Goodbye and Godspeed Richard Kiel

Veteran actor Richard Kiel passed away yesterday at the age of 74, only 3 days away from celebrating his 75th birthday.  His name may not be familiar to some, but his characters, especially the James Bond villain Jaws, are some that will live on forever.

His acting credits include many appearances on television shows as far back as 1960, but he is best known as Jaws, the James Bond villain with metal teeth that could bite through and kill anything, including a shark.  Jaws was supposed to die in The Spy Who Loved Me, but he lived on because his character was liked so much during screen tests.

Kiel also played Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore alongside Adam Sandler.

That will never stop being funny…  You won’t be forgotten Mr. Kiel, not in a thousand lifetimes.

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4 thoughts on “Goodbye and Godspeed Richard Kiel

  1. My favorite Kiel turn as “Jaws” came near the end of <i<Moonraker, when James Bond tells Jaws that Hugo Drax’ nefarious plan is to kill everyone on Earth and repopulate the planet with his own hand-picked stock of ‘perfect’ humans (many of whom were successful international models appearing in non-speaking roles).

    Jaws, recognizing that Drax likely intends to have him killed as well (along with a diminutive little bespectacled blonde that Jaws has recently met and taken a shine to), turns on Drax and helps Bond and Dr. Goodhead escape Drax’s now-collapsing space station. Then, with Jaws and his little pigtailed blonde apparently alone and doomed in space, the couple find a bottle of champagne and two glasses amid the wreckage. As their options seem pretty limited and bleak at that point, they open the bottle and fill their glasses.

    “Well,” Jaws intones in his only lines ever spoken in a Bond film, “here’s to us.”

    And here’s to *you,* Mr. Kiel.

    • I like that, and I looked for that scene before settling on the ones that I posted. I didn’t realize that was his only lines ever spoken in the James Bond movies until I read that this week.

      • I read in Wikipedia that the producers were reluctant to cast the small French actress (her name escapes me) as ‘Dolly,’ Jaws’ love interest, mostly due to their size difference. Then Kiel pointed out that his wife was the same height as ‘Dolly,’ which must have resolved matters.

        There’s what appears to be an on-set photo of the two hugging in the Wikipedia Moonraker entry; ‘Dolly’ only comes up to Kiel’s midsection. 🙂

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