Hollywood actor who started career in Chico dies at 74

Sep 11, 2014 10:38 AM

Richard Kiel, the towering actor best known for portraying steel-toothed villain Jaws in a pair of James Bond films, has died. He was 74.

Kelley Sanchez, director of communications at St. Agnes Medical Center, confirmed Wednesday that Kiel was a patient at the hospital and died. She declined to provide further details.

The 7-foot-2-inch, 325 pound performer famously played the cable-chomping henchman who tussled with Roger Moore's Bond in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker." His massive height was attributed to a hormonal condition called acromegaly.

Kiel's other memorable film and TV appearances included roles as towering boss Mr. Larson in "Happy Gilmore," lethal assistant Voltaire in "The Wild, Wild West" and extraterrestrial Kanamit in "The Twilight Zone."

He published an autobiography in 2002 titled "Making It Big in the Movies."

Kiel started his career in 1963 at KHSL-TV in Chico where he wrote, produced, and starred in "The Paul Bunyan Show," a Saturday morning children's program.

(AP contributed to this report.)


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