Richard Kiel, the actor best known for his iconic portrayal of Bond villain Jaws, has passed away aged 74. According to ABC, the American actor broke his leg last week and was being treated in a Fresno, California hospital at the time of his death. It is unknown whether or not his death is connected to his injury. 

Richard Kiel
Kiel pictured in 2008

With a career spanning almost fifty years, Kiel was a memorable figure in films and television, particularly because of his impressive seven-foot-two stature. Undoubtedly his best known role was in two Bond films as the assassin Jaws, distinctive for his steel-capped teeth. He appeared in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me alongside Roger Moore, and his character proved so popular the script was changed, allowing Jaws to survive and return in Moonraker two years later. He only had one line in the entirity of his screen time, and it's a credit to Kiel that his character was so iconic despite this.

He started his career in the sixties, with CBS western television series 'The Wild Wild West' which is where he was spotted by James Bond's producers and tapped for his iconic role. He was also seen as the former boss of Adam Sandler's character in the golf comedy Happy Gilmore, and could have been the Incredible Hulk in the 1970's television series, although he was ultimately passed over in favour of Lou Ferrigno.

More: Bond Villain's Teeth-maker Fined By Dentist Watchdog

More: Richard Kiel's Balance Blow

Following a car accident in 1992, Kiel was left with a bad head injury that affected his balance, and had to walk with a cane or use a wheelchair or scooter to get around. Despite this, he continued to lead an active life, working right up until 2010. His last role was in the Disney film Tangled, where he leant his voice to the character Vladamir.

More: Mel Gibson? Actors Who 'Could' Have Been James Bond