"Jaws" actor Roy Scheider dead at 75

Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:14am EST
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Roy Scheider, a two-time Oscar nominee best known for his roles as a small-town police chief in "Jaws" and his portrait of famed choreographer Bob Fosse in "All That Jazz," died on Sunday at age 75.

Scheider died of complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells, at the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, hospital spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said.

She said the actor had been treated there for the disease off and on over the past two years.

A classically trained actor recognized for his angular facial features and boxer's nose, the New Jersey-born Scheider often played harried lawmen or average guys caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

He earned his first Oscar nomination for his supporting role as a narcotics detective partnered with Gene Hackman in the 1971 crime drama "The French Connection."

Eight years later, he was nominated as best lead actor for playing the womanizing, pill-popping Fosse alter ego Joe Gideon in the semi-autobiographical "All That Jazz," which Fosse co-wrote and directed.

But Scheider will perhaps best be remembered as the intrepid police chief of a small seaside resort who goes on a hunt for a giant man-eating shark in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster thriller "Jaws."

One of his most memorable lines from the film, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," was ranked No. 35 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movie quotes.   Continued...

<p>Actor Roy Scheider arrives for the opening night gala of the 42nd Chicago International Film Festival in Chicago in this file photo from July 15, 2006. REUTERS/Jerry Lai</p>