RIP, Jaws
September 11, 2014 8:37 AM   Subscribe

 
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posted by chavenet at 8:42 AM on September 11, 2014 [16 favorites]


Farewell, Eegah.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:42 AM on September 11, 2014 [12 favorites]


"And you can count! On me, waiting for you in the parking lot!"
posted by infinitewindow at 8:42 AM on September 11, 2014 [13 favorites]


Kiel is survived by his wife, who is 5 foot 1, and four children.

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posted by Going To Maine at 8:46 AM on September 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


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posted by tzikeh at 8:47 AM on September 11, 2014


He was described by one of the best lines from anything ever, in one of the worst Bond movies: "His name's Jaws. He kills people."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:47 AM on September 11, 2014 [9 favorites]


Well, that bites.
stolen from Facebook friend
posted by Etrigan at 8:48 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


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posted by radwolf76 at 8:54 AM on September 11, 2014


😁
posted by sammyo at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


vvvvvvv
^^^^^

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posted by jonp72 at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow, from the linked obit he sounded like a very well-rounded individual and also a nice guy.

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posted by mosk at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


"He broke my fuckin' nose!"
posted by Trochanter at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Watch out for snakes...in Heaven...

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posted by inturnaround at 9:04 AM on September 11, 2014 [7 favorites]


It's a cookbook!

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posted by jim in austin at 9:06 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, said this about him on his Facebook fan page:

"Sorry to report that Richard Kiel has left the planet. He's well known among MST3K fans from "The Human Duplicators" and of course "Eegah". I had the privilege to meet Richard in California and he was a very sweet and funny guy. I especially loved hearing about the "press tour" he did with Arch Hall Jr and Senior and Marilyn Manning. It sounded like something from a dream. For some reason Arch Hall Senior would focus on appearing at "Drive in" theaters where Eegah would be booked. Richard described that they would set up Arch Hall Jr's amplifier on top of the Snack Bar and during intermission Arch Hall Jr (playing the guitar) and Marilyn Manning would climb on top of the building and perform songs like "Vicky" to the mass of cars, who would honk their horns rather than applaud. Meanwhile, Richard, dressed as Eegah, would walk around the grounds scaring the patrons by banging his club on the hoods of their cars! He also mentioned that he was a big fan of MST3K as he reached out his hand and shook mine. My hand just disappeared in his, because for practical purposes, he was a giant."
posted by inturnaround at 9:07 AM on September 11, 2014 [35 favorites]


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posted by Lynsey at 9:12 AM on September 11, 2014




inturnaround: "He's well known among MST3K fans from "The Human Duplicators" and of course "Eegah"."

AND The Phantom Planet.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:21 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


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I love the daftness of the idea of a 7'2" assassin.
posted by octothorpe at 9:29 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


He will always be my favorite Bond villain....and a memorable bright spot in Happy Gilmore.

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posted by Benway at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not a fan of the Jaws character, or of very much at all from the Moore Bond era really, but Kiel always seemed like a really good guy.

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posted by Naberius at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a somewhat misty memory of being a child of four or five and sitting on the couch while my mother and older siblings watched a James Bond marathon on TV. And to this day, whenever someone mentions 007, without fail one of two vivid images will pop into my head: the horrific grinning metal visage of Jaws (from Moonraker), or Hervé Villechaize being locked in a suitcase and strapped to the mast of a sailboat (from The Man with the Golden Gun). I believe these are considered two of the worst installments from the series, but for me, they are James Bond.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:39 AM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when you're six, Jaws is terrifying. Always had to run behind the couch when he came on TV.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:42 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


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I'm not a fan of the Jaws character, or of very much at all from the Moore Bond era really

Shut your mouth!
posted by Cosine at 9:43 AM on September 11, 2014


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posted by Atreides at 9:46 AM on September 11, 2014


He played the part of a shark? I loved when he killed Shaw at the end.

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posted by 724A at 9:51 AM on September 11, 2014


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posted by cazoo at 9:51 AM on September 11, 2014


There was a time when this actor and this character was the scariest motherfucker in the movies.

That scene in Moonraker with the giant clown suit? DUDE.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:51 AM on September 11, 2014 [10 favorites]


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posted by Ickster at 9:51 AM on September 11, 2014


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posted by vibrotronica at 10:03 AM on September 11, 2014


Really into Cannonball Run II and I don't care what that says about me.

Peace out, Arnold, Mitsubishi Driver.
posted by SharkParty at 10:23 AM on September 11, 2014


Oh, man. :( He was terrifying when I was a little kid. But so much fun to watch when I got older.

From The Spy Who Loved Me.

Rest in Peace.

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posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was going to quote one of his lines from Happy Gilmore, but infinitewindow beat me to it.

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posted by KillaSeal at 10:57 AM on September 11, 2014


Fun fact: He was the original choice to play the Hulk on TV, before the producers decided to go with a fellow who was a bit shorter, but somewhat beefier. (Unfortunately, I can't find a pic of Kiel with Ferrigno, but Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, has posed with both of them(scroll down).)


posted by Halloween Jack at 10:58 AM on September 11, 2014


Met him at a comic convention in town about a year ago. As noted above, a really nice guy.

Which you'd expect from anyone else, of course, but it seemed such a disconnect from his on-screen persona that I was afraid to ask for just one more picture.
posted by OHSnap at 11:00 AM on September 11, 2014


He'll always be the monster from the I was a Teenage Monster episode of The Monkees to me.

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posted by gnuhavenpier at 11:17 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was very sorry to hear this. An iconic figure, and everything I've read about him over the years agrees that he was a really good guy.

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posted by LobsterMitten at 11:24 AM on September 11, 2014


Kiel is survived by his wife, who is 5 foot 1

Vaguely curious how that works!

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posted by Melismata at 11:29 AM on September 11, 2014


Vaguely curious how that works!

He probably was the designated light bulb changer at their house.
And the reacher of things on high shelves. ;)
posted by zarq at 11:41 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


He was one of my favorite characters in the Bond films, especially that train scene.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:58 AM on September 11, 2014


I've told this story before, but Richard Kiel was a friend of a man my father used to work with. (Who, incidentally, was called Scott Walker, but wasn't *that* Scott Walker.) As some sort of pissed-up laugh, Kiel, my dad and his co-worker decided – after a long afternoon in the pub – that it would be enormous fun to scare the shit out of myself and my friend Chris, who were both playing at my house, because we'd recently watched Moonraker and were eight years old.

So Chris and I are mucking about in the living room, and then there's a big, booming knock at the door. Chris and I go to answer it, and we open the door. There's Kiel and he's HUGE. Terrifying. Chris and I barely come up to his waist. He's so big that he ducks as he's coming through the door, and he swivels his torso so that his shoulders don't hit the door jambs.

Chris and I are pretty terrified by this point. This is JAWS. He smiles at us and he's got fucking metal teeth. We both run through to the living room, and we ponder hiding behind the sofa. And then Kiel walks into the living room and takes the tinfoil off his teeth and says, with a big grin, "now tell me, what are you two boys called?"
posted by Len at 12:12 PM on September 11, 2014 [38 favorites]


I love that Joel Hodgson story.

Moonraker is a silly, silly film, but they do manage to give Jaws a bit of a happy ending--probably because of how much Kiel brought to what is (on paper, at least), kind of a weird role.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


He smiles at us and he's got fucking metal teeth.

Can eight-year olds die of sudden heart attack? I sure would.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:28 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:49 PM on September 11, 2014


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posted by ob1quixote at 12:57 PM on September 11, 2014


One of the things that endeared him to me was learning that acromegaly, the pituitary (?) condition that caused his extreme tallness, is associated with poor upper-body strength -- and the strongman -type roles that his size often brought him were sometimes painful and difficult for him to physically execute.

He also played the role of the hitman with metal teeth, Reace, in the (1976) film Silver Streak....

The James Bond film producers spotted Kiel in the William Shatner western TV series Barbary Coast and thought he was ideal for the role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).


I am sorry, Cubby, I am not buying this Barbary Coast story of yours. But you could have faced a plagiarism lawsuit if you'd said any different.

There was a trope throughout the series, that really began with Robert Shaw's character Grant in From Russia With Love, for dehumanized, almost robotic, and unstoppable villains. I don't know quite how influential this really was in the broader trope, but with 007, it was eventually damaging to the credibility of the series, and especially post-Jaws came off as cartoonish. (I've always been a fan of the more grounded entries, though, and those drawing as directly as possible on the literary Bond rather than the Hollywood creation.) With those constraints it's actually rather interesting that they brought him back for Moonraker and turned him into a sympathetic character, in a way that actually substantially linked back to the plot of the film (and the villain, Drax). While some of Bond's nemeses have been split between ally and threat, e.g. XXX (Anya) herself from TSWLM, I can't think of any who have undergone a character arc, as it were, from villain/henchman to ally. So Kiel had a unique type of role in the series.
posted by dhartung at 1:19 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


There seems something vaguely anticlimatic about a James Bond supervillain passing away in old age in Fresno.
posted by crapmatic at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


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posted by dbiedny at 1:57 PM on September 11, 2014


There seems something vaguely anticlimatic about a James Bond supervillain passing away in old age in Fresno.

Cause of death hasn't been released so it could be something extremely dastardly and nefarious!

Jaws scared the crap out of me as a kid, but I loved him all the same. The Spy Who Loved Me was my favourite Bond movie.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:30 PM on September 11, 2014


Moonraker is a silly, silly film

Moonraker is the best Bond film because it is about humanity's natural attraction to fascism and the dangers therein. Moore is the best bond because he is a joke, as Bond is a joke. Drax is the best baddie, played by the best actor ever to appear in the franchise.

Was Jaws the best henchman ? My other claims can be debated, but only a fool would question that.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 2:30 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Interestingly enough, Wikipedia says that Kiel co-authored a biography of my ancestor, the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay . The book is titled Kentucky Lion; I’ve not read it, but now I have to get a copy.

Godspeed, Mr. Kiel.
posted by magstheaxe at 4:04 PM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, magstheaxe, he wanted to produce a biopic about the life of Simon Kenton. Kenton is one of my childhood heroes and I really hoped that Kiel would pull it off. Alas.

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posted by CincyBlues at 6:24 PM on September 11, 2014


Cause of death hasn't been released so it could be something extremely dastardly and nefarious!

Harold Sakata helped him fake his death in order to recruit him for the Ultimate Master Plan!

(I'd love a Bond movie where the villains were all colorful henchmen who democratically decided on their co-operative course of action, like the Greeks in the Anabasis or the Spanish Republican forces. They'd draw lots daily to see who has to sit in the big chair and stroke the cat while making demands from world governments, while the other henchmen try to get them to crack up by clowning around off-camera.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:54 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Didn't realize until today that he's the alien who delivers the To Serve Man cookbook in the classic Twilight Zone episode. Awesome.
posted by asfuller at 10:08 AM on September 12, 2014


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