Monday, February 11, 2008

Jaws guy dead

I hate it when the good guys of my youth pass away.

Roy Scheider, best known for his impressive smoking at sea "gonna need a bigger boat" and "die you sonnova bitch" role in Jaws has died at the age of 75.

He only ever received two Oscar nominations - one for his role as Buddy Russo, a policeman alongside Gene Hackman in The French Connection, and a bizarre best actor nod for playing a womanising nightclub owner in All That Jazz. But even though Scheider will be best-known for his small-town policeman role in Jaws I have fond memories of watching him strut his stuff as tough cop Buddy Manucci in the The Seven-Ups (1973), which features one of the best car chases ever. He was also great as a shady CIA agent alongside Dustin Hoffman in the excellent Marathon Man. He was also good as a helicopter pilot in Blue Thunder, and especially good with a nervous, sweaty turn as a cheating husband who turns the tables on his blackmailers in the brilliant, and very under-rated 52 Pick-Up. He turned up in the 2001 sequel 2010, in Jaws 2 and, rather nicely, in Cronenburg's The Naked Lunch. He also had roles in the Spielberg-endorsed TV series Seaquest DSV (which I can't remember ever watching) and Grisham-influenced thrillers The Peacekeeper and Rainmaker and - towards the end of his career - loads of ropey straight-to-DVD and 'based on a true story' shite that you wouldn't dare rent from a vidjo store for fear of being laughed out of the place.

Like so many of the great character actors from the golden 1970's era, he never really got his dues in later years, something that his vocal opposition to the Iraq War didn't help. Not even George Clooney could find a part for him. He'd been receiving treatment for cancer for two years but this did not affect his incredible suntan as any recent picture of him proves.
Rest in Peace you old goat.

1 comment:

Leigh O'Gorman said...

what a shame = roy schneider was a pretty good actor...