Richard Kiel

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Richard Kiel
Richard Kiel 2.JPG
Richard Kiel, February 2004
BornRichard Dawson Kiel
1939 (age 74–75)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1960–present
Height7 ft 1.5 in (2.17 m)
Spouse(s)Diane Rogers (1974-present)
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Richard Kiel
Richard Kiel 2.JPG
Richard Kiel, February 2004
BornRichard Dawson Kiel
1939 (age 74–75)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1960–present
Height7 ft 1.5 in (2.17 m)
Spouse(s)Diane Rogers (1974-present)

Richard Dawson Kiel (born 1939)[1] is an American actor known for his role as the steel-toothed Jaws in the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) as well as the video game Everything or Nothing (he also has cameos in many other James Bond videogames). He is also well known as Mr. Larson in the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore.

Life and career[edit]

Kiel was born in Detroit, Michigan. He made his acting debut in a 1960 Laramie episode called "Street of Hate." He also acted in an unaired TV-pilot featuring Lee Falk's superhero The Phantom, where Kiel played an assassin called "Big Mike", who was hired to kill the titular hero.

Kiel broke into films in the early 1960s with the B-movie Eegah (1962), which was later featured on the TV show Elvira's Movie Macabre, Mystery Science Theater 3000, as were The Phantom Planet and The Human Duplicators. He also co-wrote, produced, and starred in the family-friendly movie The Giant of Thunder Mountain. Kiel also appeared as the towering — and lethal — assistant Voltaire to Dr. Miguelito Loveless in first season episodes of The Wild, Wild West. He later appeared in another role, in the episode "The Night of the Simian Terror", as the outcast son of a wealthy family, banished because of birth defects that distorted his body and apparently affected his mind. This episode is significant because it allowed Kiel the opportunity to really act, rather than just look intimidating. Kiel also had a cameo role in a 1961 episode of The Rifleman.

Kiel as Voltaire and Michael Dunn as Dr. Loveless, 1966.

He also played the role of the hitman with metal teeth Reace in the (1976) film Silver Streak. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger were the original choices to play the title character in the 1977 TV series The Incredible Hulk. Schwarzenegger was turned down due to his height. Kiel participated in the filming of the TV movie pilot. During the shoot, producers decided their Hulk needed to be muscular rather than just towering, and Kiel was dismissed because he possessed more body fat than the producers deemed necessary. According to a Den of Geek interview,[2] Kiel, who sees properly out of only one eye, also reacted badly to the contact lenses used for the role, and found the green makeup difficult to remove, so he did not mind losing the part. All recognizable footage of Kiel was cut, except the one where the Hulk saves the little girl from drowning; the scenes were then re-shot with Lou Ferrigno.

He reprised his role of Jaws in the 2004 game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, supplying his voice and likeness.


Before breaking into film & TV, Kiel worked in numerous jobs including a nightclub bouncer and a cemetery plot salesman.[3]

From 1963 to 1965 Kiel worked as a night school math instructor in Burbank, California.[4]

Kiel's distinctive height and features are a result of a hormonal condition known as acromegaly. In his prime, Kiel stood 7 feet 1.5 inches (217 cm) tall. He notes in his 2002 autobiography, Making It Big in the Movies (ISBN 1-903111-31-5), that he used to state that he was 7 feet 2 inches (218.44 cm) because it was easier to remember. He suffers from acrophobia, and during the cable car stunt scenes in Moonraker, a stunt double was used because Kiel refused to be filmed on the top of a cable car at over 2000 feet (607 m) high.

In 1992, Kiel suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, which has affected his balance. He has since been forced to walk with a cane to support himself (as shown in his appearance in the movie Happy Gilmore, where he is seen leaning on a person or a cane). He has also been seen using a scooter or wheelchair in Welcome to Sweden.

He recently co-authored a biography of the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay called Kentucky Lion.

He is also a born-again Christian. His website states that his religious conversion helped him overcome alcoholism.[5]


1961The Phantom PlanetThe Solarite
1962The Magic SwordPinheaduncredited
196330 Minutes at Gunsightuncredited
1963House of the DamnedThe giant
1963The Nutty ProfessorBodybuilder #1uncredited
1964RoustaboutStrong manuncredited
1964The Nasty Rabbitranch foremanuncredited
1965Two on a GuillotineTall man at funeral
1965The Human DuplicatorsDr. Kolos
1965BrainstormPsychiatric hospital patientuncredited
1965Lassie's Great AdventureChinook Pete
1966The Las Vegas Hillbillysunknown role
1967A Man Called DaggerOtto
1968Now You See It, Now You Don'tNori
1970On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverBlacksmithuncredited
1972Deadhead Milesunknown role
1974The Longest YardSamson
1975Barbary CoastMoose Moran
1976Flash and the FirecatTracker
1976GusLarge man
1976Silver StreakReace
1977The Spy Who Loved MeJaws
1977The Incredible Hulk (1978 TV series)The Hulkone scene
1978Force 10 from NavaroneCapt. Drazak
1978They Went That-A-Way & That-A-WayDuke
1979The HumanoidGolob
1981So FineEddie
1983HystericalCaptain Howdy
1983PhoenixSteel Hand
1984Aces Go Places 3Jaws
1984Cannonball Run IIArnold, Mitsubishi driver
1984Mad Mission 3: Our Man from Bond StreetBig G
1985Qing bao long hu menLaszlo
1985Pale RiderClub
1989The Princess and the Dwarfunknown role
1990Think BigIrving
1991The Giant of Thunder MountainEli Weaver
1996Happy GilmoreMr. Larson
1999Inspector GadgetJaws, Famous Guy with Metal Teeth
2009The AwakenedJasper
2010The Corpse of Albert CradetteAlbert Cradette
2010TangledVladamirVoice work


1960Laramieunknown roleepisode Street of Hate
1960KlondikeDuff Branniganepisode Bare Knuckles
1961The PhantomBig Mike
1961ThrillerMaster Styxepisode Well of Doom
1961The RiflemanCarl Hazlittepisode The Decision
1962The Twilight ZoneKanamitepisode To Serve Man
1964The Man from U.N.C.L.E.henchman for Mr. Vulcanepisode The Vulcan Affair, uncredited
1965The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Merryepisode The Hong Kong Shilling Affair
1965I Dream of JeannieAliepisode My Hero
1966Honey WestGroalgoepisode King of the Mountain
1966My Mother the CarCracksepisode A Riddler on the Roof
1966The Wild Wild WestVoltaireepisodes The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth,
1965; The Night That Terror Stalked the Town,
1965; The Night of the Whirring Death
1966Gilligan's IslandSpookepisode Ghost-a-Go-Go
1967The MonkeesMonsterepisode I Was a Teenage Monster
1967The MonroesCasmirepisode Ghosts of Paradox
1968I SpyTinyepisode A Few Miles West of Nowhere
1968The Wild Wild WestDimasepisode The Night of the Simian Terror
1968It Takes a ThiefWillie Trionepisode The Galloping Skin Game
1969Daniel BooneLe Moucheepisode Benvenuto...Who?
1970DisneylandLuke Brownepisode The Boy Who Stole the Elephant: Part 1 & 2
1974Kolchak: The Night StalkerThe Diableroepisode Bad Medicine
1974Emergency!Carloepisode I'll Fix It
1974Kolchak: The Night StalkerPeremalfait, the swamp monsterepisode The Spanish Moss Murders
1975Switchunknown roleepisode Death Heist
1976Starsky and HutchIggyepisode Omaha Tiger
1975 –
Barbary CoastMoose Moranunknown episode, 1975–1976
1977Land of the LostMalakThird Season – "Survival Kit", "Flying Dutchman"
1977The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew MysteriesManager – 'Haunted House'episode The Mystery of the Haunted House
1977Young Dan'l Booneunknown roleepisode The Game
1981The Fall GuyAnimalepisode That's Right, We're Bad
1983The Greatest American Heromutantepisode Heaven Is In Your Genes
1983Simon & SimonMark Hortonepisode The Skeleton Who Came Out of the Closet
1988Out of This WorldNormanepisode Go West, Young Mayor
1989SuperboyVlkabokepisode Mr. and Mrs. Superboy
2000Bloodhounds Inc.Mortimerepisode #5: Fangs for the Memories

Video games[edit]

2004James Bond 007: Everything or NothingJawsVoice work
2012007 LegendsJawsLikeness only

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peary, Danny (1991). Cult movie stars. Simon & Schuster. p. 291. ISBN 0-671-74924-2. 
  2. ^ "The Den of Geek interview: Richard Kiel". Den of Geek. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  3. ^ "The Den of Geek interview: Richard Kiel". Den of Geek. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kiel, Richard. "Richard Kiel's Testimony". Official Richard Kiel Fan Club. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 

External links[edit]