Monday, 11 February 2008

Roy Scheider

Rewatching Marathon Man not so long ago, I was struck all over again by the quiet genius of Roy Scheider who has died aged 75. So much a part of my formative moviegoing experience thanks to his starring role in Jaws ("we're going to need a bigger boat"), the minimalist delivery, cool cynicism, and iconic quality that Scheider possessed in abundance only truly impacted me as I grew older. He was terrific in The French Connection, Sorcerer, and Klute, and turned in a wonderfully creepy performance in Cronenberg's Naked Lunch. (I didn't know until today that he was offered the lead in The Deer Hunter but turned it down to honour a commitment to star in Jaws 2.) I loved him in the much under-rated 2010 (and still remember watching the scene in which his character uses a laptop on the beach in awe; it was 1984 after all). But if you're after one masterpiece Scheider performance to watch, may I recommend his role as self-destructive/womanising choreographer/director in Bob Fosse's autobiographical All That Jazz. Wonderful.


Schmid4Brains said...

one of those guys who was an actor in the truest sense of the word. and though he maybe, to many, as "hey, i recognize that guy. what was he in?" he definately has his niche carved out in cinematic history and he will be missed.

the big question is... who will get the bigger tribute at the oscars? Roy or Heath?

Of course, there's Anna Nicole Smith, Jane Wyman, Yvonne De Carlo, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Tom Poston, Ingmar Bergman, Merv Griffin, Alice Ghostley... oh and film critic Joel Siegel.

Mark Salisbury said...

And don't forgot Antonioni.

Karen at Johnny Depp Reads said...

I do so hope that they somehow honor the wonderful Charles Lane who died last summer at 102. He's one of those character actors that don't seem exist anymore. You know his face and he seems to have worked in films and television for about 70 years. He was wonderful and I think he's actor with a recognizable face, but no recognizable name.