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Roy Scheider

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Lean, angular faced and authoritively spoken lead / supporting actor, Roy Scheider obviously never heard the old actor's axiom about "never appearing with kids or animals" lest they overshadow your performance. Although, it did him no harm as he achieved pop cult status by finding, fighting and blowing up a 25ft long shark (nicknamed "Bruce") in the 1970s thriller Jaws and then electrocuting an even bigger great white in Jaws 2. Athletic Scheider was born in November 1932 in Orange, New Jersey and was a keen sportsman from a young age competing in baseball and boxing.....that awkwardly mended, broken nose of his is a result of his foray into Golden Gloves competitions! While at college, his pursuits turned from sports to theatre and he studied drama at Rutgers and Franklin and Marshall. After a stint in the military, Scheider appeared with the New York Shakespeare Festival and won an "Obie Award" for his appearance in the play "Stephen D." Scheider's film career started of in the Z-grade horror flick _Curse of the Living Corpse (1963)_ , and he then showed up in _Star (1968)_ , Paper Lion, Stiletto and Puzzle of a Downfall Child. In 1971, he really came to the attention of film audiences with his role in the Jane Fonda thriller Klute and then as "Det. Buddy Russo" (scoring his first Oscar nomination) alongside fiery Gene Hackman in the crime drama The French Connection. His performance as a gritty police officer, led Scheider into another tough cop role as NYC detective "Buddy Manucci" in the under appreciated _Seven Ups, The (1973)_ featuring one of the best car chase sequences ever put on film. In the early 1970s, the Peter Benchley book "Jaws" was a phenomenal best seller, and young director Steven Spielberg was chosen by Universal to direct the film adaptation in which Scheider played police chief "Brody", and shared lead billing with Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss in the tale of Jaws, a New England seaside community terrorised by a rogue great white shark. "Jaws" was a blockbuster money maker, and for many years held the record as the highest grossing film! Scheider then turned up as the shady, CIA agent brother of Dustin Hoffman in the unnerving Marathon Man, in the William Friedkin directed remake of "The Wages of Fear" titled _Sorcerer, The (1977)_ , before again returning to seaside Amity to battle another giant shark in Jaws 2. Seeking a change of pace from tough cops and hungry sharks, he took the role of womanising, drug popping choreographer "Joe Gideon", the lead character of the semi-autobiographical portrayal of director Bob Fosse in the sparkling All That Jazz. It was another big hit for Scheider (and another Oscar nomination), with the film featuring a stunning opening sequence to the tune of the funky George Benson number "On Broadway", and breath-taking dance routines including the "Airotica" performance with the glamorous Sandahl Bergman. Returning to another law enforcement role, Scheider played a rebellious helicopter pilot in the John Badham conspiracy / action film Blue Thunder, a stellar scientist in the sequel to "2001" simply titled 2010, a cheating husband who turns the tables on his blackmailers in 52 Pick-Up, a cold blooded hitman in Cohen and Tate and as a CIA operative in the muddled and slow moving The Russia House. Versatile Scheider was then cast as the captain of a futuristic submarine in the telemovie _SeaQuest DSV (1993)_ , which led onto the relatively popular TV series of the same name, that ran for three seasons. Inexplicably however, Scheider had seemingly and slowly dropped out of favour with mainstream film audiences, and whilst he continued to remain busy, predominantly in supporting roles, (generally as US presidents or military officers) most of the vehicles he appeared in were B-grade political thrillers such as The Peacekeeper, Executive Target, Chain of Command and Red Serpent.
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