The world lost the perfect villain with the passing of Richard Kiel on September 10th, currently listed as unknown causes but assumed to be connected to his recent broken leg, at the age of 74 years old.
Kiel is most likely remembered by many for his towering height (7’2) and two specific roles, as Jaws in two James Bond movies and Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore (nail in the head), though he was so much more. As an actor he has been working since the early 1960s including some very memorable roles in Twilight Zone, Gilligan’s Island, The Wild West, The Longest Yard, Silver Streak (His first metal mouth villain role), Force 10 From Navarone and Cannonball Run II.
Growing up I don’t know how many times I watched him as Kanamit in the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man”, an episode later spoofed by The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, or saying probably his most famous line “I think I broke his fuckin neck” in The Longest Yard.
Richard Kiel has appeared in quite a few sets over the years including Donruss, Rittenhouse, Razor/Leaf releases and most recently the 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary release. Prior to his passing his Topps 75th Anniversary autograph topped out around $8-10 while the other autographs ran in the $25-50 range. Sadly the toads have shown up and his Topps cards have tripled in price (@$25-30) and the others doubling ($50 and up).
For the past year I have been tracking a number of his autographs in hopes of finding one at a reasonable price. Specifically his Twilight Zone and James Bond cards but I would have been satisfied with the ugly Topps 75th but I felt that the price was too high for the ugly scribble signature he used (obviously he was disconnected when signing the stickers for Topps).
Eventually the prices will drop again, similar to when Russell Johnson passed away in January, so I will just wait until then before picking up his cards.