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REST IN PEACE BOND VILLAIN & ACTING LEGEND YAPHET KOTTO

YAPHET KOTTO on his role as the first black Bond villain in LIVE AND LET DIE

Roger Moore's first James Bond venture LIVE AND LET DIE, the 1973 spy blaxploitation throwing everything into the pot including pimp cars, voodoo, killer crocodiles, serpents, zombies, a boat chase and so much more, wasn't so beloved by actor Yaphet Kotto, who played the drug lord Kananga... a memorable performance as a groundbreaking Bond heavy, being the first black villain in the franchise...

YAPHET KOTTO: There were so many problems with that script… I was too afraid of coming off like Mantan Moreland… I had to dig deep in my soul and brain and come up with a level of reality that would offset the sea of stereotype crap that Tom Mankiewicz wrote that had nothing to do with the Black experience or culture...

Roger Moore, Jane Seymour and Yaphet Kotto in LIVE AND LET DIE

YAPHET KOTTO (CONTINUED): It was the first Black Bond villain, I wanted to be original… but there was nothing I could draw on from Tom’s script. It was a trap...

If I had played it the way it was written, every Black Organization in the world would have been on my case. I had to draw on a real life situation I was going through and that saved me…But the way Kananga dies was a joke… and… well… the entire experience was not as rewarding as I wanted it to be. There were a lot of pitfalls that I had to avoid, and I did.  

The famous, or for Kotto, infamous balloon death of Kananga in LIVE AND LET DIE
ane Seymour and Yaphet Kotto in LIVE AND LET DIE

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