Yaphet Kotto Tributes Pour in For 'Alien,' 'Bond' Actor After Death Aged 81

Today Hollywood is mourning the loss of an acting great, Yaphet Kotto, who has died aged 81.

Known for starring in Alien and in the James Bond film Live and Let Die, Kotto's death was confirmed to Variety by his agent, Ryan Goldhar.

Kotto's wife, ‎Sinahon Thessa, posted about her husband's death on Facebook on Monday night.

"I'm saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years," Sinahon wrote. "He died last night around 10:30pm Philippine time. You played a villain in some of your movies but for me you're a real hero and to a lot of people also. A good man, a good father, a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find."

Yaphet Kotto
Promotional headshot of actor Yaphet Kotto, as he appears in the movie 'Alien', 1979. Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

She added: "One of the best actors in Hollywood a legend. Rest in Peace honey, I'm gonna miss you everyday, my bestfriend, my rock. I love you and you will always be in my heart. Till we meet again!"

Many film fans will remember Kotto for his iconic role as technician Dennis Parker in 1979's Alien alongside Sigourney Weaver.

In 1973's Live and Let Die, Kotto took on the villain role as Caribbean dictator Dr. Kananga as well as his alter ego Mr. Big.

Kotto is today being remembered by many film industry heavyweights who are celebrating his life and career.

"Yaphet Kotto. My Mom's favorite," tweeted director Ava DuVernay. "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."

Yaphet Kotto. My Mom’s favorite. 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. pic.twitter.com/BqeuVc7DSB

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 16, 2021

"RIP the great Yaphet Kotto," tweeted screenwriter Gary Graham and quoted one of Kotto's infamous lines from Alien. "Can I finish my coffee? It's the onIy thing good on this ship."

Actor and screenwriter Jim Beaver tweeted: "The great actor Yaphet Kotto has died. His wife just posted this information. I was fortunate to have been a FB friend and to have heard great stories from him. (He told a story involving him and Robert Mitchum which is one of the great actor tales of all time.)"

"RIP Yaphet Kotto, a brilliant magnetic presence, bringing gravitas & naturalism to deep space or underground Bond lair," said director Edgar Wright. "So memorable as Parker in Alien, Kananga (Mr Big) in Live & Let Die, Smokey James in Blue Collar or in the simmering funny rage of Midnight Run's Alonzo Mosely."

Podcast host Eric Goldman added: "James Bond enemy. Nostromo crew member. Running Man contestant. FBI agent. Police Lieutenant. Freddy Krueger foe. RIP Yaphet Kotto."

Rest in Power to one of the best actors of his generation and one of the most under-appreciated James Bond villains of all-time, Yaphet Kotto. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/mP86BF0YbN

— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) March 16, 2021

Author Don Winslow tweeted: "Yaphet Kotto. We lost a great one tonight. Rest in Power."

"Rest in Power to one of the best actors of his generation and one of the most under-appreciated James Bond villains of all-time, Yaphet Kotto," said sports journalist Michael Eaves.

"Damn. Funnier than he had any right to be. Versatile as f***. Royalty in Cameroon. Jewish, too. Made everything just that much better, from Alien and Live and Let Die to Midnight Run and The Running Man. I should dig up his Othello. I bet it's a sight to see. #RIP #YaphetKotto," said journalist Marc Bernardin.

Damn. Funnier than he had any right to be. Versatile as fuck. Royalty in Cameroon. Jewish, too. Made everything just that much better, from Alien and Live and Let Die to Midnight Run and The Running Man. I should dig up his Othello. I bet it’s a sight to see. #RIP #YaphetKotto. pic.twitter.com/t1uR3Tyh4S

— Tolkien Negro (@marcbernardin) March 16, 2021

While comic book writer Gerry Duggan added: "RIP to a great one. Never saw a bad performance from Yaphet Kotto."