Yaphet Kotto, an actor known for his roles as Parker in Alien, the Eighth Passenger and Al Giardello in Homicide, has died at age 81 of unknown causes.
The news was announced by his wife on Facebook. “I am saddened and still shocked by the passing of my husband of 24 years; Yaphet. He died last night around 10:30 PM Philippine time,” she wrote on March 16.
“We still had a lot of plans, honey, which we talked about, you had a lot of interviews waiting and you had offers from movies like G.I. Joe and the Tom Cruise movie, among others,” she revealed.
“You still had plans to publish your book and build a religious organization based on Yogananda’s teachings. You played a villain in some of your movies, but to me you are a true hero and to many people too. A good man, a good father , a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find. One of the best actors in Hollywood, a legend. Rest in peace, honey, “he added.
Kotto, who was a member of the New York Actors Studio, debuted at age 19 in an Othello production and later starred in The Great White Hope on Broadway. Years later he went on to act in front of the cameras, appearing in The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and playing the villain Kananga in Live and Let Die, a James Bond film.
His filmography includes titles such as Brubaker with Robert Redford, Alien, the eighth passenger with Sigourney Weaver, Persecuted with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Escape at midnight with Robert De Niro or Stolen Hearts with Sandra Bullock. His last role came in 2008, when he played Ricardo Bodi in Crazy Witness Protection.