Very saddened by this news and very annoyed I hadn't seen any "news" sites sharing this loss. Entertainment topics include Khloe Kardashian splits (surprise), ex-Obama staffer joins CNN and Anna Kendrick sings again in a film. Richard Kiel made an unforgettable mark in pop culture and there's got to be a large number of people out there who'd like to know this. Even Gottfreid John's death last week seemed to garner more attention, no disrespect intended, but Richard Kiel is one of those figures identifiable to so many.
It was exactly a year ago that I made a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio to meet Richard Kiel and get his autograph at a comic con. I actually interview a lot of celebrities and entertainers for my job, everybody from Oscar nominees and award-winning composers to American Idols and usually not nervous, just a part of my job. But I was a little giddy and fanboyish meeting Richard Kiel. Sure I love him for his Bond connection, but he left his mark in so many other shows and films -- from The Twilight Zone and Wild Wild West and UNCLE to Burt Reynolds and Adam Sandler movies.
It's funny, something told me to make the trip that day to meet Richard. And a year later I'm so glad I did. I brought a copy of a Moonraker poster magazine to get signed and I also got one of the photos at his table of him grabbing Roger Moore in TSWLM. What I also liked was the personal attention. Instead of just standing in a line and getting the autograph and going, you got to sit down and chat as he autographed your item(s) and his wife took a picture of Richard grabbing your head with his huge hands. He was very soft spoken and I asked him if he was doing well health wise and he said he was fine. His wife, I believe her name is Diane, was also incredibly sweet and friendly. I noticed Richard was wearing the Jaws Swatch watch released in 2008 and she told me how nice it was his being included in that and how well the Broccoli family has treated them over the years.
Richard Kiel was one of the Bond series' best ambassadors and will be sadly missed. My heart goes out to his family.