Published at: Feb. 10, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST by quint
Quint here. I don't know what to say. I'll probably ramble a bit, but I'm still reeling from this... I'd heard that Roy Scheider was battling cancer, but I thought he had control of it. I've seen him pop up on TV and he looked great... strong, intimidating... full of life. He died this weekend.
Of course JAWS is my favorite movie and Roy Scheider was a big part of that. Quint's a great character played colorfully by Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss brought a lot of sarcastic humor to Hooper, but those guys don't come into the movie in any major way until reel 2 or 3. If Scheider hadn't been the likable everyman the audience wouldn't have stuck around for the shark action and a crucial element to the chemistry of Quint, Hooper and Brody would have gone missing.
His work outside of JAWS is great, too. I'm thinking particularly of the film that got him the role of Chief Brody, William Friedkin's '70s masterpiece THE FRENCH CONNECTION. He was a big part of '70s crime with French Connection and The Seven Ups and Marathon Man, but my personal favorite non-JAWS related film is another Friedkin flick, a remake of the classic THE WAGES OF FEAR, titled SORCERER. It's one of the hands down most intense films ever made. Scheider played a man transporting volatile nitroglycerin through the bumpy jungle roads of South America.
Other memorable works include 2010, ALL THAT JAZZ, KLUTE, BLUE THUNDER, NAKED LUNCH and so much more.
I never had the chance to meet Roy Scheider, but I know many who did and to the person they spoke well of him. By all accounts he was a man of deep kindness and even deeper intelligence. He died this afternoon at the age of 75.
My thoughts are with Mr. Scheider's friends, family and fans. I hope you all join me tonight in a toast to Roy. Let's drink to our legs.