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Yaphet Kotto: James Bond And Alien Star Dies At 81

Yaphet Kotto: James Bond And Alien Star Dies At 81
Yaphet Kotto: James Bond And Alien Star Dies At 81(via-Everett Collection)

Yaphet Kotto, the actor who starred as main villain Dr Kanaga/Mr Big in the James Bond film Live and Let Die, and the television series “Homicide: Life on the Street,” has died aged 81.

His agent, Ryan Goldhar, confirmed the news, as his wife, Tessie Sinahon, posted of his death on Facebook.

“I’m saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years,” she wrote.

“He died last night around 10:30pm Philippine time… You played a villain on some of your movies but for me you’re a real hero and to a lot of people also. A good man, a good father, a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find.

She concluded: “One of the best actors in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I’m gonna miss you every day, my best friend, my rock.”

No cause of death was given.

As well as Live and Let Die, in which Roger Moore made his debut as 007, Kotto was known for his performances as Dennis Parker in the sci-fi film Alien (1979), and for his six-year stint as Lieutenant Al Giardello in the long-running TV series Homicide: Life on the Street. For the latter, he also received several scriptwriting credits.

Born in New York City on 15 November 1939, Yaphet Kotto studied acting as a teenager and made his professional theatre debut aged 19, in a production of Othello.

He performed on Broadway in The Great White Hope, later scoring early movie roles in Nothing But a Man (1964) and in the Oscar-nominated heist film The Thomas Crown Affair.

In 1987, he appeared opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 action film The Running Man. Other films he appeared in include Brubaker in 1980, and Blue Collar in 1978.

He reprised his role as Parker in a voiceover spot for the Alien: Isolation video game (2014), along with fellow original castmembers including Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright and Harry Dean Stanton.

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