The world of film and television has lost a literal giant of the industry, as we have learned of the passing of Yaphet Kotto. The Harlem born descendant of a Cameroonian king passed away on Monday at the age of 81 in the Philippines. He lived there with his wife, and his agent Ryan Goldhar broke the news late Tuesday.
Horror fans will know Kotto best as the physically-imposing Parker from the original Alien, as well as William Laughlin in The Running Man. He also starred in an episode of Rod Serling’s anthology series Night Gallery, in the episode “The Messiah on Mott Street.” Standing at a reported 6-foot-4, Kotto cut a particular presence on-screen, though his characters carried a certain aura about them.
His breakout role was as Mr. Big in the 007 film Live and Let Die, making him the youngest actor to play a Bond villain, as he was 33 at the time of filming. His role in Raid on Entebbe earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination, while his work as Lt. Al Giardello on the police procedural Homicide: Life in the Streets earned him four consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series nominations at the NAACP Image Awards.
A game-changer and an underrated actor, Yaphet Kotto made more of an impact on the world of visual media than most of us may realize. We here at CryptTeaze extend our condolences to Yaphet’s family in these difficult times.