Richard Dawson Kiel (September 13, 1939 – September 10, 2014) was an American actor known for his role of the steel-toothed Jaws in the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) as well as the video game Everything or Nothing (he also had cameos in many other James Bond videogames). He was also well known as Mr. Larson in the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore, for playing the Kanamit aliens in the classic Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man and for his role of Dr. Miguelito Loveless' assistant Voltaire in first season episodes of The Wild, Wild West(1965-1966).
Life and career
Kiel was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1939. He made his acting début in a 1960 Laramie episode called "Street of Hate". He also acted in an unaired TV-pilot featuring Lee Falk's superhero The Phantom, where Kiel played an assassin called "Big Mike", who was hired to kill the titular hero.
Before breaking into film and television Kiel worked in numerous jobs including a nightclub bouncer and a cemetery plot salesman.
Kiel broke into films in the early 1960s with the B-movie Eegah (1962), which was later featured on the TV shows Elvira's Movie Macabre andMystery Science Theater 3000, as were The Phantom Planet and The Human Duplicators. He also co-wrote, produced, and starred in the family-friendly movie The Giant of Thunder Mountain. Kiel also appeared as the towering — and lethal — assistant Voltaire to Dr. Miguelito Loveless in first season episodes of The Wild, Wild West. He later appeared in another role, in the episode "The Night of the Simian Terror", as Dimas, the outcast son of a wealthy family, banished because of birth defects that distorted his body and apparently affected his mind. This episode is significant because it allowed Kiel the opportunity to really act, rather than just look intimidating. Kiel also had a cameo role in a 1961 episode of The Rifleman.
From 1963 to 1965 Kiel worked as a night school math instructor in Burbank, California.
In the first episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., "The Vulcan Affair," Kiel appeared as a guard in Vulcan's plant; he also played the role of "Merry" in "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair," which aired on 15 March 1965. He also played the role of the hitman with metal teeth, Reace, in the (1976) film Silver Streak. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger were the original choices to play the title character in the 1977 TV series The Incredible Hulk. Schwarzenegger was turned down due to his height. Kiel participated in the filming of the TV movie pilot. During the shoot, producers decided their Hulk needed to be muscular rather than just towering, and Kiel was dismissed because he possessed more body fat than the producers deemed necessary. According to a Den of Geek interview, Kiel, who saw properly out of only one eye, also reacted badly to the contact lenses used for the role, and found the green makeup difficult to remove, so he did not mind losing the part. All recognizable footage of Kiel was cut, except the one where the Hulk saves the little girl from drowning; the scenes were then re-shot with Lou Ferrigno.
The James Bond film producers spotted Kiel in the William Shatner western TV series Barbary Coast and thought he was ideal for the role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He was one of the few Bond villains to appear in two Bond films, appearing in Moonraker in 1979. He reprised his role of Jaws in the 2004 game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, supplying his voice and likeness.
Kiel's distinctive height and features were a result of a hormonal condition known as acromegaly. In his prime, Kiel stood 7 feet 1.5 inches (217 cm) tall. He noted in his 2002 autobiography, Making It Big in the Movies, that he used to state that he was 7 feet 2 inches (218.44 cm) because it was easier to remember. He suffered from acrophobia (fear of heights), and during the cable car stunt scenes in Moonraker, a stunt double was used because Kiel refused to be filmed on the top of a cable car at over 2000 feet (607 m) high.
In 1992, Kiel suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, which affected his balance. He was subsequently forced to walk with a cane to support himself (as shown in his appearance in the movie Happy Gilmore, where he is seen leaning on a person or a cane). He was also seen using a scooter or wheelchair in Welcome to Sweden.
He co-authored a biography of the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay called Kentucky Lion.
He was also a born-again Christian. His website states that his religious conversion helped him to overcome alcoholism.
Kiel died on September 10, 2014, aged 74, 3 days before his 75th birthday. He had been admitted to a hospital in Fresno, California, after breaking his leg the previous week. He was survived by his wife, Diane, and three children.
YearTitleRoleNotes1961The Phantom PlanetThe Solarite
1962The Magic SwordPinheaduncredited1962EegahEegah
196330 Minutes at Gunsightuncredited
1963House of the DamnedThe giant
1963The Nutty ProfessorBodybuilder #1uncredited1964RoustaboutStrong manuncredited1964The Nasty Rabbitranch foremanuncredited1965Two on a GuillotineTall man at funeral
1965The Human DuplicatorsDr. Kolos
1965BrainstormPsychiatric hospital patientuncredited1965Lassie's Great AdventureChinook Pete
1966The Las Vegas HillbillysMoose
1967A Man Called DaggerOtto
1968Now You See It, Now You Don'tNori
1970On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverBlacksmithuncredited1972Deadhead Milesunknown role
1974The Longest YardSamson
1975Barbary CoastMoose Moran
1976Flash and the FirecatTracker
1977The Spy Who Loved MeJaws
1977The Incredible Hulk (1978 TV series)The Hulkone scene1978Force 10 from NavaroneCapt. Drazak
1978They Went That-A-Way & That-A-WayDuke
1984Aces Go Places 3Jaws
1984Cannonball Run IIArnold, Mitsubishi driver
1984Mad Mission 3: Our Man from Bond StreetBig G
1985Qing bao long hu menLaszlo
1989The Princess and the Dwarfunknown role
1991The Giant of Thunder MountainEli Weaver
1996Happy GilmoreMr. Larson
1999Inspector GadgetJaws, Famous Guy with Metal Teeth
2010The Corpse of Albert CradetteAlbert Cradette
1960Laramieunknown roleepisode Street of Hate1960KlondikeDuff Branniganepisode Bare Knuckles1961The PhantomBig Mike
1961ThrillerMaster Styxepisode Well of Doom1961The RiflemanCarl Hazlittepisode The Decision1962The Twilight ZoneKanamitepisode To Serve Man1964The Man from U.N.C.L.E.henchman for Mr. Vulcanepisode The Vulcan Affair, uncredited1965The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Merryepisode The Hong Kong Shilling Affair1965I Dream of JeannieAliepisode My Hero1966Honey WestGroalgoepisode King of the Mountain1966My Mother the CarCracksepisode A Riddler on the Roof1966The Wild Wild WestVoltaireepisodes The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth,
1965; The Night That Terror Stalked the Town,
1965; The Night of the Whirring Death1966Gilligan's Islandghostepisode Ghost-a-Go-Go1967The MonkeesMonsterepisode I Was a Teenage Monster1967The MonroesCasmirepisode Ghosts of Paradox1968I SpyTinyepisode A Few Miles West of Nowhere1968The Wild Wild WestDimasepisode The Night of the Simian Terror1968It Takes a ThiefWillie Trionepisode The Galloping Skin Game1969Daniel BooneLe Moucheepisode Benvenuto...Who?1970DisneylandLuke Brownepisode The Boy Who Stole the Elephant: Part 1 & 21974Kolchak: The Night StalkerThe Diableroepisode Bad Medicine1974Emergency!Carloepisode I'll Fix It1974Kolchak: The Night StalkerPeremalfait, the swamp monsterepisode The Spanish Moss Murders1975Switchunknown roleepisode Death Heist1976Starsky & HutchIggyepisode Omaha Tiger1975 –
1976Barbary CoastMoose Moranunknown episode, 1975–19761977Land of the LostMalakThird Season – "Survival Kit", "Flying Dutchman"1977The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew MysteriesManager – 'Haunted House'episode The Mystery of the Haunted House1977Young Dan'l Booneunknown roleepisode The Game1981The Fall GuyAnimalepisode That's Right, We're Bad1983The Greatest American Heromutantepisode Heaven Is In Your Genes1983Simon & SimonMark Hortonepisode The Skeleton Who Came Out of the Closet1988Out of This WorldNormanepisode Go West, Young Mayor1989SuperboyVlkabokepisode Mr. and Mrs. Superboy2000Bloodhounds Inc.Mortimerepisode #5: Fangs for the Memories
2004 James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Jaws Voice work
2012 007 Legends Jaws Likeness only