James Bond villain Richard Kiel, who played Jaws in two of the Sir Roger Moore movies, died in the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, TMZ reports.
The news of Kiel’s death comes just days before his 75th birthday, and while the cause of death is still unclear, the actor had been in St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, California, since last week after he broke his leg. It is uncertain whether the injury is connected to his death.
The 7-foot-2-inch performer’s career spanned over five decades. Aside from his role as the steel-toothed villain in the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), the actor also starred in Adam Sandler’s comedy Happy Gilmore, The Longest Yard and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
He was also the voice of Vlad in the animated fairy-tale adventure Tangled. However, Kiel’s role as Jaws was his most iconic.
“To this day, I go out in sunglasses and a hat because people will shout “Hey, Jaws!” at me from across the street,” he told the Daily Mail earlier this year.
“The only way I can explain it is that he’s like the Road Runner, which Coyote keeps trying to blow up, but he keeps going.”
The many tributes for the late star include one from his former Bond co-star Sir Roger Moore, who took to Twitter to express his deep sadness and shock at Kiel’s passing.
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
— Sir Roger Moore (Legacy) (@sirrogermoore) September 11, 2014
Our thoughts are with the actor’s family and friends during this sad time.