Tag:Academy Awards
Posted on: February 18, 2008 3:37 pm

Rest In Peace, Chief Brody

Yes, I know this is old news, but I've been busy and couldn't let it pass without commenting on it.

Roy Scheider, 75, passed away last week from a staph infection.  He had been battling cancer for years.

We all know Mr. Scheider from his fine work as Chief Brody in Jaws.  If you're around my age, you remember that movie well, as most kids of the day were terrified to enter any body of water after that.  Sure, the movie ushered in the age of the "summer blockbuster", but what I remember most besides the sheer terror of it, was the way Roy Scheider played Chief Brody, an everyman facing down his worst fears, with rugged, quiet determination. 

If you remember, you don't really see the shark until late in the film, so Chief Brody had to carry a lot of the drama.  For example, the scene when he gets slapped by the dead boy's mother, yet doesn't protest, despite the fact that he wanted the beaches closed.  Or the look of abject terror when he realizes that the shark is headed for the lagoon where he sent his son to play.  And who could forget his line, when he first sees the shark, "You're gonna need a bigger boat" or his jubilation at the end of the film when he finally destroys the monster.

Also, besides Jaws, the understated actor with the famously broken nose, earned two Oscar nominations and starred in such memorable films as The French Connection, Marathon Man, 2010, and the seriously underrated, Blue Thunder among many others.  He was initially a stage actor before transitioning to film.  Aside from his acting he was also an activist and opened an arts school for children.

But history will remember him most for his masterful turn as the heroic Chief Brody, in a film that kept a generation of kids from wanting to go into the water.  Not a bad legacy, at all.

For more information, please visit http://royscheider.net/


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