Richard Kiel

Richard Kiel

American film actor, voice actor and comedian
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Richard Kiel
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Breakthrough and James Bond Franchise
  4. Other Notable Roles
  5. Later Career and Personal Life

Biography of Richard Kiel

Richard Dawson Kiel was born on September 13, 1939, in Detroit, Michigan. He was an American film actor, voice actor, and comedian, best known for his role as Jaws in the James Bond franchise, specifically in the films "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker."

Richard Kiel

Early Life and Career

Richard's towering height and distinctive appearance were caused by a hormonal disorder known as acromegaly. At his peak, he stood at a height of 7 feet 1.5 inches (217 cm). In his autobiography "Making It Big in the Movies" in 2002, he revealed that the widely reported height of 7 feet 2 inches (218 cm) was simply easier to remember.

Richard Kiel

Before entering the entertainment industry, Richard held various jobs, including working as a bouncer in a nightclub and selling cemetery plots. He gained recognition in the film industry in the 1960s after being cast in the comedy "Eegah" in 1962. He also appeared in TV series such as "Elvira's Movie Macabre" and "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and films like "The Phantom Planet" and "The Human Duplicators."

Richard Kiel

Breakthrough and James Bond Franchise

Richard's breakthrough came when he was noticed by the producers of the James Bond franchise after his appearance in the TV series "Barbary Coast." They considered him a perfect fit for the role of Jaws in the film "The Spy Who Loved Me." He became the only villain to appear in two James Bond films, reprising his role in "Moonraker" in 1979. He also voiced Jaws in the video game "James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing."

Richard Kiel

Other Notable Roles

Prior to his fame in the Bond films, Richard played a similar menacing character with metal teeth named Reace in the crime thriller "Silver Streak" in 1976. One of his memorable comedic roles was Mr. Larson in the film "Happy Gilmore," where he exchanged sharp remarks with characters played by Adam Sandler and Christopher McDonald.

Later Career and Personal Life

After "Happy Gilmore," Richard took a step back from acting, but in 2010, he provided the voice for the character Vlad in the Disney animated film "Tangled." He also appeared in an independent film called "The Engagement Ring" (project announced but not released) as listed on his IMDb page.

Richard suffered from acrophobia, an irrational fear of heights, which required a stunt double for a scene involving a cable car in "Moonraker." He also faced physical challenges after a severe head injury in a car accident in 1992, which affected his coordination and mobility. Richard was married twice and had four children and nine grandchildren at the time of his death.

Richard co-authored the biography "Kentucky Lion" about abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay. He also found solace in his Christian faith, which helped him overcome alcoholism.

Richard Kiel passed away on September 10, 2014, in Fresno, California, at the age of 74. He died from a heart attack, likely caused by coronary artery disease.