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Bond villain actor Kiel dies at 74

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

Kelley Sanchez, director of communications at St Agnes Medical Centre in Fresno, California, confirmed that Kiel was a patient at the hospital and had died.

The 7ft 2in performer famously played the cable-chomping henchman who tussled with Sir Roger Moore's Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.

His massive height was attributed to a hormonal condition called acromegaly.

Sir Roger said he was "totally distraught" at the death of his co-star, who appeared with him on Radio 4's The Reunion only last week to talk about the films.

The 86-year-old actor said: "I am totally distraught to learn of my dear friend Richard Kiel's passing. We were on a radio programme together just a week ago. Distraught.

"Can't take it in."

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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.

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