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By Amanda Ray Byerly/March 16, 2021 6:15 pm EDT/Updated: March 16, 2021 6:17 pm EDT
Television and film actor Yaphet Kotto has died at 81 years old. While the cause of death has yet to be released, CNN reported that the talented thespian died on the evening of March 14, 2021 at approximately 10:30 p.m. According to Kotto’s agent, Ryan Goldhar, Kotto was residing in the Phillipines with his wife at the time of his death.
Kotto carved out an illustrious acting career for himself, which dated all the way back to the 1960s. Some of his biggest gigs include starring roles in Alien, The Running Man, Midnight Run, and Live and Let Die. He also had a longstanding role in NBC’s police drama series, Homicide: Life on the Street.
Naturally, with such a longstanding career, Kotto managed to capture the hearts of many fans — but he also garnered respect and admiration from his co-workers and colleagues. Keep reading after the jump to learn how many fellow celebrities are reacting to the somber news.
Celebs like Ava DuVernay remember Yaphet Kotto fondly
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Many celebrities took to social media to convey their sentiments after learning of actor Yaphet Kotto’s death, per CNN.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to post a heartfelt tribute to Kotto. “Yaphet Kotto. My Mom’s favorite,” she penned. “He’s one of those actors who deserved more than the parts he got. But he took those parts and made them wonderful all the same. A star. Rest well, sir.”
Meanwhile, actor Mark Hamill wrote, “Awesome man. Awesome actor. Awesome career. Thank you Yaphet Kotto.”
Television writer and producer David Simon also remembered Kotto via Twitter. “Memories and respect for Yaphet Kotto, whose film career was legend even before he came to Baltimore to grace our television drama. But for me, he’ll always be Al Giardello, the unlikeliest Sicilian, gently pulling down the office blinds to glower at detectives in his squadroom [sic],” he gushed about the late actor.
Famous music producer and DJ Mark Ronson also lovingly paid his respects upon learning of Kotto’s passing. “Yaphet Kotto in Midnight Run is maybe one of my favourite straight-man/cop foils ever. Rest in piece, Agent Mosely/Mr Kotto,” he wrote.
The James Bond franchise also expressed their condolences via the official 007 Twitter account. “We are very sorry to learn that Yaphet Kotto, who played Dr. Kananga in Live And Let Die, has passed away at the age of 81. Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” the post read.
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