Richard Kiel

Richard Kiel

Born: September 13, 1939
Died: September 10, 2014 (at age 74)
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Richard Dawson Kiel (September 13, 1939 - September 10, 2014) was a 7 ft 1 1⁄2 in (217 cm) tall American actor and voice artist, best known for his role as Jaws in the James Bond franchise, portraying the character in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979); he lampooned the role with a tongue-in-cheek cameo in Inspector Gadget (1999). His next-most recognized role is the tough, but eloquent Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore (1996). Other notable films include The Longest Yard (1974), Silver Streak (1976), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Pale Rider (1985) and Tangled (2010).

Kiel was born in Detroit, Michigan. His towering height was a result of acromegaly, a hormonal condition.[3] Before becoming an actor, Kiel worked in numerous jobs, including a nightclub bouncer and a cemetery plot salesman.[4] From 1963 to 1965, Kiel worked as a night-school math instructor in Burbank, California.[5]



Kiel made his acting debut in the Laramie episode "Street of Hate". This led to him appearing in numerous television shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s such as I Dream of Jeannie, Honey West, Gilligan's Island, The Monkees, Daniel Boone, Emergency!, Starsky & Hutch, Land of the Lost, The Fall Guy, Simon & Simon and "Kolchak: The Night Stalker".

Due to size, Kiel was often cast in villainous roles. He appeared as the towering — and lethal — assistant Voltaire to Dr. Miguelito Loveless in first-season episodes of The Wild, Wild West. In the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Vulcan Affair", Kiel appeared as a guard in Vulcan's plant and he portrayed Merry in "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair". In 1967 he played a monster in an episode of The Monkees ("I was a Teenage Monster").

He later appeared in the episode "The Night of the Simian Terror" as Dimas, the outcast son of a wealthy family, banished because of birth defects that distorted his body and apparently affected his mind. This episode is significant because it allowed Kiel the opportunity to really act rather than just look intimidating.

In 1977 Kiel and Arnold Schwarzenegger were both considered for playing the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk. After Schwarzenegger was turned down due to his height, Kiel started filming the pilot. However, the producers quickly decided they wanted a more muscular Hulk rather then the towering Kiel so he was dismissed. Kiel later said he did not mind losing the part because as he could only see out of one eye, he reacted badly to the contact lenses he had to wear for the role. He also found the green makeup unpleasant and difficult to remove.[4] His scenes were then reshot with Lou Ferrigno.


Kiel broke into films in the early 1960s with Eegah (1962), which was later featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre and Mystery Science Theater 3000, as were The Phantom Planet and The Human Duplicators. He also produced, co-wrote, and starred in The Giant of Thunder Mountain.

The James Bond-film producers spotted Kiel in Barbary Coast, and thought he was ideal for the role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He was one of the few Bond-villains to appear in two Bond-films, later appearing in Moonraker (1979). However, as he suffered from acrophobia (fear of heights), a stunt double was used during the cable car stunt scenes because Kiel refused to be filmed on the top of a cable car more than 2,000 feet (610 m) above the ground. He reprised his role of Jaws in the video game called James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, supplying his voice and likeness. This was his second outing as a metal-toothed villain because he had played Reace in the 1976 comedy-thriller film Silver Streak, a year before being cast in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Although earlier roles had offered him little dialogue, his role in Happy Gilmore (1996) was quite the opposite. As Mr. Larson, Happy Gilmore's former employer, Kiel exchanges several one-liners with both Adam Sandler's Happy and Christopher McDonald's Shooter. Kiel took a quieter profile after Happy Gilmore's release, but left semi-retirement to record a role for Tangled (2010). In the acclaimed animated Disney film, he portrayed Vlad, a surprisingly soft-hearted thug who collects ceramic unicorns.

Personal life

Kiel with professional wrestler Tenille Dashwood in June 2014

Kiel's first marriage was to Faye Daniels in 1960. They divorced in the early 1970s. He later married Diane Rogers. They had four children and nine grandchildren.[2] He co-authored a biography of the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay called Kentucky Lion. Kiel was also a born-again Christian. His website states his religious conversion helped him to overcome alcoholism.[6]


In 1992, Kiel suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, which affected his balance. He was subsequently forced to walk with a cane to support himself (as shown in his appearance in Happy Gilmore, where he is seen leaning on a person or a cane). Later, Kiel used a scooter or wheelchair.


On September 10, 2014, three days short of his 75th birthday, Kiel died at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, California, of a heart attack, possibly caused by coronary artery disease.[1][7]


Kiel as Eegah (1962)


Year Title Role Notes
1960 The D.I. Ugly Marine Uncredited
1961 The Phantom Planet The Solarite
1962 Eegah Eegah
1963 House of the Damned Giant
1963 The Nutty Professor Bodybuilder #1 Uncredited
1963 Lassie's Great Adventure Chinook Pete
1963 30 Minutes at Gunsight Tv Short
1964 Roustabout Strong Man Uncredited
1964 The Nasty Rabbit Ranch Foreman Uncredited
1965 Two on a Guillotine Tall Man at Funeral Uncredited
1965 The Human Duplicators Dr. Kolos
1965 Brainstorm Psychiatric Hospital Patient Uncredited
1966 The Las Vegas Hillbillys Moose
1967 A Man Called Dagger Otto
1968 Now You See It, Now You Don't Nori TV Movie
1968 Skidoo Beany
1970 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Blacksmith Uncredited
1973 Deadhead Miles Big Dick
1974 The Longest Yard Samson
1975 Flash and the Firecat Tracker
1976 Gus Large Man
1976 Silver Streak Reace
1977 The Spy Who Loved Me Jaws
1977 The Incredible Hulk The Hulk TV Series, One scene, Uncredited
1978 Wu zi tian shi Steel Hand
1978 Force 10 from Navarone Captain Drazak
1978 They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way Duke
1979 The Humanoid Golob
1979 Moonraker Jaws Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1981 So Fine Eddie
1983 Hysterical Captain Howdy
1983 Phoenix Steel Hand
1984 Aces Go Places 3 Big G
1984 Cannonball Run II Arnold / Mitsubishi Driver
1985 Pale Rider Club
1985 Qing bao long hu men Laszlo
1989 Think Big Irving
1989 The Princess and the Dwarf Unknown role
1991 The Giant of Thunder Mountain Eli Weaver
1996 Happy Gilmore Mr. Larson
1999 Inspector Gadget Jaws
2009 The Awakened Jasper
2010 The Corpse of Albert Cradette Albert Cradette
2010 Tangled Vladimir Voice


Kiel as Ali with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman in I Dream of Jeannie, 1965 Kiel as Voltaire with Michael Dunn in The Wild Wild West, 1966
Year Title Role Notes
1960 Klondike Duff Brannigan Episode: "Bare Knuckles"
1961 Laramie Rake - Tolan's helper (uncredited) Episode: "Run of the Hunted"
1961 The Phantom Big Mike
1961 Thriller Master Styx Episode: "Well of Doom"
1961 The Rifleman Carl Hazlitt Episode: "The Decision"
1962 The Twilight Zone Kanamit Episode: "To Serve Man"
1964 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Henchman for Mr. Vulcan Episode: "The Vulcan Affair"
1965 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Merry Episode: "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair"
1965 I Dream of Jeannie Ali Episode: "My Hero"
1966 Honey West Groalgo Episode: "King of the Mountain"
1966 My Mother the Car Cracks Episode: "A Riddler on the Roof"
1966 The Wild Wild West Voltaire Episodes: "The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth"
1965: "The Night That Terror Stalked the Town"
1965: "The Night of the Whirring Death"
1966 Gilligan's Island Ghost Episode: Ghost-a-Go-Go"
1967 The Monkees Monster Episode: "I Was a Teenage Monster"
1967 The Monroes Casmir Episode: "Ghosts of Paradox"
1968 I Spy Tiny Episode: "A Few Miles West of Nowhere"
1968 The Wild Wild West Dimas Episode: "The Night of the Simian Terror"
1968 It Takes a Thief Willie Trion Episode: "The Galloping Skin Game"
1969 Daniel Boone Le Mouche Episode: "Benvenuto...Who?"
1970 Disneyland Luke Brown Episode: "The Boy Who Stole the Elephant: Part 1 & 2"
1974 Kolchak: The Night Stalker The Diablero Episode: "Bad Medicine"
1974 Emergency! Carlo Episode: "I'll Fix It"
1974 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Peremalfait Episode: "The Spanish Moss Murders"
1975 Switch Unknown role Episode: "Death Heist"
1976 Starsky & Hutch Iggy Episode: "Omaha Tiger"
1975 - 1976 Barbary Coast Moose Moran 14 episodes, 1975-1976
1977 Land of the Lost Malak Episodes: "Survival Kit"
"Flying Dutchman"
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Manager Episode: "The Mystery of the Haunted House"
1977 Young Dan'l Boone Unknown role Episode: "The Game"
1981 The Fall Guy Animal Episode: "That's Right, We're Bad"
1983 Simon & Simon Mark Horton Episode: "The Skeleton Who Came Out of the Closet"
1988 Out of This World Norman Episode: "Go West, Young Mayor"
1989 Superboy Vlkabok Episode: "Mr. and Mrs. Superboy"
2000 Bloodhounds Inc. Mortimer Episode: "Fangs for the Memories"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1997 GoldenEye 007 Jaws Likeness only
2000 007: The World Is Not Enough Jaws Likeness only
2000 007 Racing Jaws Archival footage
2004 James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Jaws Voice work
2010 GoldenEye 007 (2010) Jaws Likeness only
2012 007 Legends Jaws Likeness only

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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