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Yaphet Kotto, star of 'Alien' and 'Running Man', dies aged 81

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Yaphet Kotto has died at age 81, his agent Ryan Goldhar has confirmed to Variety.

The actor, who starred in AlienRunning Man and James Bond film Live and Let Die among others, has been remembered by fans and collaborators alike across social media.

“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,” Kotto’s wife Tessie Sinahon wrote on Facebook last night (March 15).

Posted by Yaphet Kotto on Monday, March 15, 2021

Her tribute continued: “…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.

“One of the best actor in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I’m gonna miss you everyday, my bestfriend, my rock.”

Shaun of the Dead filmmaker Edgar Wright paid his respects to Kotto on Twitter, writing: “RIP Yaphet Kotto, a brilliant magnetic presence, bringing gravitas & naturalism to deep space or underground Bond lair.

“So memorable as Parker in Alien, Kananga (Mr Big) in Live & Let Die, Smokey James in Blue Collar or in the simmering funny rage of Midnight Run‘s Alonzo Mosely.”

“Yaphet Kotto. My Mom’s favorite,” wrote Ava DuVernay in another post. “He’s one of those actors who deserved more than the parts he got.”

She continued: “But he took those parts and made them wonderful all the same. A star. Rest well, sir.”

Kotto played Caribbean dictator Dr. Kanaga and his alter ego Mr. Big in the 1973 Bond film, and took on the role of technician Dennis Parker in Alien in 1979.

The actor also starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 action film The Running Man, and had a regular role in NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street between 1993 and 1999.

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