Roy Scheider, forever immortalized in the minds of a generation of moviegoers as the small town police chief suddenly confronted with the need for a bigger boat in 1975’s blockbuster Jaws, has passed away earlier today in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was 75.
According to a report in the New York Times, Scheider had been suffering from multiple myeloma for several years, and died of complications from a staph infection.
Although perhaps best remembered for his role as Police Chief Martin Brody in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster thriller Jaws and the first of the shark filom’s sequels, Scheider had already built a solid reputation as an actor through his work in films like Klute, The French Connection (both 1971) and The Seven Ups (1973).
Scheider received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his French Connection performance as the more restrained partner of driven police officer “Popeye” Doyle, played by Gene Hackman. He received a second Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actor, for his 1979 performance of the driven Broadway director in Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical All That Jazz.
He also had noteable performances in Sorcerer (1977), Still Of The Night (1982), Blue Thunder (1983), 2010 (1984), Russia House (1990), Naked Lunch (1991) and Romeo Is Bleeding (1993).
More recently Scheider had contributed narration to many documentaries, including The Shark Is Still Working, a look at the troubled production of Jaws. He provided voice work to the documentary Chicago 10, which is due for release in two weeks.