'Jaws' Star Roy Scheider Dies

The double Oscar nominee, who'd been battling cancer, passes away at 75

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Photo: Everett

Roy Scheider, a two-time Oscar nominee who played the alarmist police chief who famously saves a beach resort in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws and its sequel, died Sunday. He was 75.

Scheider had been battling multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, for the past few years. He died at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock, said a hospital spokesman, who did not specify a cause of death, the Associated Press reports.

He made his professional acting debut in 1961, as Mercutio in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo and Juliet. In the following decade he was twice nominated for Academy Awards.

His first Oscar nomination was for his supporting role as a police detective in 1971’s Best Picture winner, The French Connection. His second was for his starring role as the self-destructive choreographer-director Joe Gideon, a thinly veiled Bob Fosse, in Fosse’s autobiographical All That Jazz, in 1979.

Last summer, Scheider, a longtime fixture in New York’s Hamptons, sold his beachfront house to Billy Joel for nearly $18.75 million. The acre property contained a home with four fireplaces built for Scheider and his family in 1994. Scheider then built a new, four-bedroom home in nearby Sag Harbor.

He is survived by his second wife, Brenda Seimer; three children; a brother; and two grandchildren, reports The New York Times.

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