RICHARD KEIL, PLAYED JAWS IN BOND FILMS
St. Agnes Medical Center confirmed the death without giving a cause, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Kiel (pronounced keel) stood more than seven feet tall, weighed upward of 300 pounds and had a hormonal disorder known as acromegaly, which is often associated with gigantism and causes a gradual enlargement of bones in the hands, the feet and the face, all of which gave him a distinctive appearance that he mustered effectively for both threatening and comic effect.
It frustrated him, he sometimes said, that people often confused him with other outsize entertainment figures, like Andre the Giant, the wrestler-turned-actor; Ted Cassidy, who played Lurch on “The Addams Family,” or Fred Gwynne, who was the Frankenstein-like Herman Munster on “The Munsters.”
But Mr. Kiel was nonetheless an easy-to-recognize presence on television, and a frequent one, beginning in the 1960s, playing characters with names like Moose, Iggy, Animal — and, inevitably, Tiny — on a variety of dramatic and comedy series.
His movie break came in “The Longest Yard” (1974), a comedy-melodrama set in a prison starring Burt Reynolds about a football game between convicts and guards. Mr. Kiel played a weight lifting inmate who turns out to be a bit of a crybaby. He subsequently played a henchman for an evil art dealer (Patrick McGoohan) in the antic chase movie “Silver Streak” (1976), with Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor and Jill Clayburgh.
His next film role was the one with which he became most identified, as Jaws, who pursues the Roger Moore rendition of James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977). A murderous hulk whose glinting dental work could chomp through a mountain tram cable and outbite a shark, Jaws returned in the next Bond film, “Moonraker” (1979), also with Mr. Moore. Here he goes through a character transformation, seeing the error of his loyalties, and joins Bond in the fight against evil, acquiring a sweet blond girlfriend in the process.
“There are very few people that are stone-faced killers in real life, so I think it’s a lot more interesting to play a villain as a person who is real,” Mr. Kiel said in a video interview posted on YouTube this year, explaining the popularity of Jaws. “A real-life person who still has a mother or a father, a girlfriend, a dog or something.”
Richard Dawson Kiel was born in the Detroit area on Sept. 13, 1939, and lived there until he was 8, when the family moved to Los Angeles. His parents ran an appliance store. After high school, he had numerous odd jobs, as a nightclub bouncer, a cemetery plot salesman and, as he recalled in 1985 on “Late Night With David Letterman,” a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.
“I bet folks were happy to see you on the porch,” Mr. Letterman said.
It was a movie-buff aunt who suggested that Mr. Kiel try acting. In the early 1960s he had parts on the western series “Laramie” and “The Rifleman.” More memorably, in 1962, with an enlarged cranium and an electronic voice, he was a deceitful visitor from outer space in “To Serve Man,” a classic episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
Mr. Kiel made guest appearances on a variety of television 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.” He played Voltaire, an assistant to the evil scientist Dr. Miguelito Loveless (played by Michael Dunn, who had dwarfism) in several episodes of the comic adventure series “The Wild Wild West.”
His other films included “Force 10 From Navarone” (1979), a World War II film with Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw; “Pale Rider” (1985), a vaguely mystical western in which Clint Eastwood whips him in a fight; and “Happy Gilmore,” the farcical golf comedy with Adam Sandler in which Mr. Kiel plays a vocal and slightly mad-seeming fan.
Mr. Kiel revealed in a 2002 autobiography, “Making It Big in the Movies,” that he suffered from a fear of heights. He admitted that he had battled alcoholism and was able to stop drinking as a born-again Christian. In 1991, he was seriously injured in a car accident, affecting his balance and causing him to cut back on his work.
Mr. Kiel’s survivors include his wife, Diane, who is 5-feet-1 and whom he met in Georgia while filming “The Longest Yard,” and several children and grandchildren.
“Somebody once asked Diane what attracted her to me,” Mr. Kiel said in a 1978 interview with United Press International. “And she replied, ‘We see eye to eye on so many things.’ ”
GERALD WILSON, VERSATILE JAZZ ARRANGER
His son, Anthony, a jazz guitarist, confirmed the death.
Mr. Wilson was not yet 21 when he joined the Jimmie Lunceford band in 1939 as a trumpeter, replacing Sy Oliver, and he was believed to have been the last surviving member of its prewar incarnation. He went on to write and arrange rich and imaginative music for Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and many other major names in jazz. He brought robust harmonies and a wide spectrum of colors to his orchestrations, but he may have been best known for his versatility and his enduring freshness.
“Even if you were chronologically decades or maybe generations younger than Gerald, you always felt like he was the youngest person in the room,” Loren Schoenberg, a saxophonist and conductor who is the artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, said in an interview on Tuesday. “He had none of that feeling that you were hanging out with a guy from the 1930s or 1940s.”
Mr. Wilson was often a behind-the-scenes influence; even if you had never heard of him, you were often hearing him. Usually he was given credit. Sometimes his work was brazenly borrowed.
The memorable melody from “Yard Dog Mazurka,” the stomping hit he wrote for Lunceford (and among Mr. Wilson’s favorites of his own compositions), resurfaced as “Intermission Riff,” a hit for the Stan Kenton band for which Ray Wetzel was credited as the composer. Mr. Wilson considered suing but decided against it. Years later, he wrote for Mr. Kenton — and received credit.
Settled in California by the 1950s, Mr. Wilson showed little regard for stylistic boundaries, working with pop musicians, film composers and his own eclectic and admired big band, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, whose members over the years included the guitarist Joe Pass and the trumpeter Snooky Young. Clean-cut early on, he dropped the neckties, opened his collar and let his hair grow into a mane that became silver with age. He recorded a string of well-received albums on the Pacific Jazz label in the 1960s that included variations on Mexican music and pop and often felt little like the jazz that had come before.
The title song of his 1968 album, “California Soul,” was written by the rhythm-and-blues duo Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. The album also included a version of the Doors’ hit “Light My Fire.”
When Mr. Wilson came to New York in 1988 to take part in an American Jazz Orchestra retrospective of his music, it was his first appearance in the city in 25 years. In an interview with The New York Times that year, he gave a glimpse of his varied career and why he pursued it.
“When I worked for Mercury and Capitol records in the ’50s and ’60s, I did a lot of pop dates, from Bobby Darin to Nancy Wilson,” he told The Times. “I knew how to do it, and using it all made sense as well as money. I worked in commercial music in Hollywood, writing for the Platters, working with Maxwell Davis backing B. B. King. I did Nancy Wilson’s rock-styled stuff. I worked on the country-western albums for Ray Charles. Then I recorded ‘Light My Fire.’ None of it was hard to do, because all of these trends came from jazz people to begin with.”
Gerald Stanley Wilson was born on Sept. 4, 1918, in Shelby, Miss. He began playing piano at 4, learning from his mother, who taught music and other subjects in Shelby’s segregated black schools.
His family later moved to Memphis, where he first saw the Lunceford band perform. By 16 he was living in Detroit, attending Cass Technical High School.
In addition to his son, Mr. Wilson’s survivors include his wife, Josefina Villaseñor; two daughters, Geraldine LeDuff and Nancy Jo Wilson; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Mr. Wilson left the Lunceford band to serve in the Navy during World War II. After his military service, he formed a big band that performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and in 1949 he toured the South with Billie Holiday.
Six decades later, he was still at it. Among his most recent albums was “Monterey Moods” (2007), a suite he composed in honor of the Monterey Jazz Festival, where he first played in 1963.
“Dealing with four- or five-part harmony, the sound can only get that big,” Mr. Wilson, gesturing with his fingers, told The Times in 1988. Then he opened his arms wide. “But with 10 voices, it’s like that.
“With a few voices, the sound of the band can’t ever get any bigger. No matter how loud you play it, it won’t get larger. But I love to orchestrate, because if you know what you are doing, there are no boundaries.”
An obituary on Wednesday about the jazz composer, arranger, bandleader and trumpeter Gerald Wilson referred incorrectly to part of Loren Schoenberg’s work in music. Besides being the artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Mr. Schoenberg, who was quoted praising Mr. Wilson, is a saxophonist and conductor, not a saxophonist and composer.
S. TRUETT CATHY, CHICK-FIL-A FOUNDER
“I cook chicken for a living,” he would say.
And on the surface, that was true. Mr. Cathy, who died on Monday at 93, was by all appearances a humble Christian man from Georgia with little education who sold a simple sandwich: a breaded, boneless chicken breast on a soft, white, buttered bun with nothing more than a couple of pickles for garnish.
But as the founder of the Chick-fil-A fast-food empire, he was also a billionaire several times over and, as a conservative Christian who ran his business according to his religious principles, he was at once a hero and a symbol of intolerance. Many admired him for closing his outlets on Sundays and speaking out against same-sex marriage. Others vilified his the chain as a symbol of hate.
He died at his home in Clayton County, Ga., a Chick-fil-A spokesman said.
Rising to prominence between Robert Woodruff, who took over Coca-Cola in the 1920s, and Sam Walton, who began the Walmart chain with a small store in Bentonville, Ark., in 1950, Mr. Cathy was one of a handful of Southern entrepreneurs who in one lifetime took small, hometown companies to a global level.
“He was really part of that generation that was our version of the Rockefellers or Henry Ford,” said William Ferris, a director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “They moved the South in ways that could have never been anticipated in their lifetime.”
Mr. Cathy’s company and its charitable arms have reached widely throughout the South, helping the region’s economy and promoting the founder’s Baptist values. The company required potential franchise operators, for example, to discuss their marital status and their civic and church involvement.
Mr. Cathy said he closed his restaurants on Sundays so that his employees could spend time with their families. But the policy was also a way to honor his faith.
“It’s a silent witness to the Lord when people go into shopping malls, and everyone is bustling, and you see that Chick-fil-A is closed,” he once told a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Mr. Cathy’s beliefs underpinned the activities of the WinShape Foundation, a charitable arm of his empire that provided for scholarships, camps and foster care before branching out to support organizations that promoted traditional marriage. The foundation gave millions of dollars toward their efforts to oppose extending marriage rights to couples of the same sex.
Gay and lesbian activist groups and bloggers began investigating the foundation’s donations, and the issue blew up in 2012 after his son, Dan, the company president, gave a series of provocative interviews.
“As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ ” Dan Cathy said.
Advocates of same-sex marriage initiated boycotts and campaigned to stop franchises from opening in some cities and on some college campuses. Those who supported the family’s views also rallied, flooding Chick-fil-A restaurants.
In response, the company said it would step back from the policy debate over same-sex marriage and stop funding most of the groups that were at the center of the storm. Mr. Cathy never wavered in his beliefs, however — a point mentioned by politicians, celebrities and business leaders who commented on his death.
“In every facet of his life, Truett Cathy has exemplified the finest aspects of his Christian faith,” former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement. “By his example, he has been a blessing to countless people.”
Samuel Truett Cathy, one of seven children, was born on March 14, 1921, in Eatonton, Ga., the hometown as well of the author Alice Walker and Joel Chandler Harris, who wrote the Uncle Remus stories.
By 8, Truett, as he was called, was selling bottles of Coca-Cola in his front yard. Six years later, the Depression drove his parents to move the family to a public-housing project, the nation’s first, in downtown Atlanta.
A poor student, Mr. Cathy never went to college, but he developed a sharp business acumen, which was supplemented by a strong work ethic he had learned from his parents. He often said the only time he ever saw his mother with her eyes closed was when she was in her coffin.
After he returned from the Army in World War II, he and his brother Ben opened a diner in Hapeville, Ga., just south of Atlanta, in 1946. Many of his customers worked at a nearby Ford plant. The squat shape of the building inspired the name: the Dwarf Grill, later renamed to Dwarf House.
Chicken became a focus when Mr. Cathy started acquiring chicken breasts that had been rejected by Delta Air Lines, because they were either too large or too small for the airline’s food trays. Mr. Cathy began experimenting, frying breaded chicken in a cast-iron pan with a lid, the way his mother used to.
He gave his sandwich its unusual name so that a nation just falling in love with fast-food hamburgers might better understand his product: Chick-fil-A was meant to suggest a chicken steak.
As malls came to the South, Mr. Cathy opened a Chick-fil-A at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. It was a pioneering effort to put fast food in shopping centers.
By 2013, the privately held Chick-fil-A had more than 1,800 restaurants and sales of more than $5 billion.
Mr. Cathy instructed his heirs, who run the company, that they may sell it but must never take it public, because such a move could curtail the immense amount of charitable giving the company engages in.
Mr. Cathy is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jeannette; three children, Dan Cathy, Don Cathy and Trudy Cathy White; 18 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
In the five books he wrote, Mr. Cathy often emphasized the importance of giving over receiving and of treating others as you would like to be treated.
“We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed,” he said, “and the important things will not change if we keep our priorities in proper order.”
An obituary on Tuesday about S. Truett Cathy, the founder of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, misattributed, in some editions, a quotation about same-sex marriage, which was strongly opposed by a charitable arm of Mr. Cathy’s empire. It was Dan Cathy, Mr. Cathy’s son and the president of Chick-fil-A — not Mr. Cathy — who said, “As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ ” The obituary also misstated the decade during which Robert Woodruff, Mr. Cathy’s predecessor as a successful Southern entrepreneur, took over the Coca-Cola Company. It was in the 1920s, not the 1930s.
Alan Blinder contributed reporting.