By DAVE KEHR
Published: February 11, 2008
Roy Scheider, a stage actor with a background in the classics who became one of the leading figures in the American film renaissance of the 1970s, died on Sunday afternoon in Little Rock, Ark. He was 75 and lived in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Mr. Scheider played the police chief of a resort town menaced by a shark and the lead role in Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz” (1979). Mr. Scheider had suffered from multiple myeloma for several years, and died of complications from a staph infection, his wife, Brenda Siemer, said.
Mr. Scheider’s rangy figure, gaunt face and emotional openness made him particularly appealing in everyman roles, most famously as the agonized police chief of “Jaws,” Steven Spielberg’s 1975 breakthrough hit, about a New England resort town haunted by the knowledge that a killer shark is preying on the local beaches.
“Jaws 2” failed to recapture the appeal of the first film, but Mr. Scheider bounced back, accepting the principal role in Bob Fosse’s autobiographical phantasmagoria of 1979, “All That Jazz.” Equipped with Mr. Fosse’s Mephistophelean beard and manic drive, Mr. Scheider’s character, Joe Gideon, gobbled amphetamines in an attempt to stage a new Broadway show while completing the editing of a film (and pursuing a parade of alluring young women) — a monumental act of self-abuse that leads to open-heart surgery. This won Mr. Scheider an Academy Award nomination in the best actor category. (Dustin Hoffman won that year, for “Kramer vs. Kramer.”) Keep reading at LINK
aura writes; He was great! I hope he didn’t suffer too much in the end. God bless him on his transition to the afterlife. The prayers and positive thoughts of many people will surely go with him. I’ll miss his wonderful acting and always remember him fondly. His roles entertained and enlightened moviegoers the world over and he will not be forgotten. God speed to him on his peaceful journey in the afterlife.