It is with a heavy heart that we wish the family of Yaphet Kotto our grievances. Yaphet Kotto was an incredible American actor, and one of the few of his time to break through the racial stereotypes in Hollywood. He had an intensity about him that really commanded attention, and stole the scene.
Tessie Sinahon, Kotto’s wife, posted to Facebook last night.
“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.” She continues, “… 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.”
Yaphet had an extensive career in Hollywood spanning 50 years. His acting debut was in 1964’s Nothing But A Man and ended with him reprising his role from Alien, as a voice actor in 2014’s Alien: Isolation Video Game. Ridley Scott’s 1979 SciFi Horror Slasher film Alien, was my first introduction to Yahpet as an actor. He was by far the strongest supporting character in the film. Hell, he was the only character, in my opinion, to match Sigourney Weaver’s Ridley.
Another notable work includes, 1973’s 007 Live and Let Die. Here he plays a corrupt dictator, that just so happens to be a powerful drug lord as well. Balancing the political nuance, with the evil brutality he absolutely kills it in this film.
While I have barely scratched the surface of his work, he has always been an actor who has impressed me. Even in movies like the Running Man, where he works with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or coming into an existing franchise with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. He always did an outstanding job and really shines in every role I’ve seen.
Salut Yaphet Kotto
You were and will continue to be, even in death, an inspiration to millions. At 81 he lived a full, and very inspirational life, and even at that age had big plans to continue to work and inspire those around him. May you live forever in the hearts and minds of those you have and will continue to inspire.
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