RIP Richard Kiel, Bond villain: 1939-2014

kielRichard Kiel, the actor best known for playing the James Bond villain Jaws, has died. He was 74.

Before playing this iconic character in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) and finding something of a niche portraying heavies, Kiel played a number of horror-related roles on television. He portrayed characters such as Master Styx in Boris Karloff’s Thriller, one of the aliens in the famous The Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” and two different monsters in Kolchak: The Night Stalker. He was even considered for the role of the Incredible Hulk in the seventies – but was rejected for not being muscular enough, a decision to which he did not object as he disliked the green make-up and contact lenses required for the role.

In a radio interview that aired this Sunday, Kiel commented that he was not impressed by the original conception of Jaws: “I was very put off by the description of the character and I thought, well, they don’t really need an actor, he’s more a monster part.” But like many other classic movie monsters, the part was given a new level of depth by the man in the make-up: in this case, Richard Kiel.