Sunday, February 10, 2008

Roy Scheider, 1932-2008

Roy Scheider, busted-nosed leading man of the American cinematic renaissance of the 1970s, dead at the age of 75. Scheider was nearly 40 before he made any sort of impact on acting, but he became an archetype in the 1970s, appearing alongside other homely male stars like Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss and Dustin Hoffman in what was surely Hollywood's golden era of the ugly dude.

Scheider is probably best remembered as Chief Brody in Jaws, the man who pointed out the need for a bigger boat, but I was always partial to his performance in Marathon Man as Hoffman's secret-agent brother. They called each other Doc and Babe, for reasons I could never figure out. He was also great as Hackman's sidekick in The French Connection, the two of them looking as much like a pair of outer-borough detectives as was possible in 1971.

I guess Scheider was also pretty spectacular in All That Jazz - that earned him his only Best Actor Oscar nomination - but I didn't see it.

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