Richard was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. And despite what you might think, was a perfectly normal-sized young boy until he experienced a sudden growth spurt in his teens.
Richard has been described as the ‘gentle giant’ of the film business, with his 7’ 2” frame. In fact Roger Moore said of Richard “the only things greater than his height are his heart and intelligence”.
Aside from acting, Richard is an accomplished writer and producer. In the early 90s he co-wrote and executive-produced The Giant Of Thunder Mountain. A film he brought in under-budget and ahead of schedule, and furthermore it was awarded the “Film Advisory Board’s Family Film Award Of Excellence.”
It is, however, true to say that Richard is remembered most famously as Jaws, the deadly henchman in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. His return in the second adventure was due to stunt co-ordinator Bob Simmons suggesting that as the character proved so popular, it might be wise to let him survive!
It took Richard 18 years as a struggling actor to become an overnight success with the Bond film!
Richard was originally cast as the Incredible Hulk for the tv series, though make-up problems (he is blind in one eye, and the green make-up severely irritated his good eye) saw him decline the part. However, he went on to enjoy a varied career – appearing in tv series such as The Monkees, The Twilight Zone and films such as The Nutty Professor, The Longest Yard, Barbary Coat, Silver Streak, Pale Rider (directed by and starring Clint Eastwood), Force Ten From Navarone and Happy Gilmore.
In 2002 his autobiography Making It Big n The Movies was published by Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, London.
Kiel's current project is about "Cassius Clay," and one that he has researched for over 23 years. He wrote the original screenplays over a two and one-half year period of time.
"This is not a story about Muhammad Ali but rather one about the white man who ran for president at the same time as Abraham Lincoln. It's a story about a man who put his life on the line, who suffered assassination attempts on his own life and the poisoning of his children, all caused by his quest to put an end to slavery."
"Cassius Clay" did so much to cause the freedom of the slaves, including Muhammad Ali's great-great-grandfather, that Ali's father and the boxing champion himself were both named after him."
"It's an actors dream role, full of action, romance and even courtroom drama. It has all the high drama and award potential of a "SCHINDLERS LIST" and all of the romance of "GONE WITH THE WIND. It's a film about a little known American hero in an era of America that is amazingingly fascinating."
Kiel has just completed co-writing a novel: Kentucky Lion, The Cassius Clay Story with co-author Pamela Wallace author of 29 published novels and “Academy Award: winning screenwriter for the movie “Witness” starring Harrison Ford.
The same “Academy Award” winning screenwriter has been optioned to polish Kiel’s screenplays for the movie or miniseries version.