Richard Kiel dies at 74

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.

Content adapted from Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

Free monthly newsletter

Get the latest on Bond 26 and other James Bond news by email.

No thanks, I'm not interested in news about 007

Share this article

Like this article? Join our free 007 newsletter and get the latest on Bond 26 and other James Bond news by email.

3 Responses to “Richard Kiel dies at 74”

  • Stephen ThomsoRn

    Yes sad indeed, me and my wife were lucky enough to meet Richard in the Vintage Magazine shop in Soho about 3 years ago, we had a photo with him and an autograph, he really was a gentle giant

    RIP Richard

  • Bernard Brulé

    I’d like to join all the Bond’s fans for wishing all my condolences to the Richard Kiel’s family, it’s really bad news.Good luck to you.


    To the Kiel family: as a resident of Fresno I was saddened and shocked to here of the passing of Mr. Kiel aside from the Bond films (which he was great in) but also i will remember him as an honest and hard working actor I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kiel some years back and found him a heart warming soul who genuinly listened to you asking what part of Fresno I lived in and what I did for a living he will be missed but never forgotten. To the Kiel family my deepest sympathy’s and god bless you. Paul de Leon