Actor Yavett Koto, who rose to fame in the 1970s fighting James Bond in Live and Let Die and as a stealthy alien in Alien, died at the age of 81, Afp’s agent reported.
In a statement posted on Facebook on Monday, his wife, Sinaon Tessa, described her late husband as a “legend.” “You played a villain in some of your movies, but for me you are a true hero and for a lot of people too,” he said.
Agent Ryan Goldhar confirmed his death in an email, but did not specify the cause of death. “I am still treating his death, and I know he will be missed,” he said.
Born in New York to a Cameroonian immigrant father and US Army nurse, Couto made his professional acting debut in 1960 in a theatrical performance by Shakespeare Othello in Harlem.
The actor received praise for his roles as Bond’s first black villain – dictator Dr. Kananga – in 1973 Live and Let Die, and an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Ugandan tough guy Idi Amin in the TV movie Raid on Entebbe.
He then played space engineer Dennis Parker in Ridley Scott’s 1979 science fiction film Alien, and fought alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 thriller thriller.