Richard Kiel, movie character Jaws share a tight 'Bond'

The Fresno BeeFebruary 14, 2013 

It's been 36 years since Richard Kiel played the steel-teethed Jaws in the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me," a role he would reprise two years later in "Moonraker." Despite all those years, Jaws is one of the first roles fans ask the 7-feet-2 actor about when he makes guest appearances at collectible shows or conventions.

The Clovis resident expects to field more Jaws questions as the special guest at the Fresno Collect-a-Con that runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Piccadilly Inn Airport, 5115 East McKinley.

Kiel's in constant demand at collectible shows and conventions around the globe. No matter where he goes, the reaction is always the same.

"Jaws is the No. 1 picture people want to buy and have me sign and the second biggest would be 'Happy Gilmore,' followed by 'Cannonball Run' where I was in the car with Jackie Chan," Kiel says.

Anyone who buys an autographed picture can have their photo taken with the actor at no extra cost. Kiel loves to pretend he's crushing the head of male fans -- a tribute to a photo he has with Roger Moore -- or go cheek-to-cheek with the women in Jaws fashion.

Kiel has a well-known fan of his work as Jaws.

Javier Bardem, who plays the villain in the latest Bond film "Skyfall," calls "Moonraker" his favorite Bond film because he loves Jaws.

The Bond role may be his most famous, but Kiel appeared in a number of other movies -- from "The Longest Yard" to "Tangled" -- plus a long list of classic TV shows, including: "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "The Wild, Wild West," "The Monkees," "The Twilight Zone" and "My Mother the Car."

In 1992, a car accident affected Kiel's balance and he went from walking with a cane to using a motorized scooter. His motorized transportation has been written into the script for his role in the feature film "Overlord," which will shoot this summer in California and China.

Along with Kiel's appearance, Fresno Collect-a-Con will feature dealers selling toys, sports cards, action figures and comic books. Admission is $1. There's no charge for those younger than 12.

For more information, email collectacon@yahoo.com

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.

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