LOS ANGELES – Richard Kiel, who played the towering, steel-toothed baddie “Jaws” in two James Bond movies, has died aged 74, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The 7 ft 2 in (2.18 meters) tall actor, who made a career playing giants and villains, died in the Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez told AFP.
Kiel’s other notable roles included opposite Adam Sandler in the 1996 comedy “Happy Gilmore” and he also voiced Vlad in Disney’s Oscar-nominated animated film “Tangled.”
But he hit the bigtime with his 007 performances: Kiel was an immediate hit with film goers in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) fighting 007 star Roger Moore, and returned two years later in “Moonraker.”
On the small screen Kiel – who had worked as a nightclub bouncer and cemetery plot salesman before getting into show business – played an alien in “Twilight Zone” in 1959 and appeared in horror TV series “Kolchak” in the 1970s.
The TMZ celebrity news website, which first reported his death, said Kiel had been in hospital in Fresno since breaking his leg last week. The hospital spokeswoman could not confirm this.
Representatives for the actor did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation or comment. â€“ AFP