Greetings Manic Fans. Les here to pre-empt my usual schedule of re-posting my saved blogs from the other site to tribute one of my favorite James Bond villains, whose actor passed away on Wednesday.

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Actor Richard Kiel portrayed the villain henchman Jaws in 2 films: “The Spy who loved Me” and “Moonraker.” That makes him the only James Bond henchman to survive to come back in a sequel. To say he made an impression would be an understatement. Mr Kiel, aside from being quite massive(7’1-1/2” tall), had an amazing presence on film. Consider, the character of Jaws, with the exception of one of his last scenes in “Moonraker,” never spoke a word. All his emoting was done through his body language and facial expressions. That, my friends, is quite amazing.

 

When That Long-Haired Creepy Guy and I did our collaboration blog on our top 12 James Bond Villain’s Henchmen/Women, I listed Jaws at #2(Oddjob(Harold Sakata)from “Goldfinger” was #1, and that’s due to his bowler hat killing method…hmm, come to think of it…Oddjob was a role that had no speaking either…I think I see another blog idea forming in my mind, but I digress…). Jaws also has the distinction of being the first James Bond Henchman I saw. My first Bond in the theater was “Moonraker.” I quickly became a fan and Jaws had a large role in that fandom.

 

As Henchmen go, he was great at his job. Using a set of chromium steel teeth, he killed his victims by biting them in the neck. They also came in handy chewing through chains and steel cables. He was also abnormally strong and tough, surviving defeats by Bond(Roger Moore) that would’ve killed any average man. Jaws would emerge from the site of whatever wreckage he was involved in, grimace and dust himself off and lumber off to plan his next attempt to kill Bond. Any other henchman doing this would seem ridiculous, but Mr. Kiel pulled it off like Wile E Coyote, and you still took him seriously. That’s also amazing. Additionally, unlike other Villain Henchmen, Jaws had an undeniable “likability” to his character. Even though he was a Villain, I wanted to root for him and looked forward to his scenes. When he changed sides and joined Bond against Hugo Drax(Michael Lonsdale), it was a “cheer” moment.

 

And so, my friends, take a moment to recognize a great Bond Villain Henchman performed by a great actor. “Here’s to you, Jaws for providing scares, laughs and awesomeness. And, here’s to you, Richard Kiel, for bringing that character to life with such amazing talent. RIP, my friend. And thank you, Manic Fans for giving me some of your time, as well.  Peace.

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