Jaws’ mother calls him Zbigniew

Posted on February 2, 2013


The steel-teethed Jaws of “The Spy who loved me” and “Moonraker” is undeniably the most popular and widely known henchman of the James Bond films. His popularity was correctly predicted so that he survived his first 007 outing and went on turn good in his second. Actor Richard Kiel will always be best remembered for his portrayal of Jaws and he is often seen at Bond conventions meeting new and old fans.
Jaws w Amasova pr
As for the character Jaws a background story is available in the novel based on the script “James Bond, The Spy who loved me” by Christopher Wood, who also penned the screenplay with veteran Richard “Dick” Maibaum“.

Jaws’ real name is Zbigniew Krycsiwiki and he was the son of a strong man from a travelling circus and the Chief Wardress at the Women’s Prison in Kracow, Poland (which is also the birthplace of Jaws).
As a youth he played basketball and went to the famous university in Kracow. Later he was beaten up by the Polish police after his participation in riots. They were responsible for destroying his jaw. He managed to escape and went to Sweden where he met shipping magnat Sigmund Stromberg (the main villain was named Karl in the film). Stromberg took Krycsiwiki to a former nazi concentration camp doctor hiding in Sweden who created the new jaws for this henchman to be.

Jaws is described as a man with a thirst for violence and worked as a butcher in Poland. The result of the jaw operation left Jaws mute, Wood writes in “James Bond, The Spy who loved me”. Contradictory, Jaws actually speaks a line in his last scene in the film “Moonraker”.

I find it rather typical of a Bond film or indeed any Anglo-American action/adventure film of the 1970’s and 80’s that even random henchmen, not necessarily associated with communist regimes, are from Eastern Europe. Truly a case of western ethnocentrism and petty propaganda.

As for his name: Jaws, it has been translated in various ways on various grounds around the globe. Starting off with Sweden, his name is “Hajen” which means “The Shark”. Why? Simply because it was the Swedish title for the Steven Spielberg film “Jaws”.
It is the same in France where Jaws is known as “Requin” as in Italy: “Squalo” (The Shark).
In Finland he is called “Rautahammas” which translates as “Iron Teeth”.
“Der Beisser” is his German name. It means “The Biter”.

Richard Kiel is 7′ 2″, that’s 213 cm. People always want to know that.
If you want to learn more about Mr Kiel, check out his autobiography “Making it big in the movies.”