In Memoriam: Bond villain Yaphet Kotto (15 November 1939 – 15 March 2021)

In Memoriam: Bond villain Yaphet Kotto (15 November 1939 – 15 March 2021)

March 16, 2021 0 By 007 Travelers

We are really sad to report that Yaphet Kotto has passed away at the age of 81. Someone so special can never be forgotten.

Yaphet Kotto in “Live and Let Die” (1973)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

Yaphet Kotto was a memorable Bond villain Kananga / Mr. Big in Roger Moore‘s first Bond film “Live and Let Die” (1973). He is also known for his roles in such movies like “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968), “Across 110th Street” (1972), “Raid on Entebbe” (1976), “Alien” (1979), “Brubaker” (1980), “The Running Man” (1987), “Midnight Run” (1988) and “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” (1991).

Kotto was born on the 15th of November 1939 in New York, USA and he started studying acting at the age of 16 and he made his acting debut in Othello, when he was 19 years old. Kotto was a member of the famous Actors Studio in New York.

He made his film debut in 1963 in “4 For Texas“. In 1968 he got a supporting role in “The Thomas Crown Affair” starring Steve McQueen, before landed to a role of Bond villain Kananga / Mr. Big in “Live and Let Die” (1973). Mr. Big is a mob boss in United States. When Bond follow the trails to the island of San Monique, Bond finds out that the island’s dictator Dr. Kananga is producing heroin on the island. Later is revealed that Kananga and Mr. Big is the one and the same man.

Kotto’s first marriage was to a German immigrant, Rita Ingrid Dittman, whom he married in 1959. They had three children together before divorcing in 1976. Later, Kotto married Toni Pettyjohn, and they also had three children together, before divorcing in 1989. Kotto married his third wife, Tessie Sinahon, on July 12, 1998 (Wikipedia).