Friday, November 23, 2007

Taking Up Writing

Actor Kiel, who played Jaws, take new role

By Belinda Goldsmith

NEW YORK, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Actor Richard Kiel, best known for playing the steel-toothed villain Jaws in two James Bond movies, has taken on a new role - author.

Kiel, 68, has spent 25 years researching the life of Cassius Marcellus Clay, a white plantation owner and politician who fought for the abolition of slavery and after whom the boxer Muhammad Ali and his father were named.

It has culminated in the release of a book, "The True Story of Cassius Clay: Kentucky Lion," out this month, which Kiel co-authored with Pamela Wallace, the Oscar-winning co-writer of the movie "Witness."

Kiel said he became fascinated with Clay when he visited Kentucky 25 years ago and realized this forgotten American hero, who freed the slaves on his plantation, challenged stereotypes about the south and racism there.

"I hope to bring a fresh breeze of truth and positive feeling so people feel differently about the south and its people, not just because my wife comes from there but we need the truth to be free of this prejudice," he told Reuters.

"Here is a guy who put his life on the line and could not be stopped. It's a positive side of history that should told."

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