Yaphet Kotto dies at 81

Wife Tessie pays tribute to 'real hero' star of Alien and Live And Let Die

by Amber Wilkinson

Yaphet Kotto in Live And Let Die
Yaphet Kotto in Live And Let Die Photo: MGM
Actor Yaphet Kotto has died at the age of 81, with his wife Tessie Sinahon paying an emotional tribute to the Alien, Live And Let Die and Homicide: Life On The Street star on Facebook

She wrote: "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."

Noting that the actor had plans for more movies and a book, she added: "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 actors in Hollywood, a Legend. Rest in Peace, Honey, I'm gonna miss you everyday, my best friend, my rock. I love you and you will always be in my heart."

Kotto enjoyed a successful career on the big and small screen, taking on the role of dictator and drug baron Dr Kananga (Mr Big) in James Bond's 1973 outing Live And Let Die as well as playing Alien chief engineer Dennis Parker and helping Arnie fight the bad guys in The Running Man. For legions of TV fans, however, the New York born star is best known for his portrayal of police commander Al Giardello in Homicide: Life On The Street, for which he also wrote a number of episodes.

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