Richard Kiel, Best Known As James Bond Supervillain Jaws, Found Dead At 74

Jaws has finally chewed his last steel wire. The actor who was best known for his role of Jaws in a pair of James Bond movies has reportedly passed away, according to New York Daily News. While details are still forthcoming, here is what Inquisitr has been able to find out:

Kiel, 74, suffered from a broken leg that caused him to have to be hospitalized earlier in the week, according to a report found on TMZ. There are not many details at this time, but it is believed that Kiel was in that same hospital when he passed away.

Fox News released the following information regarding the death of the star:

“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.” –Fox News

Richard Kiel as Jaws

Even though Richard Kiel was best known for his role of Jaws, the steely toothed supervillain, his body of work ran deep. He had several walk-on roles and cameos laced throughout some very influential movies. His acting career began in the late ’50s to the early ’60s. Kiel has appeared on every show from Fantasy Island to I Dream of Jeannie. With a recurring role on the TV series The Wild Wild West, Kiel began to make a name for himself in television. He also often got typecast into the role of “intimidating giant” thanks to his physical stature of 7′ 2″. Many of the roles Kiel was cast in during his decades-long career in the Hollywood limelight were that of fearsome giant or incorrigible supervillain.

Richard Kiel’s abnormally tall stature was due to acromegaly, a syndrome that is the result of a anterior pituitary response that causes extreme growth and, at times, deformities. The syndrome can be quite debilitating, and can result in extreme disfigurement and other health complications.

Despite the complications caused by his illness, Kiel was able to turn lemons into lemonade. He became known as the “Gentle Giant” amongst his fans, friends, family, and peers. Although his several onscreen personas often belied his off screen kind-hearted gentleness, Richard Kiel always left an impression on every role he was cast in–both onscreen and off.

May you rest in peace, Gentle Giant.

[Photo credit: Above Top Spot/Screen Crush]