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James Bond villain Yaphet Kotto dies aged 81 as his family pay tribute

James Bond villain and Alien star Yaphet Kotto dies aged 81 as his family pay tribute to ‘a real hero’ and ‘one of the best actors in Hollywood’

  • The death of the actor – who starred alongside the late Roger Moore as Mr Big/Dr Kananga in the 007 film – was announced by his wife Sinahon Thessa on Tuesday
  • The American actor’s most famous role was that of the Bond villain in the iconic 1973 film, Live And Let Die, where he played Harlem drug lord, Mr Big
  •  However, Mr Big is revealed to be the alter-ego of corrupt Caribbean dictator, Dr Kananga, who rules over the fictional island of San Monique
  • Off the back of his success in James Bond, he was cast as chief engineer Parker in iconic sci-fi horror film, Alien in 1979 
  • Yaphet also starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987 sci-fi film, The Running Man, as resistance fighter William Laughlin
  • Yaphet was married three times and is survived by six children 

James Bond actor Yaphet Kotto, who played the first black 007 villain in 1973’s Live And Let Die, has passed away aged 81.

The death of the actor – who starred alongside the late Roger Moore as Mr Big/Dr Kananga in the 007 film – was announced by his wife Sinahon Thessa on Tuesday.     

She wrote: ‘I’m saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years… ‘This is a very painful moment for me to inform you all fans, friends and family of my husband.

RIP: James Bond actor Yaphet Kotto, who played the first black 007 villain in 1973’s Live And Let Die, has passed away aged 81 (pictured with Roger Moore in the film)

‘You still have plan to release your book and build a religious organization based on Yogananda’s Teachings. ‘You played a villain on some of your movies but for me you’re a real hero and to a lot of people also. 

‘A good man, a good father, a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find.   

‘One of the best actor in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I’m gonna miss you everyday, my best friend,my rock.I love you and you will always be in my heart. Till we meet again.’ 

Iconic: Off the back of his success in James Bond, he was cast as chief engineer Parker in iconic sci-fi horror film, Alien in 1979 (pictured)

Iconic: Off the back of his success in James Bond, he was cast as chief engineer Parker in iconic sci-fi horror film, Alien in 1979 (pictured)

Acting legend: The death of the actor - who starred alongside the late Roger Moore as Mr Big/Dr Kananga in the 007 film - was announced by his wife Sinahon Thessa on Tuesday (pictured 2004)

Acting legend: The death of the actor – who starred alongside the late Roger Moore as Mr Big/Dr Kananga in the 007 film – was announced by his wife Sinahon Thessa on Tuesday (pictured 2004)

A cause of death was not revealed. 

Yaphet was married three times and  is survived by six children.

The American actor’s most famous role was that of the Bond villain in the iconic 1973 film where he played Harlem drug lord, Mr Big, who plans to distribute two tons of heroin for free, to put dealers out of business.

However, Mr Big is revealed to be the alter-ego of corrupt Caribbean dictator, Dr Kananga, who rules over the fictional island of San Monique.  

Yaphet also starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987 sci-fi film, The Running Man, as resistance fighter William Laughlin.

Off the back of his success in James Bond, he was cast as chief engineer Parker in iconic sci-fi horror film, Alien in 1979. His character met a memorably grisly demise when he was killed by the Alien as he collected oxygen tanks.

 Yaphet once revealed he turned down the role of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, over fears he would be typecast in sci-fi films.  

The star appeared opposite Robert De Niro in the comedy thriller Midnight Run (1988) as FBI Agent Alonzo Mosley. 

As well as his stellar movie roles, the star was known for his starring role in police procedural drama, Homicide: Life on the Street, in which he played Al Giardello from 1993-1999.

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