Actor Yaphet Kotto dies age 81

Actor Yaphet Kotto, known for his performances in Alien, the James Bond film Live and Let Die and the television series Homicide: Life on the Street, has died at the age of 81.


Kotto’s wife, Tessie Sinahon, first posted about Kotto’s death on Facebook Monday night:

“I’m saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years. He died last night around 10:30pm Philippine time.

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.”


In 1973’s Live and Let Die, Kotto pulled double-duty portraying the corrupt Caribbean dictator Dr. Kananga as well as his drug pushing alter ego Mr. Big. Described in the novel as a monstrously obese kingpin with yellow eyes, gray skin and a head twice the size of a normal man, Kotto’s dapper version of the character dispensed with the physical grotesqueries and added a charismatic dose of stylish villainy.

Kotto also famously played technician Dennis Parker in 1979’s Alien and William Laughlin alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 action film The Running Man. He had a strong career in television as well, playing Al Giardello in the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street from 1993 to 1999.


He most recently voiced Parker in the Alien: Isolation video game.

He is survived by his wife and six children.

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