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.