Bond villain and ‘Alien’ star Yaphet Kotto is dead at 81

Live and Let Die United Artists
(L-R) Yaphet Kotto and Roger Moore in ‘Live and Let Die.’ United Artists
  • Kotto was known for his roles in the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” and “Alien.”
  • He died on Monday near Manila in the Philippines, according to his wife and manager.
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Veteran character actor Yaphet Kotto, who was known best for playing Bond villain Mr. Big in 1973’s James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” and Parker in the sci-fi classic “Alien,” died on Monday near Manila in the Philippines. He was 81 years old. No cause of death was given.

His wife, Thessa Sinahon, announced the news in a Facebook post. It was confirmed by Kotto’s agent, Ryan Goldhar, The New York Times reported.

Known for his physically imposing characters, Kotto was a fixture in movie and TV for decades, including roles on the series “Homicide: Life on the Street” and FBI agent Mosely in the beloved comedy “Midnight Run” opposite Robert De Niro.

Kotto began acting professionally in his late teens and eventually got to Hollywood thanks to his intense acting and six-foot-three frame, which made him perfect for bad guy roles. That particularly fit well for his performance as infamous Ugandan president Idi Amin in the 1976 television movie “Raid on Entebbe,” which earned him an Emmy nomination.

Alien Fox
Yaphet Kotto as Parker in ‘Alien.’ Fox

He would be the standout in roles like 1976’s “Drum” and 1978’s “Blue Collar,” which dealt with social issues and race. But it would be playing chief engineer Parker, who fights alongside Sigourney Weaver to fight off an evil alien in 1979’s “Alien,” that would make him a beloved character actor until the end of his life.Kotto, who was born in Harlem and grew up in the Bronx, had over 90 acting credits in film, TV, and Broadway over his career.