Yaphet Kotto: Actor known for his roles in “Alien” and as the Bond villain in “Live and Let Die” dies at 81.

Yaphet Kotto, the actor known for his role in “Alien” and as the James Bond villain Mr. Big in “Live and Let Die,” has died at age 81, his wife announced on Facebook. “He died last night around 10:30 pm Philippine time. This is a very painful time for me to inform all of my husband’s fans, friends and family,” wrote Tessie Sinahon.

It is unclear what caused Kotto’s death.

He was born in New York City in 1939, and at age 16, he was studying at Actors Mobile Theater Studio. He made his stage debut at age 19 on “Othello.”

Kotto’s first major film role came in 1972 as Lieutenant Pope in “Across 110th Street.” A year later, Kotto became the first Black Bond villain.

I am saddened and still shocked by the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years. He died last night around 10:30 pm …

Posted by Sinahon Thessa on Mon, Mar 15, 2021

“You played a villain in some of your movies, but to me you are a true hero and to many people too. A good man, a good father, a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find.” Sinahon said.

Kotto’s work as Smokey James in 1978’s “Blue Collar” and technician Dennis Parker in 1979’s “Alien” earned him much praise, as did his long career as Lieutenant Al Giardello on the television series “Homicide: Life on. the Street “from 1993 to 2000. He was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in 1996 and every year through 1999.

Kotto made his last film appearance in 2008 as Ricardo Bodi in “Witless Protection.” He is survived by Sinahon and six children.


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