17:34 11 September 2014
Former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore led tributes following news that Richard Kiel, who played the franchise’s memorable villain Jaws, has died at the age of 74.
Expressing his grief on Twitter, Sir Roger wrote: “I am totally distraught to learn of my dear friend Richard Kiel’s passing.”
He added: “We were on a radio programme together just a week ago. Distraught.”
“Can’t take it in.”
According to TMZ, Kiel, who portrayed assassin Jaws in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me and the 1979 thriller Moonraker, died at a hospital in Fresno, California.
Later, director of communications for Saint Agnes Medical Center confirmed his death but the cause of the actor’s passing is yet to be revealed.
Sir Roger, who played the fictional British agent, said previously in an article that Jaws was his favourite villain.
“The most memorable of all, however, has to be Jaws, sidekick to the evil Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me,” Moore, 86, wrote in the article.
“Jaws was played by my good friend Richard Kiel, who stands 7ft 2½ in. Jaws got his name from the ominous, glinting steel teeth he wore, of course. Poor devil, they were so uncomfortable to wear – Richard could only keep them in for about half a minute at a time,” Moore wrote.