Every hero needs a villain and every villain needs a giant henchman. Today we say goodbye to one of the greatest henchman ever as Richard Kiel passed away (three days before his 75th birthday) in a Fresno, California hospital on Wednesday.
Born in Detroit in 1939, Kiel had a hormonal condition called acromegaly, reaching a height of 7 feet 2 inches that left an indelible mark on his most iconic roles in films like The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, The Longest Yard (1974), and Happy Gilmore as well as classic TV shows “The Twilight Zone,” and “The Wild, Wild West.” Kiel also appeared in three 007 video games: 1997’s Goldeneye 007, 2012’s 007 Legends (likeness only) and 2004’s James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (voiceover).
Not only was Kiel one of the BEST Bond villain henchman around, he was the only one to have served two different villains (Karl Stromberg and Hugo Drax) in two different 007 films as Jaws (above).
Kiel is also known to younger generations for his roles in the 1999 live-action film Inspector Gadget (billed as “Famous Bad Guy with Silver Teeth”) and as Mr. Larson, the boss whom Happy accidentally shoots in the head with a nail while using a nail gun to shoot at cans to impress his co-workers on the construction site and later become’s Happy’s biggest fan in Happy Gilmore.
And of course, Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me…
But I wanna leave you with one of my favorite roles of Kiel’s: Samson from The Longest Yard (1974):
And his turn as a panelist on “The Match Game”:
Sadly, I was never able to meet or get a picture with the man BUT not every girl can say they have a Richard Kiel lunchbox…
…and matching action figure!
Kiel is survived by wife Diane Rogers and their four children. What are your favorite Kiel roles? I’d love to hear them!
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