I don’t like doing these posts that mark an actors death for a few reasons; firstly because how much can you really write without having known the person, secondly because they are damn hard to write and thirdly because all too often you suspect that the increase in traffic is a factor in why the post has been written. Therefore I rarely mark these moments unless I actually have something to say.
It’s hard to summarise just quite what an impact Kiel’s performance in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker had on both the Bond franchise and the following cinematic landscape. Bradshaw has made the point today (here) that his portrayal paved the way for the Terminator, even down to the character switching sides in the second film. Due to the impact that Kiel had there are people murmuring online that Bond 24 should be dedicated to Kiel’s memory and I have to say that I completely agree. Not only because his contribution to the franchise is more than worthy of a tribute like that, but also because the film is supposedly looking to cast an instantly iconic henchman in the vein of Jaws, an element which will make the tribute just that extra bit special and moving.
This year we’ve already said difficult goodbyes to great cinematic icons such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Richard Attenborough, Eli Wallach, Bob Hoskins, Shirley Temple, Rik Mayall and Harold Ramis and now we have to add Kiel to that list. With this post I just wanted to add my voice to those who are calling for a dedication to a man who reportedly was as big hearted as he was built, and who was a major part in my childhood spent pouring over James Bond magazines and acting out the fight scenes with figures and toy cars. Kiel was a well loved and respected figure amongst fans and, in a year where the legends really seem to be leaving us, it will be excellent to see him honoured by the series 36 years after he last appeared as Jaws.