Website last updated: 17-7-2024

In Memoriam of actor Richard Kiel - born on this day in 1939

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Richard Kiel Jaws James Bond
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond History - remembering the late actor Richard Kiel on the anniversary of his birth in 1939. Kiel will always be remembered as “Jaws,” an enormous, unstoppable steel-toothed assassin, working for megalomaniac Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens) in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

There are fans who thought Jaws was too much of a comic book villain to be taken seriously, but his appearance in the film captivated a whole new generation of James Bond fans who had missed the serious Sean Connery Bonds of the mid-60s. The result was that The Spy Who Loved Me was an enormous success in the summer of 1977, the summer of Star Wars, reviving the fortunes of a film series that was flagging.

Richard Kiel’s Jaws was so popular that producer Albert R. Broccoli brought him back for the 1979 film Moonraker:

Richard Kiel epitomized the larger-than-life film character. How do you battle a 7’2” foe with hands the size of dinner plates? Roger Moore’s Bond had his own hands full. Despite their light comedy elements, the Roger Moore Bonds were enormously successful for United Artists – and the scale on which they were produced influenced scores of tent pole action films that followed.

Kiel, in person, was a gracious, humble man who always treated his fans with respect. Many of us remembered him as one of the Kanamit aliens in the iconic “To Serve Man” episode of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. So let’s raise a brew to a legendary actor and an unforgettable presence in the James Bond Universe.

All text. Copyright © 2020 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.



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