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Richard Kiel Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (27) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 13 September 1939Detroit, Michigan, USA
Date of Death 10 September 2014Fresno, California, USA  (possible acute myocardial infarction)
Birth NameRichard Dawson Kiel
Height 7' 1½" (2.17 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Towering 7' 2" tall actor who has cornered the market on playing giants, intimidating henchman, bayou swamp monsters and steel toothed villains! Kiel worked in numerous jobs including as a night club bouncer and a cemetery plot salesman, before breaking into film & TV in several minor roles in the late 1950s / early 1960s. Noted amongst these was the alien "Kanamit" in the classic Twilight Zone (1959) episode "To Serve Man", and terrorizing Arch Hall Jr. while clad in a loincloth in the prehistoric caveman meets virile teenage drama Eegah (1962).

Kiel turned up in two episodes of the classic horror TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974). On one occasion playing a Native American evil spirit with the ability to transform into various animals. On his second appearance, Kiel was unrecognizable as a Spanish moss covered, Louisiana swamp monster brought to life by a patient involved in deep sleep therapy.

However, his biggest break came in 1977 when he was cast as the unstoppable, steel toothed henchman "Jaws" in the finest Roger Moore film of the Bond series The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Such was Kiel's popularity with movie audiences, that his character was brought back for the next Bond outing Moonraker (1979). However, audiences were quite split on opinions when Kiel's "Jaws" character changes sides near the film's conclusion and assists 007, Roger Moore, in saving the Earth.

Over the next few years, Kiel appeared in relatively non-demanding comedy or fantasy type films taking advantage of his physical stature and presence. Kiel then decided to try his hand behind the camera and co-wrote and produced, plus took the lead role, in the well received family movie The Giant of Thunder Mountain (1991). Demand for Kiel's unique attributes dropped very sharply in the 1990's, leading to only a handful of roles including reprising his "Jaws" character in the Matthew Broderick film Inspector Gadget (1999). In 2002, Kiel penned his informative autobiography entitled "Making it BIG in the movies".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44@hotmail.com

Spouse (2)

Diane Rogers (1974 - 10 September 2014) (his death) (4 children)
Faye Daniels (1960 - 1973) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Towering height and menacing frame

Trivia (27)

He is best known for playing Jaws, a giant and seemingly unstoppable assassin with steel teeth who battled James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).
Original choice to play the title character in the television series The Incredible Hulk (1978). After 2 days of filming it was decided that he was not "bulky" enough for the role. He was paid for the two movies of the week and replaced by Lou Ferrigno. He was happy this happened because he only had sight in one eye and the full contact lenses were bothering him.
Once said that people are always confusing him with André the Giant, Fred Gwynne ("Herman Munster" from The Munsters (1964)), or Ted Cassidy ("Lurch" from The Addams Family (1964)), all of whom are deceased.
In 1992 he was in a serious automobile accident that affected his auto-balance, and he now walks using a walking stick or rides a battery-powered scooter around if he has to go very far. In Happy Gilmore (1996) he is never seen walking and almost all of his scenes are from the waist up. There are only two full body scenes and both times he is leaning on something. The first is a post, the second is a man.
Worked as a bouncer at a Los Angeles nightclub, before being recruited by Arch Hall Sr. for the lead role in Eegah (1962).
Owns a film production company in Oakhurst, California.
Appeared in a National Geographic special produced by David L. Wolper in which he portrayed Big Foot.
His son "Richard George" appears in the film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He is the little boy on the beach pointing to the upcoming car that "James Bond" is driving from the water.
Interviewed in Tom Weaver's books "Eye on Science Fiction" (McFarland & Co., 2003) and "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland & Co., 2010).
Offered the role of Chewbacca, but turned it down in favor of playing Jaws. He preferred Jaws because he felt he could bring more to the role whereas Chewbacca required a full costume. Taking the role also meant working for scale and Kiel had been working for so long that he felt such a low salary was beneath him.
He was terrified of heights, something not helped by Kiel's gigantic size. He often shuddered at some of the stunts he had to perform as Jaws, so Martin Grace, Roger Moore's stunt double, would fill in for him. He did a superb job of capturing Kiel's movements even though he was a foot shorter, but when watching the films, nobody could tell them apart.
Working on his third book which is "You can be a supersalesman using Christian principles."
Attended The Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game & Film Convention in Malmö, Sweden. [May 2000]
Signing autographs at a DVD-Trading market in Cologne, Germany. [January 2004]
Attended Wondercon in San Francisco, signing autographs. [February 2009]
Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK: Selling books and signing autographs at the Motor Museum [May 2013]
Completed Kentucky Lion, The Cassius Marcellus Clay Story, a historical novel which is co-authored by Pamela Wallace who co-wrote the Academy Award winning screenplay for the movie, Witness (1985), with Harrison Ford.
Autograph session at Bally's Hotel/Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. [December 2006]
Attended The Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game & Film Convention in Stockholm, Sweden. [October 2003]
Wrote his autobiography "Making It BIG In The Movies. Published by Reynolds & Hearne of London, England.
Signing autographs at the Sims and Hankow Astronaut Autograph Show in Burbank, California, due to his portrayal of "Ali" in I Dream of Jeannie (1965). Uses a walking stick normally, but at convention he uses a battery powered scooter. [September 2004]
Attended The Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game & Film Convention in Helsingborg, Sweden [October 2009]
Walnut Creek, CA: Attended the Vintage Toys & Memorabilia Show [April 2013]
Signed autographs and sold books at OmegaCon. [March 2008]
Signed autographs at The Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, NC on March 21-23, 2014. Was also on a Twilight Zone Panel on March 22nd with William Shatner and Anne Serling, Rod Serling's daughter.
In Spain, he is known as "Tiburón".
Lived in a custom built house with the floor a few feet below ground level.

Personal Quotes (5)

To be loved is important as is having a sense of accomplishment but to love is equally important in life especially when it is combined with taking action to do something for someone else to make their life better.
Not only did God deliver me from the bondage of alcoholism, he also blessed my family financially because of my commitment to honor what he had done for me and for not doing what I believed could possibly be destructive to others.
I am actually 7 foot and and one-half inches tall. I say Seven two because it's easier. Unlike some tall skinny guys I am really 'big' weighing around 350 pounds.
Once a Bond fan, always a Bond fan.
It is always more fun to play a bad guy than to be yourself as you can create a character unlike your own and be someone you are not for a change.

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