The world of cinema witnessed a great loss on Monday night: Yaphet Kotto died at the age of 81. The actor, mostly known for his performances in Alien, Live and Let Die, and the television series Homicide: Life on the Street, was pronounced dead as revealed by his wife Tessie Sinahon.
She made the announcement through her Facebook account, saying that she is saddened and still in shock by the passing of her husband after 24 years of marriage. She revealed that he died at 10:30 in the night. She further gave an ode to the actor that he was – the man who played villain like no other, and a hero who cannot be shaken.
She mentioned that people loved him in all of his avatars, and that is why he was one of the best actors in Hollywood. Of course, she said that she would miss him every day and that he was her rock and best friend.
In 1973, he pulled off two of the greatest characters in the movie business with equal conviction. He played a double-duty dictator, who was corrupt and had the potential to be exceptionally vicious. He will be known as one of the most stylish villains in the James Bond universe – who can forget his dapper suits and slick hair!
He also played the role of a technician in Dennis Parker’s Alien, which was released in 1979. He was in another action movie, which also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, called The Running Man which released in 1987. Most importantly, he would be remembered as Al Giardello from NBC series “Homicide: Life on the Street”, which reigned on television from 1993 till 1999!
He was born in New York City in 1939 and studied acting at the age of 16. By 19 he had already made his Broadway debut and was on his way to do his first feature film. He was part of movies like ‘Nothing but a Man’ in 1964 and ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ in 1968.
He ultimately gained fame and publicity through his role in the James Bond movie, and after that, it was no looking back for him. He starred in Truck Turner, Blue Collar, Alien, Brubaker and Death Valley Days, etc.
Naturally, he is most remembered for his role in the television series as it lasted for almost a decade. The character was deeply loved by the fans as it was relevant for the times.
On the personal ground, the 81-year-old actor is survived by six children a wife.
We’re surely going to miss this genius artist – RIP!
Had he not take up acting, said Yaphet Kotto, the Jewish son of an immigrant from Cameroon, he might have become a rabbi. His father, he told an interviewer, "instilled Judaism in me." https://t.co/n65V683kfk— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) March 16, 2021
Rest in peace, Yaphet Kotto. Wonderful actor. pic.twitter.com/hjIlWZN5bb— Scott Weinberg (@scottEmovienerd) March 16, 2021
Rest in Peace to the legendary Yaphet Kotto. So many indelible performances, but I have to highlight his star turn in Blue Collar, one of the great - and only - US films about the working class. It was Kotto sharing top billing Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel and Kotto owned it. pic.twitter.com/h5uyXuqNOF— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) March 16, 2021
Damn, Yaphet Kotto. RIP.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) March 16, 2021
He was brilliant in everything -- even a standout on the packed cast of "Homicide" -- but I'll always remember him for this episode of TV Nation:https://t.co/9TwuLtJEiO
The great YAPHET KOTTO as Special Agent Alonzo Mosely in MIDNIGHT RUN (1988).#RIPYaphetKotto pic.twitter.com/peGbgt87DK— All The Right Movies (@right_movies) March 16, 2021
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