The tragic news has reaches us that James Bond star Yaphet Kotto has sadly passed away.
Yaphet Kotto, best known for playing a villain in 1973's Bond movie, Live And Let Die has died aged eighty-one.
R.I.P. Yaphet Kotto, who has passed away at the age of 81. pic.twitter.com/16DkTdYx9E— The Film Stage 📽 (@TheFilmStage) March 16, 2021
And hundreds of tributes for the star have already been shared.
Just learned the great Yaphet Kotto has passed away at 81. A superb actor and a socially conscious, respected man. He gave so many indelible performances particularly in BLUE COLLAR, a film that made a gigantic impression on me. R.I.P. Yaphet; you are and will be so missed. pic.twitter.com/pVdxZzqX24— Alan K. Rode (pronounced ROE-DEE) (@alancinephile) March 16, 2021
Rest in Power to one of the best actors of his generation and one of the most under-appreciated James Bond villains of all-time, Yaphet Kotto. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/mP86BF0YbN— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) March 16, 2021
Sorry to hear about the passing of Yaphet Kotto. From Live a d Let Die (James Bond) to Alien to Running Man and many more... your work will entertain us for generations. pic.twitter.com/7wNYH5CPKR— Daniel Logan (@Daniel_Logan) March 16, 2021
Rest in peace, Yaphet Kotto. Wonderful actor. pic.twitter.com/hjIlWZN5bb— Scott Weinberg (@scottEmovienerd) March 16, 2021
RIP Yaphet Kotto, an absolute force of nature in everything, but especially HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET. pic.twitter.com/HTHzLynqJs— Sean Fennessey (@SeanFennessey) March 16, 2021
RIP to a great one. Never saw a bad performance from Yaphet Kotto. pic.twitter.com/FCgCmxycga— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) March 16, 2021
Yaphet Kotto could make every scene crackle. He was a force of nature in many roles, and certainly as Parker in ALIEN. But I also loved the more poker-faced side of him, such as Mosely in MIDNIGHT RUN, as well. A terrific actor. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/4cngkwSpz8— Charles de Lauzirika (@Lauzirika) March 16, 2021
Damn. Funnier than he had any right to be. Versatile as fuck. Royalty in Cameroon. Jewish, too. Made everything just that much better, from Alien and Live and Let Die to Midnight Run and The Running Man. I should dig up his Othello. I bet it’s a sight to see. #RIP #YaphetKotto. pic.twitter.com/t1uR3Tyh4S— Tolkien Negro (@marcbernardin) March 16, 2021
RIP to Yaphet Kotto, an absolute towering figure and quintessential space trucker. pic.twitter.com/Zrjjk5t4a0— Clint Worthington @ #SXSW (@clintworthing) March 16, 2021
Sad news on hearing of the death of actor Yaphet Kotto age 81. He appeared in some quality films including Alien, Brubaker, Thomas Crown Affair and as the villain in Live and Let Die. Also on tv in Homicide Life on the Street and was excellent as Idi Amin in Raid on Entebbe.#RIP pic.twitter.com/lEteDcgT5M— PETER OXLEY (@oxley264) March 16, 2021
RIP Yaphet Kotto. I interviewed him once for like three hours. He told me that if someone treats you badly and you ignore them they will go batshit. He also said the best thing about life was lying down. I think about him all the time. A great actor.— sarah miller (@sarahlovescali) March 16, 2021
Kotto, who was married 3 times and is survived by 6 children, was born in New York.
He began to study acting aged sixteen and by nineteen, he made his professional theatre debut in Othello.
He went on to star in the NBC television series Homicide: Life on the Street, The Running Man, Midnight Run and Alien.
Kotto was also offered a role in the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back but he turned it down.
In an interview, he explained: "I wanted to get back down on Earth. I was afraid that if I did another space film after having done Alien, then I'd be typed."
"Once you get one of those big blockbuster hits, you better have some other big blockbuster hits to go with it too and be Harrison Ford, because if you don't… you place yourself right out of the business."
Kotto also, of course, starred in the 1973 James Bond movie, Live and Let Die.
The actor is most famous for his role as the first Black Bond villain Dr Kananga/ Mr Big, an evil Caribbean diplomat masquerading as a New York drug lord.
Kotto's death was announced by his wife, Sinahon Thessa.
In a post 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. This is a very painfall moment for me to inform you all fans, friends and family of my husband."
"We still have a lot of plans honey that we discussed you have a lot of interviews waiting and you have movie offers like G.I. Joe and the movie of Tom Cruise and others. You still have plan to release your book and build a religious organization based on Yogananda's Teachings."
"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," she continued.
"One of the best actor in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I'm gonna miss you everyday, my bestfriend,my rock.I love you and you will always be in my heart.Till we meet again!"
A cause of death was not revealed.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Rest in peace, Yaphet Kotto.