Happy Birthday ‘Jaws’! It’s Time To Get Back In The Water And See Where The Original Cast Are Now

It’s been exactly 41 years today since Jaws first scared people out of the water on June 20, 1975. Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster classic broke all kinds of box office records upon it’s release, with genuine scares that many have tried to replicate in the decades since.

The killer shark genre has evolved considerably since Jaws was released. These days, avoiding the water won’t even keep you safe as we now have Sharknados and even to deal with, but no matter how many lasers you strap onto these vicious creatures, none of them will ever surpass the original.

To celebrate the film’s 41st anniversary, let’s take a look back at the cast of Jaws and see if they managed to stay out of the water.

Roy Scheider as Martin Brody

Roy Scheider

Roy Scheider

Spielberg didn’t want to cast a prominent actor in the role of police chief Martin Brody, passing over Charlton Heston in favor of Roy Scheider, a former boxer and star of The French Connection.

The twice Oscar nominated actor died in 2008 due to complications from cancer. Scheider’s last performance in the movie Iron Cross was released posthumously, three years later.

Best line in Jaws:

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

More recent appearances: Jaws 2 (1978), All That Jazz (1979) and Iron Cross (2011)

Robert Shaw as Quint

Robert Shaw

Robert Shaw

Shaw was suggested for the part of shark hunter Quint after he had worked with the producers previously on The Sting. It really is who you know in this business.

Unfortunately, Shaw is no longer with us, as he died unexpectedly back in 1978 at the age of 51.

Best line in Jaws:

“Back home we got a taxidermy man. He gonna have a heart attack when he see what I brung him.”

More recent appearances: Black Sunday (1977), The Deep (1977), and Force 10 from Navarone (1978)

Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper

Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss

Spielberg originally wanted to cast Jon Voight in the role of oceanographer Matt Hooper, but his friend George Lucas pushed Richard Dreyfuss forward instead, after working with him on the film American Graffiti.

Dreyfuss won an Oscar for his part in The Goodbye Girl, just two years after Jaws was released and he’s since appeared in a huge variety of films and shows, earning himself another Oscar nomination in 1995 for the film Mr Holland’s Opus.

Best line in Jaws:

“This was no boat accident.”

More recent appearances: The Goodbye Girl (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

Lorraine Gary as Ellen Brody

Lorraine Gary

Lorraine Gary

Lorraine Gary was married to the president of Universal, Sid Sheinberg, so she took the inside track and became the first performer signed on for Jaws.

Despite the constant threat of shark attack, Gary couldn’t stay away from the franchise and appeared in two sequels, Jaws 2 and Jaws: The Revenge, where she earned a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress and a Saturn nomination for Best Actress.

Same, same apparently.

Best line in Jaws:

“He is not out on the water, he is in a boat! He’s not going to go in the water! I don’t think he’ll ever go in again after what happened yesterday.”

More recent appearances: Jaws 2 (1978), 1942 (1979) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Jeffrey Kramer as Hendricks

Jeffrey Kramer

Jeffrey Kramer

The role of local police officer Hendricks was Jeffrey Kramer’s first major acting part and he reprised the role again soon after in the imaginatively titled sequel, Jaws 2.

Kramer continued to find work for a while in films such as Halloween II and Clue, before he switched things up and became a TV producer, working on shows like Ally McBeal and The Practice where he ended up winning an Emmy Award.

Best line in Jaws:

“So then Denherder and Charlie sat there trying to catch their breath – and to figure out how to tell Charlie’s wife what happened to her freezer full of meat.”

More recent appearances: Jaws 2 (1978), Halloween II (1981) and Clue (1985)

Susan Backlinie as Chrissie Watkins

Susan Backlinie

Susan Backlinie

Susan Backlinie started out as a stuntwoman and an animal trainer, but found fame as Chrissie Watkins, the first victim of the Jaws franchise who was killed in the opening scene. To make her look as scared as possible, Spielberg decided that he wouldn’t warn Backlinie when she would be pulled under the water. Cruel, perhaps, but it worked!

Backlinie dabbled in acting for a few more years before deciding to retire in the ’80s to pursue an exhilarating career in accounting. To be fair, she was probably traumatised by Spielberg’s directing strategies.

Best line in Jaws:

“Come on into the water!”

More recent appearances: Day of the Animals (1977),1941 (1979) and The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

Bruce, the Shark as Jaws, the Shark


Three animatronic sharks were created in the making of Jaws and they’ve all since been destroyed, but fortunately for the hardcore fans out there, another shark was made from the same original mould and currently resides in the self-service yard at Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking in Sun Valley, California.

You better head there quick though if you want to see it. Reporter Cory Turner described the the fourth and final version of Bruce as a little worse for wear;

“Its skin was cracked; its color badly faded. Instead of rows of menacing teeth, it had harmless wooden dentures.”

Best line in Jaws:

“Duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn.”

More recent appearances: Universal Studios Hollywood theme park (1975-1990) and Aadlen Brothers (1995-present)

This is awkward.

This is awkward.

In case you’re worried about the future of the franchise, have no fear. The time hopping classic Back to the Future revealed that Jaws 19 will be hitting cinemas in 2015, so, errrrr, wait. Never mind. Maybe will make up for the lack of decent Jaws movies in recent years.

Source:

What’s your favorite scene in the original Jaws movie?

The love between a shark and a boat is a beautiful thing.

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The day someone green-lights a Marvel Zombies Ghibli film directed by Xavier Dolan is the day I will be happy. Any day now…