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Unsung Heroes of Cinema: Kevin Peter Hall

This week’s Unsung Hero of Cinema is an actor who gave us (in my opinion) not only one of the best sci-fi movies ever made but also one of the best creatures to ever grace our screens.

Kevin Peter Hall

That’s right, Hall played the predator (or Yautja to use it’s species actual name) in the first two Predator movies: Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990).

Standing at a towering 7’2” the former basketball player replaced Jean-Claude Van Damme as the title creature in the 80s sci-fi classic when it became clear that things weren’t working out with the muscles from Brussels for various reasons (see my Film Fact #3).

Due to his size Hall was often cast as various creatures or monsters.

His earliest film credit (although ironically “uncredited”) was a movie called Prophesy (1979) in which he played a “mutant bear”.

He went on to play various other aliens and monsters throughout his short career but there are two in particular that he’s remembered for: The Predator (as previously mentioned) and “Harry” (Bigfoot) from Harry and the Henderson’s (1987) as well as the TV show of the same name.

He also appeared in an episode of the third series of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled “The Price” in which he played a character called Leyor.

Unfortunately some time between 1990 and 1991 Hall was involved in a major car accident and during surgery was given contaminated blood in a transfusion. He tragically contracted HIV and shortly after was diagnosed with AIDS. He sadly died of AIDS related pneumonia on 10th April 1991, a month short of his 36th birthday.

By all accounts Kevin was a lovely guy and truly larger than life.

Who knows what other films he would’ve gone on to make and what weird and wonderful characters he would’ve played.

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