Yaphet Kotto

Active - 1963 - 2017  |   Born - Mar 15, 2021 in New York City, New York, United States  |   Died - Mar 15, 2021   |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

African American actor Yaphet Kotto was one of the most prominent beneficiaries of the upsurge in black-oriented theatrical pieces of the late 1950s; he appeared in many prestigious Broadway and off-Broadway productions, taking regional theatre work rather than accept stereotypical "mainstream" roles in movies and TV. Kotto's first film was Nothing But a Man (1964), an independently produced study of black pride in the face of white indifference. Though he vehemently steered clear of most of the '70s blaxploitation fare, in 1972, Kotto produced, directed and wrote the feature film Speed Limit 65 (aka The Limit and Time Limit), a one-of-a-kind "black biker" film. The biggest production with which Kotto was associated in the early 1970s was the James Bond film Live and Let Die, in which, as the villainous Mr. Big, he was blown up in the final scene (a similarly grisly fate awaited Kotto in 1979's Alien). On television, Yaphet Kotto was a regular on the TV series For Love and Honor (1983) and Homicide: Life on the Streets (1992), and was seen as Ugandan president Idi Amin in the 1977 TV movie Raid on Entebbe.

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