James Bond’s Jaws, Richard Kiel, dies aged 74

The towering actor, best known for playing the steel-toothed 007 villain, passed away a week after breaking his leg

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American actor Richard Kiel, best know for his portrayal of imposing James Bond villain Jaws, has died aged 74.

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Kiel passed away at Saint Agnes Medical Centre in Fresno, California. The cause of death has not yet been made public, but a report from TMZ suggests he was already in hospital, having broken his leg a week earlier.

The 7ft 1.5in actor played steel-toothed henchman Jaws opposite Roger Moore in two James Bond movies, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), and is among the most well remembered of 007’s adversaries.

Kiel’s incredible height was the result of a hormonal condition called acromegaly but was a plus when it came to early roles in 60s B movies, and eventually as the character that made him famous in the James Bond films.

In a career that spanned six decades, Kiel acted opposite stars including William Shatner, and Adam Sandler, who he appeared with in the 1996 golfing comedy Happy Gilmore.

He also co-wrote and starred in the 1991 family film The Giant of Thunder Mountain.

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Kiel died just three days before his 75th birthday. He is survived by his wife Diane and four children.