Frederick Samuel Kotto
November 15, 1939
New York City, U.S.
|Died||March 15, 2021 (aged 81)|
|Years active||1963–2008, 2014|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
Yaphet Frederick Kotto (born Frederick Samuel Kotto on November 15, 1939 – March 15, 2021) was an American actor known for numerous film roles, as well as starring in the NBC television series Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999) as Lieutenant Al Giardello. His films include the science-fiction film Alien (1979), and the Arnold Schwarzenegger science-fiction film The Running Man (1987). He portrayed the main villain Dr. Kananga in the James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973), and he appeared opposite Robert De Niro in the comedy thriller Midnight Run (1988) as FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely.
Kotto was born Frederick Samuel Kotto in New York City. His mother, Gladys Marie, was an American nurse and U.S. Army officer of Panamanian and West Indian descent. His father, Yaphet Avraham Kotto, (who was, according to his son, originally named Njoki Manga Bell) was a businessman from Cameroon who emigrated to the United States in the 1920s. The couple separated when Kotto was a child, and he was raised by his maternal grandparents. His father was raised Jewish and his mother converted to Judaism.
By the age of 16, Kotto was studying acting at the Actors Mobile Theater Studio, and at 19, he made his professional acting debut in Othello. He was a member of the Actors Studio in New York. Kotto got his start in acting on Broadway, where he appeared in The Great White Hope, among other productions.
His film debut was in 1963, aged 23, in an uncredited role in 4 For Texas. He performed in Michael Roemer's Nothing But a Man (1964) and played a supporting role in the caper film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). He played John Auston, a confused Marine Lance Corporal, in the 1968 episode, "King of the Hill", on the first season of Hawaii Five-O.
In 1967 he released a single, "Have You Ever Seen the Blues" / "Have You Dug His Scene" (Chisa Records, CH006).
In 1973 he landed the role of the James Bond villain Mr. Big in Live and Let Die, as well as roles in Across 110th Street and Truck Turner. Kotto portrayed Idi Amin in the 1977 television film Raid on Entebbe. He starred as an auto worker in the 1978 film Blue Collar. The following year he played Parker in the sci-fi–horror film Alien. He followed with a supporting role in the 1980 prison drama Brubaker. In 1983, he guest-starred as mobster Charlie "East Side Charlie" Struthers in The A-Team episode "The Out-of-Towners". In 1987, he appeared in the futuristic sci-fi movie The Running Man, and in 1988, in the action-comedy Midnight Run, in which he portrayed Alonzo Moseley, an FBI agent. A memo from Paramount indicates that Kotto was among those being considered for Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a role which eventually went to Patrick Stewart.
Kotto was cast as a religious man living in the southwestern desert country in the 1967 episode, "A Man Called Abraham", on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Robert Taylor. In the story line, Abraham convinces a killer named Cassidy (Rayford Barnes) that Cassidy can change his heart despite past crimes. When Cassidy is sent to the gallows, Abraham provides spiritual solace. Bing Russell also appeared in this segment.
Kotto retired from film acting in the mid-1990s, though had one final film role in Witless Protection (2008). However, he continued to take on television roles. Kotto portrayed Lieutenant Al Giardello in the long-running television series Homicide: Life on the Street. He has written the book Royalty and also wrote scripts for Homicide. In 2014, he voiced "Parker" for the video game Alien: Isolation, reprising the role he played in the movie Alien in 1979.
Kotto's first marriage was to a German immigrant, Rita Ingrid Dittman, whom he married in 1959. They had three children together before divorcing in 1976. Later, Kotto married Toni Pettyjohn, and they also had three children together, before divorcing in 1989. Kotto married his third wife, Tessie Sinahon, who is from the Philippines, in 1998.
Kotto was versed in the Hebrew liturgy and incorporated Jewish prayers at turning points throughout his life. He said his father "instilled Judaism" in him.
In 2000, he was living in Marmora, Ontario, Canada.
He died on March 15, 2021, at the age of 81 near Manila, Philippines. His wife, who announced the news on Facebook, did not reveal the cause of his death.
|1963||4 for Texas||Extra||Uncredited|
|1964||Nothing But a Man||Jocko|
|1968||The Thomas Crown Affair||Carl|
|5 Card Stud||Little George (Mama's bartender)|
|1970||The Liberation of L.B. Jones||Sonny Boy Mosby|
|1971||Man and Boy||Nate Hodges|
|The Limit||Mark Johnson||Also director|
|Across 110th Street||Lt. Pope|
|1973||Live and Let Die||Dr. Kananga / Mr. Big|
|1974||Truck Turner||Harvard Blue|
|1975||Report to the Commissioner||Richard "Crunch" Blackstone|
|Sharks' Treasure||Ben Flynn|
|Friday Foster||Colt Hawkins|
|The Monkey Hustle||Big Daddy Foxx|
|1978||Blue Collar||Smokey James|
|1979||Alien||Technician Dennis Parker|
|1980||Brubaker||Richard 'Dickie' Coombes|
|Othello||Othello||No commercial release|
|1982||Fighting Back||Ivanhoe Washington|
|1983||The Star Chamber||Det. Harry Lowes|
|1984||Terror in the Aisles||Himself|
|1985||Warning Sign||Major Connolly|
|1986||Eye of the Tiger||J. B. Deveraux|
|Terminal Entry||Conl. Styles|
|The Running Man||William Laughlin|
|1988||Midnight Run||FBI Special Agent Alonzo Mosely|
|1989||The Jigsaw Murders||Doctor Filmore|
|A Whisper To A Scream||Jules Tallard|
|Ministry of Vengeance||Mr. Whiteside|
|Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare||Doc|
|1994||The Puppet Masters||Ressler|
|1995||Dead Badge||Captain Hunt|
|1996||Two If by Sea||FBI Agent O'Malley|
|2008||Witless Protection||Ricardo Bodi (alias Alonzo Mosley)||Final film role|
|1966–1967||The Big Valley||Lobo Brown
|Season 2, episode 11: "The Iron Box"|
Season 3, episode 15: "The Buffalo Man"
|1967||Death Valley Days||Abraham||Season 15, episode 26: "A Man Called Abraham"|
|1968||Bonanza||Joshua "Child" Barnett||Season 10, episode 2: "Child"|
|1968||The High Chaparral||Sergeant Major||Season 2, episode 10: "The Buffalo Soldiers"|
Western Heritage Bronze Wrangler Award for Best Fictional Television Drama
|1968||Daniel Boone||Luke||Season 5, episode 11: Big, Black and out There|
|1969||Mannix||Gabe Johnson / Gabriel Dillon||Season 2, episode 18: "Death in a Minor Key"|
|1969||Hawaii Five-O||Marine Lance Corporal John T. Auston||Season 1, episode 14: "King of the Hill"|
|1969||Daniel Boone||Jonah||Season 5, episode 18: "Jonah"|
|1970||Gunsmoke||Piney Biggs||Season 16, episode 10: "The Scavengers"|
|1970||Night Chase||Ernie Green||Television film|
|1971||Night Gallery||Buckner||Season 2, episode 13: "The Messiah on Mott Street"|
|1976||Raid on Entebbe||President Idi Amin Dada||Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie|
|1976||Crunch||Richard "Crunch" Blackstone||Television film|
|1982||A House Divided: Denmark Vesey's Rebellion||Denmark Vesey||Television film|
|1983||The A-Team||East-Side Charlie Struthers||Series 1, episode 8: "The Out-of-Towners" (1983)|
|1983||For Love and Honor||Sgt. China Bell||Television film|
|1983||Women of San Quentin||Sgt. Therman Patterson||Television film|
|1983–1984||For Love and Honor||Platoon Sgt. James "China" Bell||12 episodes|
|1985||Playing With Fire||Fire Chief Walker||Television film|
|1985||The Park is Mine||Eubanks||Television film|
|1985||Badge of the Assassin||Det. Cliff Fenton NYPD||Television film|
|1985||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Convict||Season 1, episode 10: "Prisoners"|
|1986||Harem||Agha Kislar||Television film|
|1987||In Self Defense||Lt. Tyrell||Television film|
|1987||Perry Mason: The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel||General Sorenson||Television film|
|1987||Murder, She Wrote||Lt. Bradshaw||Season 4, episode 8: "Steal Me a Story" (1987)|
|1989||Prime Target||Gilmore Brown||Television film|
|1990||After the Shock||William McElroy||Television film|
|1992||Chrome Soldiers||Perry Beach||Television film|
|1993||It's Nothing Personal||Lt. Riley||Television film|
|1993||The American Clock||Isaac||Television film|
|1993||seaQuest DSV||Captain Jack Clayton||Season 1, episode 6: "Treasures of the Tonga Trench"|
|1993–2000||Homicide: Life on the Street||Lieutenant Al Giardello||Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (1996-1999)|
|1994||The Corpse Had a Familiar Face||Detective Martin Talbot||Television film|
|1994||TV Nation||Himself||Pilot episode|
|1995||Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan||Marty Talbot||Television film|
|1997||The Defenders: Payback||Judge Williams||Television film|
|2000||Homicide: The Movie||Al "Gee" Giardello||Television film|
|2000||The Ride||Carter||Television film|
|2001||Stiletto Dance||Captain Rick Sands||Television film|
|2014||Alien: Isolation||Technician Dennis Parker||Voice role; Nostromo Edition|
The Immaculates by Rita Ingried, pseud. of Rita Ingried Kotto & Frederick Samuel Kotto
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=589464