Yaphet Kotto was born on November 15, 1939 in New York City, New York, USA as Yaphet Frederick Kotto. He is an actor and writer, known for Alien (1979), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and Live and Let Die (1973). He has been married to Tessie Sinahon since July 12, 1998.

He is the son of a Cameroonian crown prince.

Has a Bay Area hardcore punk band named after him.

Moved from Littleton, Colorado to Canada, because he felt it would be safer to live there. Two years after moving, he saw the news coverage on Columbine, and recognized some of the kids fleeing the school.

His father was a Cameroonian (African) Jew, and his mother, whose family was from Panama, converted to Judaism. In an interview, he said that being fully Black and Jewish gave other children even more reason to pick on him growing up in New York City. However, he remains a devout, practicing Jew.

Campaigned for Steve Forbes during his bid for the Republican nomination for the Presidency in the 2000 primaries.

Turned down the role of Lando Calrissian in ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980). He feared that Lando would be killed in the movie, and that he would be forever typecast.

Along with his wife, Tessie, they operate an artists retreat resort in Southern Leyte, Philippines called “The Running Man Institute,” which was founded in 2001 and is focused on working with people in the


industry to build their creativity, as well as to relax and read up about holistic health.

His father, Njoki Manga Bell, was the great-grandson of King Alexander Bell, who ruled the Douala region of Cameroon in the late 19th century, before the nation fell into the hands of Germany and, later, France and Britain. Fleeing the Germans, Manga Bell emigrated to Harlem in the 1920s and changed his name to Abraham Kotto (the surname is from a relative).

Yaphet means beautiful in Hebrew.

While Yaphet was on the set filming his scenes as Parker, he noticed references to chapters and verses from the bible printed in miniscule writing over the monitors of the control room set. He had already been introduced to the strange Hindu references to Madam Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine painted onto the autodestruct panel by Simon Deering and wondered why no one else was talking about it.

He wrote down the details and when he got back to his house at night, got out a copy of the bible and looked them up. Hie eyes bulged in his head as he read the parts of the bible and found references that mostly had biblical characters with basically Yaphet’s own first name, named Japheth, son of Noah.

And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and JIn the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;”
May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.”

Genesis 10:2-5  “The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.”

Isaiah 66:19 “And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, toTarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.”
A cold chill went through him, even though the last reference didn’t seem to lead to any statements about Japheth, this was getting to a point where it may as well have. He put the bible down and never talked about it again, but after seeing Simon Deering’s auto-destruct panel, he would keep on eye on the special effects people

Source Quotes

Yaphet Kotto: I saw chapters of the bible printed in miniscule writing over the monitor of our set Genesis 9:27//Genesis 10:2-5 and Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:13…I was curious and wondered why no one else noticed them…probably overlooked them, thinking it was all part of the set like the Hindu writings on the autodestruct panel…but back at the house that night…I got out the bible and looked them up…My eyes bulged in my head…. And the Lord God said, “I shall enlarge Japheth” (Hebrews Yaphet Elohim le-Yephet, Genesis 9:27. He was the progenitor of many tribes inhabiting the east of Europe and the north of Asia (Genesis 10:2-5). An act of filial piety Some, however, derive the name from yaphah, “to be beautiful;” hence black), one of the sons of Noah, mentioned last in order (Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:13), perhaps first by birth (10:21; Comp. 9:24). Genesis 9:27 “May God enlarge Yapheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
Genesis 27:29May peoples serve Yaphet, and nations bow down to him; Be master of your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to Yaphet. Cursed be those who curse Yaphet, and blessed be those who bless him.” Isaiah 66:19″I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory. And Yaphet will declare My glory among the nations.