Richard Kiel Dies at 74; Played Jaws in Bond Films

Richard Kiel's passing with health issues reminds us the need to plan early for health issues as part of our retirement planning.

Recommend This Page
Richard Kiel Dies at 74; Played Jaws in Bond Films
5 Min Read June 24th, 2015 Updated:April 29th, 2023

Celebrated for his unmistakable presence and memorable roles as formidable characters and extraterrestrials, Richard Kiel rose to stardom with his iconic portrayal of Jaws—a metal-toothed assassin in two James Bond films. Kiel's remarkable journey in the world of cinema came to an end in 2014 when he passed away at the age of 74.


In 1992, Kiel suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, which impacted his balance. Consequently, he had to rely on a cane for support, as seen in his appearance in Happy Gilmore. Later in life, Kiel utilized a scooter or wheelchair for mobility.


Acromegaly - What is It?


Kiel also battled Acromegaly, a chronic, life-threatening disease often linked to gigantism. This condition, typically caused by a pituitary tumor, results from an overproduction of growth hormone, which in turn triggers an excess of IGF-I. The excess hormones cause debilitating symptoms and long-term health issues. 


Patients with Acromegaly often experience headaches, excessive sweating, soft tissue swelling, joint disorders, and a progressive coarsening of facial features and enlargement of the hands, feet, and jaw. 


If left untreated, Acromegaly patients face a two to four times higher mortality rate than the average person, primarily due to severe heart complications, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers.


Benefited Acting Career


Kiel's imposing stature and enlarged bones in his hands, feet, and face contributed to his signature look, which he utilized to portray menacing characters and add a touch of comedy. His acting breakthrough came in 1974 with "The Longest Yard," where he played a weightlifting, crybaby inmate. Kiel went on to act in films such as "Silver Streak," "Jaws," "The Spy Who Loved Me," and "Moonraker."


Encouraged by a movie-loving aunt, Kiel began his acting career in the early 1960s with roles in the Western series "Laramie" and "The Rifleman." In 1962, he appeared in the classic "Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man" as a duplicitous alien visitor. Kiel also guest-starred on various TV series, including "Lassie," "Gilligan's Island," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Honey West," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "The Monkees," and "I Spy."


Health Changes Lead to Long-Term Health Care


As we age, health issues become more prevalent and can necessitate assistance with daily living activities. Considering the high long-term health care costs and the burden placed on family members, preparing for these eventualities before retirement is crucial. Addressing these concerns in advance ensures a secure and well-planned retirement.


Imbalance and falls are common issues that arise as people age, experience illness, or encounter accidents. Richard Kiel serves as just one of many examples of how imbalance can create challenges in daily life.  


Like Kiel, countless older adults face similar challenges as they navigate aging, with various factors contributing to their risk of imbalance and falls.


Aging and Changes in Health, Body, and Mind


Aging naturally brings about changes in our bodies, making us more susceptible to imbalance and falls. Factors such as reduced muscle mass, decreased bone density, and vision changes can all increase the likelihood of these incidents. Additionally, conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and neurological disorders can exacerbate these risks, making it even more difficult for older adults to maintain stability and prevent falls.


Accidents, like the one experienced by Kiel, can lead to lasting consequences that affect a person's ability to remain steady on their feet. Illness and accidents can also significantly impact an individual's balance and increase the risk of falls. For instance, those recovering from a stroke or dealing with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson's may find it harder to maintain balance.


The repercussions of imbalance and falls can be severe, often leading to injuries, loss of independence, and a decreased quality of life. In some cases, the injuries sustained from a fall can result in the need for long-term care or assistance with daily activities. This places a financial burden on individuals and their families and adds emotional stress as the person must adapt to their new circumstances.


LTC Insurance and Quality Care


Those with Long-Term Care Insurance can use their benefits to pay for their choice of care services, including in-home care. Some LTC policies will also pay for home modifications and medical alert systems, making it easier to remain at home. However, you cannot purchase a policy when you need care. Most people get coverage in their 40s or 50s while enjoying good health.


Preventing imbalance and falls is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of older adults. This can be achieved through regular exercise to improve strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as regular check-ups with healthcare providers to manage chronic conditions. 


Home modifications, such as installing grab bars and eliminating tripping hazards, can also help create a safer environment for those at risk of falls.

In conclusion, the challenges faced by Richard Kiel due to his imbalance serve as a reminder that aging, illness, and accidents can significantly impact our lives. By being proactive about our health and taking preventive measures, we can minimize the risks of imbalance and falls, helping to maintain independence and overall quality of life as we age.

Recommend This Page

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

The cost of long-term health care is exploding. It can impact our income and assets, changing our lifestyle and legacy. Some people might think that their spouse or adult children can provide care, but it's not fair to put that burden on them. Spouses, especially older ones, might not be physically or emotionally able to provide full-time care. In some situations, a spouse who is providing care becomes a prisoner in the home, placing limits on their life.

Adult children often have their own careers and families to take care of. Plus, family caregivers are usually untrained and unprepared to provide the needed quality care.

The solution can be Long-Term Care Insurance. What is Long-Term Care Insurance, and how much does it cost? First, you may not be aware that traditional health insurance, including Medicare and supplements (for those age 65+), won't pay for most long-term health care services. Those costs remain your responsibility. Don't expect Medicaid to pay for long-term care unless you have little income or assets. 

Long-term health care is your responsibility. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for these costs.

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance? What Does It Cover?

You might have been told or read that LTC Insurance is expensive. However, for most people, this is not true. Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed and priced, in part, by your age, health, family history, and the total amount of benefits within your policy. However, premiums vary dramatically between insurance companies.

The Real Costs of Long-Term Care Insurance

The time to get coverage is ideally in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy fairly good health and have the most affordable options.

LTC Insurance Specialists Point You in the Right Direction

Long-Term Care Insurance is regulated by both the federal and state governments. Federal rules provide consumer protections, regulated benefits triggers, and tax incentives. Long-Term Care Insurance specialists understand each company's policies, benefits, and underwriting criteria so they can match you with the best coverage at the best price. 

·        What Are Long-Term Care Insurance Regulations? How Do They Protect Policyholders?

·        How Does Your Health Impact Your Ability to Obtain Long-Term Care Insurance?

Some people turn to a financial advisor or a general insurance agent to help them shop for Long-Term Care Insurance. It is best to seek the help of a qualified specialist who works with the top insurance companies. They understand the products, underwriting, policy design, and claims. That expertise will save you money.

Keep in mind anyone can call themselves a specialist. Most specialists have helped hundreds or even thousands of people with LTC Insurance. They have processed claims, understand the benefits of the Partnership Program, are aware of the tax benefits, and will provide you with accurate quotes along with professional recommendations.

Many Long-Term Care specialists hold the CLTC® designation. That stands for "Certified in Long-Term Care," a professional credential awarded to individuals who have completed an education program focused on long-term care planning. The designation is offered by the Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification, which is an independent non-profit organization that sets standards for long-term care planning education.

Use LTC NEWS Tools and Resources for Your Research

Numerous resources on LTC NEWS are available to help you in your research: 

Parents Need Help Now – What to Do?

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether someone has a policy or not - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting to use Long-Term Care Insurance benefits to a later date is not a wise idea. 

If your parent or parents need help now, be sure to get them quality care now. LTC NEWS can help. Start with these comprehensive guides to help you in your process:

Like Writing? Contribute to LTC NEWS

You can improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can market yourself, your business, and your website or blog. Your article can include links to other sites, and you can share the article you write for LTC NEWS once it is published on your website or social media. Remember, your article must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and not just an advertisement. LTC NEWS has several advertising options including Sponsored Content if you want a more aggressive message.

Email your story idea or article: - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner

Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Benefits of Sponsored Content on LTC NEWS

Sponsored Content can be a highly effective way to drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and build relationships with your target audience. 

By partnering with LTC NEWS, you can reach new potential customers who might be thinking about your product or services, some of whom may have yet to hear of your business.

Sponsored content articles can also benefit your website by providing valuable content that engages and educates your audience. This type of content can be a refreshing change from traditional advertisements and can help to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry. 

In addition, sponsored content can help to boost your website's SEO by providing high-quality, relevant content that search engines value. When your article and website appear on LTC NEWS, it adds tremendous credibility, which benefits your website and SEO.

Overall, Sponsored Content articles on LTC NEWS can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy, helping to drive traffic to your website, improve SEO, increase brand awareness, and build relationships with your target audience. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email -  


LTC News Trusted & Verified

Work With a Trusted Specialist

Get Accurate Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man and woman sitting at desk
  • Latest

  • Oldest

  • Homecare

  • Health

  • Government

  • Care Facilities

  • Pets

  • People

  • Lifestyle

  • Insurance

No Results

Step 1 of 4

Find a Specialist

Get Started Today

Trusted & Verified Specialists

Work with a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Today

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Compare Insurers