Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Screen memories of Roy Scheider

Originally posted at THE JAWS BOARD on Wed. Feb 13, 2008 @ 4:12 am

My name is Nathan and this is my first post here at The Jaws Board. I learned of Roy Scheider's passing late Sunday nite and the sadness was overwhelming.

I was born in late '76, so I was far too young to experience JAWS, but I became quite aware of the film since my father owned the soundtrack album. The cover scared the hell out of me, but with that fear came a fascination. Couple that with the eventual mass marketing of JAWS 2, I was hooked before I saw either film. I'd imagine not unlike any kid my age who shared the same fascination, Roy became a highly recognizable figure in my early childhood, along with the likes of John Belushi, Bill Bixby, Lynda Carter, Chevy Chase, Richard Dreyfuss, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Goldie Hawn, Mark Hamill, Dudley Moore, Jack Nicholson, John Travolta, Frank Langella, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter and Robin Williams... just to name a few! These were my heroes.

Roy, of course, would go on to do so many great films. ALL THAT JAZZ, COHEN & TATE, 52 PICK-UP, LAST EMBRACE, SORCERER, STILL OF THE NIGHT, 2010 ...terrific performances. And, we all know an Oscar should have been awarded to him for ALL THAT JAZZ. Of course, BLUE THUNDER was such a dream film for me, too. Scheider, McDowell & Oates in the same film? Are you kidding me?! Not to mention possibly the coolest piece of machinery to grace the silver screen! Where do I sign?!

His prior JAWS screen record was equally impressive in such works as THE FRENCH CONNECTION, KLUTE, THE SEVEN-UPS and a great turn as the "heavy" in the underrated THE OUTSIDE MAN. Roy steals that one, completely. Simply put, Roy had an undeniable screen presence. His appearance in any film solidified my need to see it and such further opportunities will be sorely missed.

In an earlier post by Doug, he describes Roy as an "icon". Spot on. I cannot think of a better way to encapsule the memory of this wonderful, talented actor.