Richard Kiel

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Richard Kiel
Richard Kiel 2014 (cropped).jpg
BornRichard Dawson Kiel
(1939-09-13)September 13, 1939
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedSeptember 10, 2014(2014-09-10) (aged 74)
Fresno, CA, U.S.
Resting place
Belmont Memorial Park, Fresno, CA, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor, voice artist, comedian
Years active1960–2014
Height7 ft 1.5 in (2.17 m)
ReligionChristian
Spouse(s)Faye Daniels (m. 1960–73) (divorced)
Diane Rogers (m. 1974–2014) (his death)
Children4 (with Diane Rogers)
 
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Richard Kiel
Richard Kiel 2014 (cropped).jpg
BornRichard Dawson Kiel
(1939-09-13)September 13, 1939
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedSeptember 10, 2014(2014-09-10) (aged 74)
Fresno, CA, U.S.
Resting place
Belmont Memorial Park, Fresno, CA, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor, voice artist, comedian
Years active1960–2014
Height7 ft 1.5 in (2.17 m)
ReligionChristian
Spouse(s)Faye Daniels (m. 1960–73) (divorced)
Diane Rogers (m. 1974–2014) (his death)
Children4 (with Diane Rogers)

Richard Dawson Kiel (September 13, 1939 – September 10, 2014) was an American actor, voice artist, and comedian, best known for his role as Jaws in the James Bond franchise; he also had cameos in many other James Bond video games. He was also known for roles in The Longest Yard (1974), Silver Streak (1976), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Pale Rider (1985), and as Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore. In television, he appeared as the Kanamit aliens in the classic The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man" and as Dr. Miguelito Loveless' assistant, Voltaire, in first-season episodes of The Wild, Wild West (1965-1966).

Early life[edit]

Kiel was born Richard Dawson Kiel in Detroit, Michigan on September 13, 1939.[1][2] He was of German descent.

Career[edit]

Kiel made his acting debut in the Laramie episode "Street of Hate." He also acted in an unaired TV-pilot featuring Lee Falk's superhero The Phantom, where Kiel portrayed an assassin called Big Mike.

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

Kiel broke into films in the early 1960s with Eegah (1962), which was later featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre and Mystery Science Theater 3000, as were The Phantom Planet and The Human Duplicators. He also produced, co-wrote, and starred in 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 the episode "The Night of the Simian Terror" as Dimas, 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 in 1966
Kiel on February 10, 2004

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

In the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Vulcan Affair," Kiel appeared as a guard in Vulcan's plant; as well, he portrayed Merry in "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair."

He also portrayed Reace in Silver Streak. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger were the original choices to portray the title character in The Incredible Hulk. Schwarzenegger was turned down due to his height. Kiel participated in the filming of the 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,[3] Kiel, who saw 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 has appeared on many other television episodes, such as Laramie, I Dream Of Jeannie, Honey West, Gilligan's Island, The Monkees, Daniel Boone, Emergency!, Starsky & Hutch, Land of the Lost, The Fall Guy, and Simon & Simon.

The James Bond film producers spotted Kiel in Barbary Coast and thought he was ideal for the role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He was one of the few Bond villains to appear in two Bond films, later appearing in Moonraker (1979). He reprised his role of Jaws in James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, supplying his voice and likeness.

Kiel in the Netherlands on May 14, 2006

Personal life[edit]

Kiel's height and features were a result of a hormonal condition known as acromegaly. In his prime, Kiel stood 7 feet 1.5 inches (217 cm) tall. He noted in his 2002 autobiography Making It Big in the Movies that he used to state that he was 7 feet 2 inches (218.44 cm) because it was easier to remember. He suffered from acrophobia (fear of heights), 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 affected his balance. He was subsequently forced to walk with a cane to support himself (as shown in his appearance in Happy Gilmore, where he is seen leaning on a person or a cane). Afterwards, Kiel used a scooter or wheelchair.

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

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

Death[edit]

On September 10, 2014, Kiel died at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, California at age 74, three days before his 75th birthday.[6][7][8] The cause of death was not given. He had been admitted to the hospital after breaking his leg the previous week.[9] Kiel is survived by his wife Diane, four children, and nine grandchildren.[10][11]

Three days before his death, Kiel had been a guest on BBC Radio 4 along with Roger Moore, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Britt Ekland, and John Glen, talking about their time on the James Bond franchise. After Kiel's death, Moore said that he thought Kiel sounded weak, but at the time, thought it was the connection as he was in Fresno, California, calling into the show.[12][13]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1961The Phantom PlanetThe Solarite
1962EegahEegah
196330 Minutes at GunsightUncredited
1963House of the DamnedGiant
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 HillbillysMoose
1967A Man Called DaggerOtto
1968Now You See It, Now You Don'tNori
1968SkidooBeany
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 HulkThe HulkOne scene
1978Force 10 from NavaroneCaptain Drazak
1978They Went That-A-Way & That-A-WayDuke
1979The HumanoidGolob
1979MoonrakerJaws
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
2009The AwakenedJasper
2010The Corpse of Albert CradetteAlbert Cradette
2010TangledVladamirVoice work

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
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 IslandGhostEpisode: 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 StalkerPeremalfaitEpisode: "The Spanish Moss Murders"
1975SwitchUnknown roleEpisode: "Death Heist"
1976Starsky & HutchIggyEpisode: "Omaha Tiger"
1975 – 1976Barbary CoastMoose Moran14 episodes, 1975–1976
1977Land of the LostMalakEpisodes: "Survival Kit"
"Flying Dutchman"
1977The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew MysteriesManagerEpisode: "The Mystery of the Haunted House"
1977Young Dan'l BooneUnknown roleEpisode: "The Game"
1981The Fall GuyAnimalEpisode: "That's Right, We're Bad"
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: "Fangs for the Memories"

Video games[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1997GoldenEye 007JawsLikeness only
2000The World Is Not Enough (video game)JawsLikeness only, Nintendo 64 version only
2000007 RacingJawsArchival footage
2004James Bond 007: Everything or NothingJawsVoice work
2010GoldenEye 007 (2010 video game)JawsLikeness only
2012007 LegendsJawsLikeness only

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]