James Bond star Richard Kiel, who played 007’s iconic foe Jaws, has died aged 74.
The actor had broken his leg and was being treated in hospital in California where he died on Wednesday afternoon.
According to TMZ the cause of death has not yet been revealed.
The imposing actor stood over seven feet tall and appeared opposite Roger Moore in the 1977 James Bond adventure The Spy Who Loved Me. Due to his popularity Jaws returned as a more sympathetic character in 1979’s Moonraker. His face-offs with Bond were among the spy series’ most memorable.
Leading the tributes to Kiel, Roger Moore posted on Twitter: “I am totally distraught to learn of my dear friend Richard Kiel’s passing. We were on a radio programme together just a week ago. Distraught.”
On the BBC Radio 4 programme The Reunion, which aired on Sunday, Kiel talked with Moore about the role. “I was very put off by the description of the character and I thought, ‘Well, they don’t really need an actor, he’s more a monster part,'” he said. “So I tried to change that view of it… I said if I were to play the part, I want to give the character some human characteristics, like perseverance, frustration.”
Kiel got his break on American television in 1959 appearing as the alien Kanamit in The Twilight Zone. He also starred with Adam Sandler in the 1996 golfing comedy Happy Gilmore and voiced Vlad in the 2010 Disney film Tangled.
The creation of Jaws for the 10th Bond film was inspired by a character named Horror who reveals his steel-capped teeth in Ian Fleming’s novel The Spy Who Loved Me.