Hollywood legend Yaphet Kotto dies at 81

Hollywood star, Yaphet Kotto, best 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.

This was disclosed in a statement made available to Variety by his agent Ryan Goldhar.

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

“I’m saddened and still shocked at the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years. He died last night around 10:30 pm Philippine time. You played a villain in 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 going to miss you every day, my best friend, my rock,” she wrote.

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 in the 1987 action film “The Running Man”. He played both roles alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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 is survived by his wife and six children.

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