Richard Kiel, Bond Villain, Dead at 74

The actor is best known for his role as infamous James Bond villain, Jaws

Last Updated: September 11, 2014 @ 8:01 AM

Richard Kiel, who played James Bond villain Jaws, died Wednesday afternoon in a hospital in Fresno, Calif. He was 74.

“It is with huge sadness we have learned the passing of our friend and client Richard Kiel,” Kiel’s representatives said in a statement to TheWrap. “We are struggling to absorb the news and right now our thoughts are with his loving wife Diane, their four children and grandchildren. Richard was a giant of a man in every respect. We were honored to know him and be part of his life.”

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The character actor was in dozens of films over his 50-year career, starting out in 1960s B-movies, including “Eegah,” “The Phantom Planet,” and “The Human Duplicators.” His iconic villain, Jaws, debuted in the Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” in 1977 and returned to the franchise in “Moonraker” in 1979.

The larger than life 7-foot-2-inch actor went on to play Mr. Larson in the 1996 Adam Sandler comedy “Happy Gilmore” and most recently voiced the character of Vlad in Disney’s “Tangled.”

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Kelley Sanchez, director of communications at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno told the Associated Press that Kiel was a patient at the hospital and had died, but she declined to provide any further details.