kiel, a veteran Hollywood character actor best known for playing a larger-than-life James Bond villain in two 007 movies starring Roger Moore, died Wednesday just days short of his 75th birthday.
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2014-33-11
Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 07:33 AM
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