Jaws, The Monkees and Happy Gilmore: Richard Kiel’s best movie moments

jawsrichardkiel

Richard Kiel, best known as the Bond villain Jaws, had died at the age of 74.

He will be remembered chiefly for sinking those steel teeth into anything that got in his way in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, giving Roger Moore’s 007 plenty to chew on.

Kiel made the most of his fame after his two James Bond adventures, riffing on his role as Jaws in a series of movies that followed.

Before Bond, he appeared in a number of US TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Starsky & Hutch, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Lassie.

Whatever he cropped up in, Kiel made audiences bear their teeth as much as his most famous creation – he may not have been the greatest actor ever, but you just can’t help but smile when he appears on screen, whether he’s eating James Bond’s van or monkeying around with The Monkees. Here are some of those moments:

1. The Monkees (1967)

Who better to give The Band That Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles a good scare than Kiel?

Here he is in the 1967 episode, I Was A Teenage Monster. A more convincing Frankenstein’s monster than De Niro, we reckon.

2. The Longest Yard (1974)

Kiel may be the biggest bruiser in the prison playground for this American football movie with a twist, where inmates take on guards, but he isn’t the meanest. Here, he literally gets his nose bent out of shape.

3. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Can-opener? More like van-opener. Geddit? Kiel in the role that made him famous: Jaws.

4. Moonraker (1979)

Somewhere in the late 1970s, some execs gathered in a boardroom and one shouted: ‘You know what Jaws needs in the next Bond picture… a cable car fight! And a girlfriend!’

5. Cannonball Run II (1984)

Back in a movie with Burt Reynolds, Kiel and Jackie Chan feel the need for speed in the utterly crap yet utterly brilliant Cannonball Run sequel, finding time for a neat nod to James Bond’s submersible Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.

6. Pale Rider (1985)

James Bond? Pah. Easy peasy. Clint Eastwood, on the other hand, now he’s tough. Even when he’s a preacher. Here, just like in The Longest Yard, Kiel takes a hefty hit to the nose, and then another blow to a region a little more painful.

7. Happy Gilmore (1996)

Richard Kiel… tormentor of James Bond… and Shooter McGavin.

8. Tangled (2010)

And finally, a role that sums up Kiel’s enduring movie persona – tough on the outside, a big softie on the inside. Here he plays Vladimir, a fairy-tale thug who likes collecting ceramic unicorns. Of course.

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