See the Cast of ‘Jaws’ Then and Now
Released in 1975, Steven Spielberg‘s ‘Jaws’ terrified audiences with its depiction of a killer great white shark with a hunger for humans. A local police chief hires an oceanographer and a shark hunter to help him put an end to the massacre off the shore of the tranquil town of Amityville. Almost 40 years later, ‘Jaws’ remains one of the greatest horror films ever made. Join us for a look back at the cast of the film and see where they are now.
Roy Scheider, Martin Brody
Then: The role of police chief Martin Brody was offered to Robert Duvall, but the actor was only interested in playing shark hunter Quint. Charlton Heston wanted the part, but Steven Spielberg wanted to cast actors who weren’t too prominent. The role eventually went to Roy Scheider, a former boxer and star of ‘The French Connection.’
Now: Scheider went on to reprise his role in ‘Jaws 2′ and starred in the films ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Naked Lunch.’ He had a recurring role on the television series ‘SeaQuest DSV.’ Unfortunately, Scheider passed away in 2008 at the age of 78 — his last role was in the 2011 film ‘Iron Cross.’
Robert Shaw, Quint
Then: The role of gruff shark hunter Quint was offered to Lee Marvin and Sterling Hayden, but both actors turned it down. The producers of ‘Jaws’ had previously worked with Robert Shaw on ‘The Sting,’ and suggested him to Spielberg.
Now: In addition to acting, Shaw was also an accomplished novelist and stage actor. After ‘Jaws,’ Shaw appeared in ‘The Deep’ and ‘Force 10 from Navarone.’ He passed away unexpectedly in 1978 at the age of 51.
Richard Dreyfuss, Matt Hooper
Then: Spielberg wanted Jon Voight for the part of oceanographer Matt Hooper, but the actor turned it down. Jeff Bridges was also considered, but Spielberg’s friend and fellow filmmaker George Lucas suggested Richard Dreyfuss, who starred in Lucas’ ‘American Graffiti.’ Dreyfuss initially declined, but after he saw his own performance in ‘The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,’ he was apprehensive about how he would be perceived, so he signed on for ‘Jaws.’
Now: Dreyfuss went on to appear in Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ and has appeared in the films ‘What About Bob?’ and ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus.’ He appeared in the sixth season of the Showtime series ‘Weeds,’ and co-starred with ‘Weeds’ actress Mary-Louise Parker in the film ‘Red.’
Lorraine Gary, Ellen Brody
Then: Lorraine Gary was the first actor cast in ‘Jaws’ — Gary’s husband was then-president of Universal, Sid Sheinberg.
Now: Gary reprised her role for ‘Jaws 2′ and ‘Jaws: The Revenge,’ and appeared in Spielberg’s ’1941.’ She remains married to Sheinberg.
Jeffrey Kramer, Hendricks
Then: Jeffrey Kramer landed his first major acting gig as local police officer Hendricks in ‘Jaws.’
Now: Kramer reprised the role in ‘Jaws 2,’ and also appeared in the films ‘Halloween II’ and ‘Clue.’ He had a recurring role on ‘Happy Days,’ and eventually became a television producer, working on the shows ‘Ally McBeal’ and ‘The Practice.’
Susan Backlinie, Chrissie Watkins
Then: Susan Backlinie, a stuntwoman and animal trainer with a willingness to appear nude, was cast as Chrissie Watkins, the young woman who is killed by the shark in the opening scene of the film.
Now: Backlinie appeared in Spielberg’s ’1941,’ and in the films ‘Grizzly’ and ‘The Great Muppet Caper.’ Backlinie retired from acting in the 80s and became an accountant.