Sunday, February 10, 2008
RIP Roy Sheider
Iconic actor Roy Scheider lost his long battle with cancer and passed away today in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was 75. Roy was nominated for 2 Oscars; for the French Connection in '72 and All That Jazz in '79. But he was best known for his role as the police chief in 1975's Jaws - the first movie to make $100m at the box office. Who doesn't recall seeing that film for the first time and even now, some 33 years on, there must be precious few movie goers who haven't seen it.
I had the fortune of working with Roy, albeit briefly, on a little movie some years ago. I was only in one scene, but that was with him and I was taken by his charm and warmth. In fact, the warddrobe department put me in one of the suits set aside for the man himself. (A useless bit of trivia which may have more to do with the film's budget than the fact we both had a 30" waist - not bad for a guy of 69!)
Roy wasn't your typical leading man. He had a bit of a weathered look about him that, together with his skill and intensity, ensured his characters were never surface studies. Even towards the end of his career, in spite of his frail physicality, he remained as weighty as ever. He could still pierce you with a look.
Thank you, Mr Scheider. You remain an inspiration.