Birthday: November 15, 1937 Birth
Place: New York, New York, USA Height: 6' 3"
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African American actor Yaphet Kotto was one of the most prominent beneficiaries of the upsurge in black-oriented theatrical pieces of the late 1950s; he appeared in many prestigious Broadway and off-Broadway productions, taking regional theatre work rather than accept stereotypical "mainstream" roles in movies and TV. Kotto's first film was Nothing But a Man (1964), an independently produced study of black pride in the face of white indifference. Though he vehemently steered clear of most of the '70s blaxploitation fare, in 1972, Kotto produced, directed and wrote the feature film Speed Limit 65 (aka The Limit and Time Limit), a one-of-a-kind "black biker" film. The biggest production with which Kotto was associated in the early 1970s was the James Bond film Live and Let Die, in which, as the villainous Mr. Big, he was blown up in the final scene (a similarly grisly fate awaited Kotto in 1979's Alien). On television, Yaphet Kotto was a regular on the TV series For Love and Honor (1983) and Homicide: Life on the Streets (1992), and was seen as Ugandan president Idi Amin in the 1977 TV movie Raid on Entebbe.
Oldest son, Fred, is a very successful San José Police Dept. California (USA) officer.
He is the son of a Cameroonian crown prince.
Has a Bay Area hardcore punk band named after him.
Moved form Littleton, Colorado to Canada, because he felt it would be safer to live there. Two years after moving, he saw the news coverage on Columbine, and recognized some of the kids fleeing the school.
Both parents are African Jews. In an interview he said being fully Black and Jewish gave other kids even more reason to pick on him growing up in New York City. However, to this day, he remains a devout, practicing Jew.
Campaigned for Steve Forbes during his bid for the Republican nomination for the Presidency in the 2000 primaries.
Turned down the role of Lando Calrissian in 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back' (1980). He feared that Lando would be killed in the movie, and that he would be forever typecast.
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