Friday, September 12, 2014

Iconic Bond Villain Richard Kiel Dead at 74



If memory serves, although certain arch-villains like Blofeld returned time and again, Richard Kiel's steel-toothed Jaws is the only henchman to enjoy a return engagement in the 50 year James Bond franchise. And why not? I was 11 the summer the spectacular "Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) hit theaters, already a big Bond fan, and loved the 7-foot-2, (7 feet 1.5 inches, if you want to be picky) shark-eating menace. 


Kiel was the reason, too. Size alone won't earn you a 50 year career. You gotta bring something more, which is what Kiel did to all his roles, especially Jaws. There was a humanity there, something more than brute force. For the first time The Last Gorilla Between Bond And Victory gave off the impression that he was more than just muscle. 

There are reports Kiel turned down the role of Darth Vader to play Jaws. Good call. 

Two years later in "Moonraker" (1979), which (if you count admissions) is still one of the most commercially successful Bond movies of all-time, Jaws was given a full character arc and love interest. Kiel was more than up to the task and rightfully earned his status as an American cultural icon. 

Story here


I flat out loved getting to stay up late as a young man to watch James Bond with the Men in my family. It was always a treat getting to a see little skin and watch Bond do his smooth operator bit on the ladies. Pure Player. 

RIP Big Man. 


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