Richard Dawson Kiel (September 13, 1939 – September 10, 2014) was an American actor and voice artist. Standing 7 ft 2 in (218 cm) tall, he was known for portraying Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979); he lampooned the role with a tongue-in-cheek cameo in Inspector Gadget (1999). Kiel's 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), Cannonball Run II (1984), Pale Rider (1985) and Tangled (2010).
Kiel at Supanova Pop Culture 2014
Richard Dawson Kiel
September 13, 1939
|Died||September 10, 2014 (aged 74)|
Fresno, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Belmont Memorial Park, Fresno, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, voice artist|
|Jaws in the James Bond films|
|Height||7 ft 2 in (218 cm)|
(m. 1960; div. 1973)
Kiel was born in Detroit, Michigan. His extraordinary height was a result of acromegaly, a condition caused by an excess of human growth hormone. Before becoming an actor, Kiel worked in several jobs, including as a nightclub bouncer, and also as a cemetery plot salesman. From 1963 to 1965, Kiel worked as a night-school mathematics instructor in Burbank, California.
Kiel appeared in many television shows throughout the 1960s to the 1980s such as The Twilight Zone ("To Serve Man", 1962), Laramie ("Street of Hate", 1961), I Dream of Jeannie, The Rifleman ("The Decision", 1961),Honey West, Gilligan's Island, The Monkees, Daniel Boone, Emergency!, Starsky & Hutch, Land of the Lost, Simon & Simon, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Fall Guy.
Due to his 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" (1964), 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 The Monkees episode "I Was a Teenage Monster".
He later appeared in an episode of The Wild Wild West, titled "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. The episode first aired February 16, 1968. 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 than 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. 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 (1961) and The Human Duplicators (1965). He also produced, co-wrote, and starred in The Giant of Thunder Mountain (1991). He also had a brief non-speaking appearance leaving a gym in the Jerry Lewis movie The Nutty Professor (1963).
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). He was often shot with his mouth closed or briefly showing his dangerous smile as he admitted the mouthpiece to simulate the metal teeth was extremely painful to wear and could only be used for a few minutes on every take. 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; a year before being cast in The Spy Who Loved Me, he had played Reace in the comedy-thriller film Silver Streak (1976). Kiel also played in the film Pale Rider (1985). Acting as the main antagonist's henchman, he redeems his character's status by saving the hero from a gunshot to the back.
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 McGavin. 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 softhearted thug who collects ceramic unicorns.
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. He co-authored a biography of the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay called Kentucky Lion. In 2002, Kiel published his autobiography, Making It Big In The Movies. Kiel was also a born-again Christian. His website states his religious conversion helped him to overcome alcoholism.
In 1992, Kiel suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, which later affected his sense of balance. Kiel subsequently walked with a cane (as shown in his appearances in Happy Gilmore, where he is seen leaning on a person or a cane). Later in life, 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, probably caused by coronary artery disease. One week prior to his death, he had been admitted to the hospital for a broken leg.
|1960||The D.I.||Ugly Marine||Uncredited|
|1961||Run of the Hunted||Toland's Assistant||Uncredited|
|1961||The Phantom Planet||The Solarite|
|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||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|
|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|
|1977||The Spy Who Loved Me||Jaws|
|1977||The Incredible Hulk||0||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||Moonraker||Jaws||Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1984||Aces Go Places 3||Big G|
|1984||Cannonball Run II||Arnold / Mitsubishi Driver|
|1985||Qing bao long hu men||Laszlo|
|1989||The Princess and the Dwarf||Unknown role|
|1991||The Giant of Thunder Mountain||Eli Weaver|
|1996||Happy Gilmore||Mr. Larson|
|1999||Inspector Gadget||Famous Big Guy With Silver Teeth||Parody of Jaws. Part of "The Minion Recovery Group"|
|2010||The Corpse of Albert Cradette||Albert Cradette|
|2010||Tangled||Vladimir||Voice (final film role)|
|1960||Klondike||Duff Brannigan||Episode: "Bare Knuckles"|
|1961||Laramie||Rake - Tolan's helper||Episode: "Run of the Hunted", Uncredited|
|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"|
|1963||The Paul Bunyan Show||Paul Bunyan|
|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||The "Père malfait"||Episode: "The Spanish Moss Murders"|
|1975||Switch||Loach||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"|
|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"|
|1997||GoldenEye 007||Jaws||Likeness only|
|1998||James Bond 007||Jaws|
|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 & likeness|
|2010||GoldenEye 007||Jaws||Likeness only|
|2012||007 Legends||Jaws||Likeness only|
- Weber, Bruce (September 11, 2014). "Richard Kiel Dies at 74; Played Jaws in Bond Films". The New York Times.
- "Richard Kiel obituary". The Guardian (UK). September 11, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "Why Was This Woman Gaining Weight Despite Her Diet?". Retrieved April 18, 2016.
- "The Den of Geek interview: Richard Kiel". Den of Geek. January 6, 2009.
- "Actor Richard Kiel taught math at Ogden's Radio School in '63". www.modestoradiomuseum.org.
- Kiel, Richard. "Richard Kiel's Testimony". Official Richard Kiel Fan Club. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- "Bond Villain Died Of Heart Disease". TMZ. October 9, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
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