The actor who played one of the most fondly remembered villains in the James Bond movies has died. USA Today reports that Richard Kiel, known for playing the Bond villain Jaws, died Wednesday at 74.
His talent agent confirmed Kiel’s death. “A giant man has now left the stage,” talent agent Steve Stevens told the newspaper. “Richard Kiel was a giant talent, a great family man and he was also a giant friend.”
Stevens said Kiel died from natural causes, but didn’t specify the cause of death. The actor, who stood 7 feet 2 inches tall, had broken his leg last week and was in a hospital in Fresno, Calif., although it was unclear whether his death was connected to the break, TMZ.com reports.
As Jaws, Kiel appeared in 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” and in 1979’s “Moonraker.” He also appeared on TV, playing the giant alien Kanamit on “The Twilight Zone,” and in shows including “Lassie,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” “Barbary Coast” and “Simon & Simon.”
Even though Kiel played tough characters, he liked to spend time with fans. “His fans loved him and he loved them right back,” Stevens said. “He was so sensitive and so caring for this huge man who played this villain.”
Here’s a classic clip of Richard Kiel from “The Monkees”: