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Monday, February 18, 2013

Yaphet Kotto Biography


Yaphet Kotto

The eternal force, the only real substance of the Universe, God, the original thinker, or in other words, the eternal joy and the force of free will which manifested the first born thought and omniscient feeling, a certain Sound which we would learn later on to be called the Word, or for some the Amen and for others still, the Aum which led to the idea of change in that which could not be changed, which meant Time for some and the idea of division in that which could not be divided, and for others it gave birth to what many if not all would refer to as Space.
The ensuing idea of the word issuing forth, the idea of rapid expansion vibrating until it exploded and the word became flesh and dwelt among us. Some have decided to call this event:
The Big Bang.
It may seem to some unusual for some that these ideas spring from the mind and beliefs of Yaphet Kotto, an African American actor. Yaphet was born in New York City, the son of Gladys Marie Joseph, a nurse and army officer, and Abraham Kotto (originally named Njoki Manga Bell), a businessperson from Cameroon.

By the age of 16, he was studying acting at the Actor's Mobile Theater Studio, and at 19, he made his  acting debut in Othello. He became an observer at the Actors Studio in New York. Appeared in countless off-Broadway productions, Broadway and then replaced James Earl Jones in The Great White Hope, which brought him such attention it was almost as if he had starred in the original production.

Yaphet’s  film debut was in 1963 in an award winning film Nothing But a Man  but it might have been 1964 when he played a supporting role in the 1968 Norman Jewson’s  caper film The Thomas Crown Affair that led him to star in ‘Across 110th street with Anthony Quinn. The performance brought him to the attention of United Artist executives who thought he should be cast to star in the James Bond thriller as the lead villain ‘Mr. Big in Live and Let Die, another fine performance that not only cause Kotto be internationally known buy changed the motion picture industry’s ideas of black men as it was a first time a Black Villain had been seen on the screen in American film industry. Yaphet had already made film history when he killed a white man in the Columbia film ‘The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones” directed by William Wyler. He was single handedly changing the vision of black men on movie screens.  A decade later, change would destroy the image of the goody two shoes, good Negro  boy image created in films such as Lilies of the Fields, when Kotto played Parker in the sci-fi–horror film Alien, followed with a co starring role  with Robert Redford in the 1980 prison drama Brubaker, the black character was established. These performances opened the door of Sam Jackson, and Denzel Washington and Danny Glover. In 1983 Kotto came right back down to earth in the  sci-fi movie The Running Man and in the 1988 action-comedy Midnight Run, in which he portrayed Alonzo Mosely, an FBI agent.

As of this fate Yaphet has made more than seventy films and countless television shows the last of which was “Homicide life on the street" How does he hold it together and keep his feet on the ground. He has kept himself by meditation and Qui Gong practice, which he has practiced for the last thirty years. It was not an easy solution to the challenges of filmmaking. Kotto has always said that the easy road may not necessarily be the right road! He says that Qigong is not primarily meant for health and fitness. Although health and fitness is a bi-product of its practice. Qigong is meant to elevate your consciousness and help one to enlighten to higher truths of the universe.The fact that you have already been practicing Falun Dafa for many years is a great thing. He has thoroughly embodied its tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance; as a result, he has seen great results in both health and mind. He has of this date has millions of people all over the world who know not so much from motion pictures but from his support of India Guru Parmahansa Yogananda’s work in America and his practice of Falun Dafa. (Read more)
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