Few Hollywood stars can sustain a 50-year career, let alone as a character actor.
Richard Kiel, who played James Bond villain Jaws, passed away Wednesday afternoon in a hospital in Fresno, Calif., at age 74, but left us with several unique performances in dozens of films.
Kiel’s most iconic role was as the villain Jaws who debuted in the Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” in 1977 and returned to the franchise in “Moonraker” in 1979. Modern audiences may also know him as Mr. Larson in the 1996 Adam Sandler comedy “Happy Gilmore” or the voice of the character of Vlad in Disney’s “Tangled.”
Also Read: Richard Kiel, Bond Villain, Dead at 74
Here are a few moments from Kiel’s career that you may have overlooked.
Kiel got his start in B-movies, and 1962’s “Eegah” certainly defines the genre. Teenagers stumble across a prehistoric caveman (Kiel), who goes on a rampage. And what’s this neanderthal’s first order of business? Ripping off women’s clothing, of course.
2. “Twilight Zone”
We’ve all seen the creepy episode “To Serve Man,” which was delightfully parodied by “The Simpsons” in the first “Treehouse of Horror.” What you may not have recognized in the original episode is Kiel in heavy makeup as the alien.
3. “The Longest Yard”
This 1974 classic sports film finds Burt Reynolds recruiting among his fellow prison inmates to build a football team. Of course asking the 7-foot-2-inch Kiel was a no-brainer. But the larger-than-life Kiel has a soft, simple side that has audiences feeling for the gentle giant and rooting the team of rag tag players on to victory.
4. Midas Commercial
At the height of the Cold War just about every bad guy was a Russian, they were even hassling the Midas guys. In this 1985 commercial, Kiel busts out an accent and a fur coat to get his muffler fixed. Don’t provoke him.
5. Kiel on the “Late Show with David Letterman“
In addition to his acting roles, Kiel is a funny guy. He appeared on the late night show in 1985 to promote “Pale Rider,” with Clint Eastwood. Watch him crack up Letterman as he describes his pre-acting career when he sold vacuum cleaners and worked as a bouncer.