KIEL, RICHARD

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


(September 13, 1939–September 10, 2014): Tall American character actor, usually in villainous roles, whose career was given a huge boost in 1976 when producer Albert R. Broccoli signed him to play Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me. He reprised the wild character in Moonraker. Outfitted with cobalt steel incisors, Jaws was the perfect fantasy villain for a new generation of James Bond fans, even though some purists felt the character was straight out of a comic book. Appearing in two of the most successful films in the series guaranteed that Jaws became one of the most memorable pop culture villains of the late 1970s.

A native of Detroit, Kiel made his feature debut as a US marine in director Jack Webb’s The D.I. (1957). He also made quite an impression as a visiting Kanamit alien in the memorable Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” (1962). His feature work included a number of science fiction and fantasy credits, including Eegah (1962), in the caveman title role; The Nutty Professor (1963); Two on a Guillotine (1965); The Human Duplicators (1965); The Giant of Thunder Mountain (1991); Inspector Gadget (1999); and Tangled (2010). He was also well cast in the non-genre features The Longest Yard (1974); Silver Streak (1976); Force 10 from Navarone (1978), alongside Bond veterans Robert Shaw and Barbara Bach, for veteran Bond director Guy Hamilton; Cannonball Run II (1984); Pale Rider (1985); and Happy Gilmore (1996). In addition to his feature work, Kiel enjoyed recurring appearances on The Wild Wild West (3 episodes, 1965–1966), as Voltaire (he appeared one last time in 1968, in a different role); and Barbary Coast (14 episodes, 1975–1976), as Moose Moran.