Richard Kiel Dead: Jaws From James Bond Movies Dies at 74

The late Richard Keil with Bond girl Britt Ekland
The late Richard Keil with Bond girl Britt Ekland  John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

James Bond bad guy Richard Kiel, who played the villain Jaws in two of the hit Sir Roger Moore movies, has died in a California hospital just three days before his 75th birthday.

The actor, who later appeared in the 1996 Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore, was best known for his villainous portrayal of the steel-toothed bad guy in Bond classics The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). He died in a hospital in Fresno, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, TMZ first reported. A cause of death has not been confirmed.

The towering actor, who was 7 feet, 2 inches tall, had distinctive facial features, which were the result of a hormonal condition, acromegaly. He published his autobiography, Making It Big in the Movies, in 2002.

Tributes to the actor poured in as news of his death became public. Former Bond star Moore, 86, took to Twitter to express his sadness. "I am totally distraught to learn of my dear friend Richard Kiel's passing," he wrote. "We were on a radio programme together just a week ago. Distraught. Can't take it in."

Actress Barbara Eden, who appeared with the actor in the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie wrote, "Many fond memories of Richard Kiel, sweet man & gentle giant. My thoughts & prayers to his family & friends."

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