I was sad to read this morning of the death of Richard Kiel, who memorably played Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker opposite Roger Moore.
Richard Dawson Kiel (September 13, 1939 – September 10, 2014) was best 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 and 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).
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.