Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big

Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big
Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big

“Solitaire, your power exists to serve me. And it is mine to control. If and when the time comes, I decide that you are to lose it; I myself will take it away!”

― Dr. Kananga to Solitaire[src]

Dr. Kananga is the primary villain of the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die and was portrayed by Yaphet Kotto.

Drug baron and dictator of a fictitious Caribbean island named San Monique, Dr. Kananga is loosely based on the main villain of Ian Fleming‘s second James Bond novelLive and Let Die. Like his novel counterpart, Kananga adopts the alias “Mr. Big” to conduct his illicit activities, however the novel and film versions of the character are radically different to the point of being completely different people.


Film biography

Dr. Kananga, operating under the alias “Mr. Big”, is a business man and owner of a chain of restaurants in New York City and New Orleans called “Fillet of Soul”. As Big, he is also the head of one of the most vicious street gangs in Harlem. Kananga is the de facto dictator of the fictional Caribbean island of San Monique and thus has certain diplomatic immunities in the United States easily allowing him to smuggle drugs into the country.

Yaphet Kotto as Dr. Kananga


Kananga grows vast quantities of opium in San Monique under the protection of large camouflage nets and guarded by the mystical Baron Samedi. Using the poppies, Kananga hopes to flood the U.S. market with two tonnes of heroin distributed through his legitimate restaurants free of charge, thus forcing other drug dealers out of business. In doing so, he believes that he would double the amount of addicts, which he would be able to exploit with his new found monopoly.

After arranging the deaths of three British operatives who had unwittingly come close to revealing Kananga’s scheme, M assigns James Bond to investigate the tyrant and his connection with the murders.



Upon entering Kananga’s base of operations, Bond and Solitaire are taken prisoner by the dictator’s men. After a brief interrogation Kananga attempts to lower Bond and Solitaire into a shark pool, however the spy breaks through his bonds by way of a circular saw embedded in his wristwatch and brawls with the knife-wielding villain.

Tumbling into the pool, Bond seizes Kananga and forces him to swallow a pellet of compressed air. The pellet detonates, causing him to inflate like a balloon, fly up to the ceiling and violently explode.


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