RICHARD KIEL, the iconic actor who played baddie Jaws in the James Bond movies, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, has died aged 74.
Kiel became famous for playing rogue characters, characterised by a full mouth of metal teeth.
Born in Detroit, the actor, who measured 7ft 2in (2.13m), suffered from a hormonal condition called acromegaly, which accounted for his height and his bulging forehead and pronounced cheekbones.
After working in numerous jobs, including a nightclub bouncer and cemetery plot salesman, he started his acting career in the 1960’s, appearing in the Western series Laramie. He went on to star in the 1964 series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., before beginning his film career. He was chosen by the James Bond producers in 1977 to play the role of Jaws in the movie The Spy who Loved Me and with huge success earned the right to appear in the follow up James Bond movie, Moonraker.
His acting career spun over 30 years, appearing in many iconic films and TV series. Starsky and Hutch, Happy Gilmore and Cannonball Run 2, to mention but a few.
Sir Roger Moore posted a message on Twitter saying: “I am totally distraught to learn of my dear friend Richard Kiel’s passing. We were on a radio programme together just a week ago. Distraught.”
Kiel died at Saint Agnes Medical Centre, Fresno, California, hospital spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez said. He had been admitted to hospital the week before after breaking his leg.
He was survived by his wife, Diane, four children and nine grandchildren.