Tributes to Yaphet Kotto, who played Idi Amin in Raid on Entebbe, who dies at 81

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Tributes to Yaphet Kotto, who played Idi Amin in Raid on Entebbe, who dies at 81

Jewish actor had starring role opposite Roger Moore's 007 in Live And Let Die

Yaphet Koto  (Wikipedia/ Source:	Yaphet Koto © 2010 / Author	Kingkongphoto & from Laurel Maryland, USA /© copyright JohnMathewSmith 2010 / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))
Yaphet Koto (Wikipedia/ Source: Yaphet Koto © 2010 / Author Kingkongphoto & from Laurel Maryland, USA /© copyright JohnMathewSmith 2010 / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Tributes have been paid to Yaphet Kotto, who played Idi Amin in the  Raid On Entebbe and starred as a James Bond villain, following his death at the age of 81.

The actor was best known for his role as villain Kanaga and his alter ego Mr Big in Live And Let Die, opposite Roger Moore’s 007.

Kotto also appeared in The Running Man opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and starred as former Ugandan president Idi Amin in Raid On Entebbe, which tells the story of a daring Israeli raid to free hostages held by the dictator.

He was born to Avraham Kotto, who was Jewish and his mother, Gladys Marie, who converted to the faith.

Kotto will also be remembered for his turn as crew member Dennis Parker in the 1979 hit Alien, his performance as Alonzo Mosely in the Robert De Niro film Midnight Run and for his role in TV police drama Homicide: Life On The Street.

He later appeared in Law & Order and The Wire, and his widow said that he was still receiving offers of work, including a Tom Cruise project.

His widow Sinahon Thessa said that he died on Monday in the Philippines.

She wrote on Facebook: “I’m saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years.”

She added: “We still have a lot of plans honey that we discussed you have a lot of interviews waiting and you have movie offers like G.I. Joe and the movie of Tom Cruise and others.

“You played a villain on 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.

Writer Marc Bernardin said: “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.”

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