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AlbertJayNock

Roy Scheider

Roy Scheider died today. My brother told me an interesting story about him  that I am going to try to tell here. I give two disclaimers.
The first is that I might have a few immaterial details wrong, although it's substantially correct. The other one is that this is a story much better told in person, rather than in text. Keep that in mind as you read it.

My brother and a friend of his were in a sushi bar in Los Angeles and saw Roy Scheider. My brother's friend, a rather zany fellow, nudged him and said "Play along  with me on this". My brother agreed. The friend went up to Scheider, pointed at him and said "JAWS!! You was on Jaws!". My brother joined in, saying "That's right you was on Jaws! I seen ya! Was it scary out there?". They kept this up as long as they could and beat a hasty retreat. It's fun to imagine Roy Scheider's face while this was going on.. I picture an indulgent half-smile very slowly fading into irritation.

As the story above suggests, Jaws is Scheider's trademark movie. But the movie I always associate with him is All That Jazz, an underrated Bob Fosse film  from 1979. It is a semi-autobiographical movie about a director/choreographer slowly killing himself with drugs and overwork. Imagine 8 1/2 if Fellini had been an American director of Broadway musicals. It's closing musical scene fortuitously enough makes a very nice video obituary for Mr.Scheider. I am embedding it. Enjoy.

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