Ye Olde Dragon here, with sad news from beyond the veil.
One of Imagi-Movies’ (literally) biggest stars has passed away at the age of 74.
He played the titular caveman of Arch Hall’s EEGAH! (1962), the brutish Samson, breaker of freaking necks in Robert Aldrich’s THE LONGEST YARD (1974), Voltaire, the giant henchmen of Miguelito Loveless – arch-enemy of James West on THE WILD WILD WEST and even portrayed the Hulk (albeit for approximately 2 seconds of air time) on the 1974 TV series THE INCREDIBLE HULK.
However, the roles that the late Richard Kiel – passing away just three days shy of his 75th birthday – will no doubt be best remembered for, are as the alien Kanamit in the seminal episode of the original TWILIGHT ZONE, To Serve Man (“It’s a cookbook!”) and as the seemingly indestructible villain, Jaws, in two consecutive James Bond movies directed by Lewis Gilbert – THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1979) and MOONRAKER (1979).
At nearly 7’2″ tall there was no mistaking Kiel in a crowd – even the crowd at a golf tournament in the final scene of Dennis Dugan’s HAPPY GILMORE (1996), in which he played Mr. Larson who was rooting for Adam Sandler’s title character.
Kiel also played numerous henchmen, folks and aliens on numerous TV shows from the 50s through the 70s. He even gave voice to Jaws in the 2003 James Bond videogame, Everything or Nothing.
In both Bond films, Jaws was silent until his last scene in MOONRAKER, where he toasts his future with a bespectacled young lady that stole his heart saying, “Well… Here’s to us.”
Here’s to you, Mr. Kiel.