Richard Kiel as "Jaws" in 'James Bond'

How Christianity Helped Defeat James Bond Star’s Alcoholism

Richard Kiel as "Jaws" in 'James Bond'

The late actor Richard Kiel, famous for playing James Bond villain “Jaws”, overcame his alcoholism by focusing on his beliefs as a Born-Again Christian.

Another bright star from Hollywood has faded this month. Richard Kiel, best known for playing James Bond villain “Jaws”, has passed away, leaving a rich legacy in the studio arts. However, while his contributions to the world of film cannot be overstated, many people are beginning to focus on the effect that he had in the world of religion. Being a Born-Again Christian, Richard Kiel had a great deal of insight to spread about how his faith impacted his life.

A Famous Smile

Richard Kiel gained widespread attention for his portrayal of Jaws in the James Bond franchise, where he starred in two films. Much in the same way that he lived his life, Jaws started as a somewhat unenlightened character, only to be redeemed in the second movie where he helps Bond and begins his life anew. Later in his career he went on to star in comedies such as Happy Gilmore, where he returned as a larger than life man with a purpose of saving the titular character from being bullied by Shooter McGavin.

A Troubled Past

Behind his famous, albeit deadly, smile was a troubled man who had several negative experiences in his early life. These were compounded by the fact that he was thrust into stardom with the popularity of the James Bond films pushed him towards alcoholism. It started a decade long spiral into despair and addiction that nearly cost him his career and health.

A Chance Encounter

With his fourth child on the way, Richard Kiel could tell he had an alcohol abuse problem, and he knew that something would need to change before he was fit to raise his children again. Although he had been a Christian his entire life, his career had pushed his faith to the back of his mind for over two decades. It took the alcohol related death of his former co-star to push him towards finding some form of help for his addiction.

As Richard Kiel told it, he was watching a Christian program one night and decided to pray along with the host, and the experience changed his life forever. From that day on, Kiel did his best to go to church and live his life according to Christian ideals. With his wife and children by his side, Kiel continued to make the most out of his career, giving speeches at conventions and meeting with long term fans. With his renewed faith in Christianity, he was able to overcome his alcoholism and become a family man once again.

He will always be remembered for his simultaneously heartwarming and heart stopping smile.


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