LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Actor Richard Kiel, who was known for playing steely bad guys that belied his true-to-life nice-guy persona, has died.
TMZ reports that Kiel, 74, died Wednesday at a hospital in Fresno. They also reported that Kiel broke his leg last week and was hospitalized since that time. It was unclear if his death was connected to the leg break.READ MORE: LAPD Makes 6 Arrests, Confiscates Vehicles And Firearm Related To Motorcycle Sideshows In Fairfax District
The 7-foot-1.5-inch actor was perhaps best known as steel-toothed James Bond villain Jaws in ’70s era films, including “Moonraker” and “The Spy Who Loved Me.” He also played Jaws in video games and the movie “Inspector Gadget.”
He was also known for the movie “Happy Gilmore.”
Fans of the “To Serve Man” episode of “The Twilight Zone” will also recognize Kiel for playing the lead Kanamit.READ MORE: Deadly Hit-And-Run At Long Beach Apartment Complex Destroys Security Station, Killing Security Guard
Kiel’s first big break occurred in the mid 1960s. He was cast in the first seven episodes of the TV western “The Wild, Wild West.”
Before he got the big break, Kiel made ends meet by teaching night school math in Burbank. He also worked as a bouncer and a cemetery-plot salesman.
Kiel was also cast to play the “Incredible Hulk” on TV but producers decided after filming started they needed a hulk who was more muscular than tall.
Kiel also loved writing. He wrote an autobiography, “Making it BIG in the Movies,” as well as co-authoring the historical novel “The Cassius Marcellus Clay Story.”MORE NEWS: With Triple Digit Temps On The Way Experts Warn Of Severe Fire Danger
He was married in 1974 to second wife Diane Rogers. He is survived by Rogers and the couple’s four children.