Diane Rogers Kiel – Getting Famous after Marriage

Photo of author

By David

There are many celebrities in Hollywood that gain fame thanks to their marriage to a famous person. Diane Rogers Kiel is one of those people. She was married to American actor Richard Kiel for nearly 40 years until he passed away in 2014.

Diane was not the first woman to get married to the late Richard Kiel. But she was the one that remained with him until his death. And 40 years is a lot.

They were an interesting couple because of their pronounced height difference. And their union always attracted the attention of the problem.

Despite the height difference, Diane Kiel says it didn’t matter to her. She enjoyed every second of the marriage.

Who was her famous husband?

Born Richard Dawson Kiel in September 1939, the American actor passed away in September 2014. He was standing at 7 feet 2 inches, arguably one of the tallest actors in Hollywood. He was famous for portraying Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me movie, a James Bond movie.

He also portrayed the eloquent Mr Larson in Happy Gilmore. Some of his other notable works include The Longest Yard, Moonraker, Silver Streak, Force 10 from Navarone, Pale Rider, Tangled, and many more.

The famous actor was born in Detroit. He had gigantism, a condition caused by an excess of human growth hormone. It resulted in an extraordinary height. When he was nine years old, the family moved to Los Angeles County, where he graduated from Baldwin Park High School.

Here is an interesting fact. Before pursuing an acting career, he worked several odd jobs. One of them was a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. He also worked as a nightclub bouncer and as a cemetery plot salesman. Judging by his height, night club bouncer was a tailor-made role for him.

And here is an even more interesting fact. From 1963 to 1965, he worked as a night-school mathematics instructor. You can say he was smart and talented for sure.

Between the 1960s and 1980s, he appeared in several television shows and series, including The Twilight Zone, Laramie, I Dream of Jeannie, Honey West, Gilligan’s Island, Daniel Bone, Simon & Simon, The Fall Guy, and many more.

Often, because of his size, he was cast in villainous roles in movies. For example, he appeared as Voltaire, the towering assistant to Dr. Miguelito Loveless in the first three episodes of The Wild Wild West.

Here is an interesting fact. Due to his natural size, he was considered for playing the Hulk in the American television series The Incredible Hulk. He was among the finalists alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, producers decided they wanted a more muscular Hulk rather than the towering Kiel.

So, they went with Lou Ferrigno, an American actor, and retired professional bodybuilder.

In the 1960s, Kiel appeared in several movies, starting with Eegah in 1962, and then continuing with Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Phantom Planet, The Human Duplicators, and more.

James Bond film producers spotted him on Barbary Coast and saw an ideal candidate for Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Fun fact: Kiel is one of the few Bond villains to appear in two Bond films, with the huge actor later appearing in Moonraker.

In Bond movies, he was often shot with his mouth closed or briefly showing his dangerous smile. Later, the famous actor admitted that the mouthpiece simulating metal teeth were extremely painful to wear.

And because he suffered from acrophobia, which is a fear of heights, they used a stunt double for the cable car stunt scenes. He refused to be filmed on top of a cable car more than 2,000 feet above the ground.

The famous James Bond villain also reprized his role in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.

In most of his movies, the roles he portrayed offered little to no dialogue. That all changed in Happy Gilmore. He was portraying Mr. Larson, a former employee of Happy Gilmore, played by Adam Sandler. The two exchanged quite a few one-liners.

Quick bio

Now let’s go back to Diane Kiel, the widow of the famous American actor. Born Diane Rogers, she gained popularity through her marriage to Richard.

She supported her husband and remained a strong force behind his success. The couple welcomed four children.

Sadly, we have no details or personal information about her early life, educational background, or professional career. The details about her family remain elusive as well. There are some reports that she attended Charlton County High School between 1968 and 1969. Others claim she graduated from Southeast Bulloch High School in 1973.

There is no information about the exact birth date or birthplace.

Marriage to Richard

According to most reports, Diane and the famous Bond villain met in Georgia while filming The Longest Yard. The movie was released in 1974, one year after he and his first wife parted ways. Diane and Richard connected, and they began dating shortly after. They quickly decided to take their relationship to the next level, getting married in 1974.

They were blessed with four children, Jennifer Kiel, Christopher Kiel, Bennett Kiel, and Richard George Kiel. Richard Kiel is the oldest child, born in 1975. Jennifer was born in 1978. In 1982, Diane gave birth to their twins, Bennett Kiel and Christopher Kiel.

Diane remained with Richard until his eventual death in 2014. That is almost 40 years of marriage.

A Unique Couple

As we said before, Diane Rogers Kiel and her husband attracted attention everywhere they went. The sole reason for that was their height difference. Standing at 5 feet and 2 inches, she was quite a lot shorter than her husband.

He grew to a massive height due to the hormonal imbalance he suffered while growing up. Due to excessive growth hormone and gigantism, Richard grew to 7 feet 2 inches by his adulthood.

Here is an interesting fact. Richard spoke about his role in Moonwalker, where he worked opposite the smallish Blanche Ravalec as his love interest. He said that opposites do attract. He said that the director wanted to pick a taller woman, but Richard wanted a shorter woman.

A proud mother

As we said before, Diane’s marriage to Richard lasted for four decades. And they got four amazing children.

They have three sons and one daughter. Her oldest son, Richard George Kiel also made an appearance in The Spy Who Loved Me. It remains his only credited role per IMDB. Richard now works as an assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF.

Her daughter Jennifer also tried herself in the entertainment career. She works as a dance and aerial artist and performed in the theatre production Break the Taboo in 2018.

The other two children, Bennett and Christopher keep a low profile.

Is she on social media?

Diane Rogers Kiel wanted to maintain a private life while she was married to the famous American actor. And things didn’t change after his passing. Despite being married to a famous actor for four decades, little is known about her.

In that spirit, she doesn’t have a profile on social media. You might find a private profile of her children, but she doesn’t have any profile on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Net Worth

Diane Kiel supported her husband while he was pursuing an acting career for her entire life. She was the rock in the family, the housewife who took care of the household. We assume she doesn’t have a career of her own. And because of that, we cannot talk about her career earnings or net worth.

Her husband had a net worth of $500,000 at the time of his passing.