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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Roy Scheider, a two-time Oscar nominee best known for his role as a police chief in the blockbuster movie Jaws, has died. He was 75.
Scheider died Sunday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock, hospital spokesman David Robinson said. The hospital did not release a cause of death.
However, hospital spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said Scheider had been treated for multiple myeloma at the hospital’s Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy for the past two years.
He was nominated for an Oscar for best-supporting actor in 1971’s The French Connection in which he played the police partner of Oscar winner Gene Hackman and for best-actor for 1979’s All That Jazz, the autobiographical Bob Fosse film.
However, he was best known for his role in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film, Jaws, the enduring classic about a killer shark terrorizing beachgoers and well as millions of moviegoers.
Widely hailed as the film that launched the era of the Hollywood blockbuster, it was also the first movie to earn $100 million at the box office. Scheider starred with Richard Dreyfuss, who played an oceanographer.
In 2005, one of Scheider’s most famous lines in the movie – “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” – was voted No. 35 on the American Film Institute’s list of best quotes from U.S. movies.
That year, some 30 years after Jaws premiered, hundreds of movie buffs flocked to Martha’s Vineyard, off the southeastern coast of Massachusetts, to celebrate the great white shark.
The island’s JawsFest ’05 also brought back some of the cast and crew, including screenwriter Carl Gottlieb and Peter Benchley, who wrote the novel that inspired Spielberg’s classic. Spielberg, Scheider and Dreyfuss were absent.
Scheider was also politically active. He participated in rallies protesting U.S. military action in Iraq, including a massive New York demonstration in March 2003 that police said drew 125,000 chanting activists.
All of us here at Inside Pulse send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Roy Scheider.