R.I.P. Yaphet Kotto, 1939-2021, of "Alien," "Homicide: Life on the Street"

End of watch for Lt. Giardello.

From The Hollywood Reporter"Yaphet Kotto, Actor in 'Homicide: Life on the Street,' 'Live and Let Die,' and 'Alien,' Dies at 81"

Views: 235

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Ah, what a shame.

Yaphet Kotto had a long career in movies and TV, like a memorable appearance on the original Hawaii Five-O.

His turn in Live and Let Die likely stemmed from his appearances in Blaxploitation flicks like Truck Turner, Monkey Hustle and Friday Foster, although he also appeared in more prestigious fare like the original version of The Thomas Crown Affair and Report to the Commissioner. Live and Let Die is my favorite of the Roger Moore James Bond movies, probably because it's the first I remember (as well as his first).

He won an Emmy nomination for his turn as Idi Amin in the NBC TV movie Raid on Entebbe. (Oddly, one of his frequent co-stars in Blaxploitation flicks, Julius Harris, played Idi Amin in the TV movie Victory at Entebbe, which ABC rushed to get on the air ahead of NBC's version.)

I always enjoyed his performances. especially as Lt Giardello.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Live and Let Die is my favorite of the Roger Moore James Bond movies, probably because it's the first I remember (as well as his first).

Live and Let Die was the best of the Roger Moore Bond movies. After that they descended into camp.

    I liked Kotto in Homicide - Life on the Street, his no-BS attitude gave him depth.

    But are you guys serious about Live and Let Die being your favorite Bond movie? After Paul McCartney opening song, Live and Let Die had no place to go but down.

     Compared to From Russia with Love - absolutely no contest!

      Didn't you see Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me?

Kevin Ahearn said:

    I liked Kotto in Homicide - Life on the Street, his no-BS attitude gave him depth.

    But are you guys serious about Live and Let Die being your favorite Bond movie? After Paul McCartney opening song, Live and Let Die had no place to go but down.

     Compared to From Russia with Love - absolutely no contest!

      Didn't you see Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me?


I like what I like.

I didn't say it was my favorite Bond movie, but the best of the Roger Moore Bonds.

An incredible actor and screen presence. 

Homicide: Life on the Street is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and his performance as Gee contributed mightily to that ensemble. He's getting called out for his roles in Live and Let Die and Alien, but he was also fantastic as FBI Agent Mosely in Midnight Run, one of my favorite comedies. 

I think I have access to all of Night Gallery on one of my streaming services. I probably don't have time to watch a full movie tonight, but if I can, I'll check out the second-season NG episode "The Messiah on Mott Street" to see what he was up to in 1971. 

    "If we all agreed, we'd all have the same wife."

                                LBJ

That's too bad. I've let my love of Homicide,pretty well known around here for a while (I'm currently on season 4 now).

Rob is absolutely right, he was just great in Midnight Run.

I'd actually read up on his life a couple of months back, because I didn't know that much about his personal life. Pretty fascinating.

I've got the complete Night Gallery, I'll have to dig that one out.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

An incredible actor and screen presence. 

Homicide: Life on the Street is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and his performance as Gee contributed mightily to that ensemble. He's getting called out for his roles in Live and Let Die and Alien, but he was also fantastic as FBI Agent Mosely in Midnight Run, one of my favorite comedies. 

I think I have access to all of Night Gallery on one of my streaming services. I probably don't have time to watch a full movie tonight, but if I can, I'll check out the second-season NG episode "The Messiah on Mott Street" to see what he was up to in 1971. 

One great moment I remember of Yaphet Kotto from Homicide: Life on the Street:

Subtext is the ability of an actor to convey, through posture and body language, a meaning that is different, in addition to, or even completely opposite of the words coming out of his or her mouth.

Late in the run, the Baltimore Homicide squad had to contend with drug lord Luther Mahoney, who was dropping bodies all over town. Detectives Meldrick Lewis and Mike Kellerman were investigating, but they were always one step behind, which made things problematic for Lt. Giardello, because he always had the bosses on his back about red on the board.

One day, a new body turns up, and Gee himself comes to the crime scene. Gee is angry -- no, Gee is FURIOUS, and his fury is a thing to behold. Gee steps forward, and his footfalls make the ground tremble. Gee bellows, and buildings quake. Gee glowers, and whole forests wither and die.

And yet ...

And yet ...

When he arrives, his mien is one of pastoral calm. He gets out of his car, and he's got a smile on his face ten miles wide. He looks to the sky, and the birds sing sweet songs of joy. He clears his throat, and the angels are enraptured at the music of his voice. He speaks, and every syllable drips with honey.

And he says,

"Lewis! Kellerman! I do so love speaking with my best detectives. You'll keep me apprised of your progress, won't you?"

And he gets back into his car and drives off.

Lewis looks at the car retreating into the distance and exclaims, "MAN! I ain't NEVER seen Gee so mad!"

I wanted to reach right into my TV screen and just give Yaphet Kotto an Emmy award right then and there. That was masterful.

Oh, man, I remember that. You describe it masterfully. 

The Night Gallery episode, "The Messiah on Mott Street," is a fable about a grandfather (Edward G. Robinson) at death's door, hanging on because his grandson has no one else to take care of him. They live in a drafty New York tenement, and the grandfather claims to his doctor that the Angel of Death is coming for him, but if the Messiah comes, he can beat him back. So his grandson runs out, looking for the Messiah. 

He finds a street fanatic dressed like Jesus, telling him his grandfather is doomed to die. And when then fanatic gets in his face, a guy named Buckner (Yaphet Kotto) shows up and tells the guy to beat it. The kid decides Buckner's the messiah, and asks him to come help his grandfather. 

When they get back to the apartment, grandpa is in even worse shape. The doctor confesses to Buckner that if they ever needed a miracle, they need one now. 

I won't go into the details of how it concludes, but miracles start to happen. And by the end of it, Kotto's presence feels like a blessing, not just to the characters, but the viewer.  I'm glad I watched it.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service