Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roy Scheider

The Hill notes the passing of actor Roy Scheider, who had major roles in some of the most important movies of the 70's. Scheider died Sunday at age 75.

Scheider was a lean, angular Everyman who nevertheless seemed to rise to assert his authority when the situation demanded it. His breakthrough role came in 1971, when he played a threatening pimp in Klute. Later that year, in The French Connection, he earned his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Buddy Russo, sidekick to Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle character. He earned a second Oscar nomination in 1979 playing manic choreographer Joe Gideon in All That Jazz.

Scheider will be best remembered, though, for his role of police chief Martin Brody in Jaws, the first great special-effects driven blockbuster. Brody seemed a most unlikely shark-slayer, yet he swallows his fears and does what he has to do in order to protect the citizens of his community. Scheider also gives us one of cinema's classic lines, "You're gonna need a bigger boat".

Our friend VastLeft contributes his own reflections.