- NAME: Roy Scheider
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor
- BIRTH DATE: November 10, 1932
- DEATH DATE: February 10, 2008
- EDUCATION: Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ, Rutgers University, Franklin and Marshall College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Orange, New Jersey
- PLACE OF DEATH: Little Rock, Arkansas
- Full Name: Roy Richard Scheider
Best Known For
Actor Roy Scheider landed his breakthrough role in 1971’s Klute, and later played Police Chief Martin Brody in the Steven Spielberg-directed film Jaws.
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Roy Scheider was born on November 10, 1932, in Orange, New Jersey. He made his film debut in The Curse of the Living Corpse in 1964, and landed his breakthrough role in 1971’s Klute. He earned his first starring role in 1973's The Seven-Ups. In 1975, Scheider snagged his best-known role: as Police Chief Martin Brody in Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg. He died on February 10, 2008, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
Actor Roy Richard Scheider was born on November 10, 1932, into a working class family in Orange, New Jersey. His, father, Roy Sr., was an auto mechanic who owned and operated a local gas station. His mother, Anna, stayed home to take care of Roy, who was stricken with rheumatic fever at the age of 6. As a result of his illness, Scheider was forced to spend long periods in bed. To entertain himself, he became a voracious reader. But Scheider didn't let his poor health sideline him for long; Roy, Jr. began helping his father in the family business when he was 8 years old. He also competed in several sports, including boxing, which he participated in through the local YMCA. A 140-pound welterweight, Scheider made it to the finals of the New Jersey Diamond Glove championships in 1951. During the competition, an opponent broke Scheider's nose, giving it its distinctive shape.
By the the time Scheider graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, he had nearly recovered from his bout with rheumatic fever. Except for a slight heart murmur, Scheider's doctors gave him a clean bill of health. He headed to Rutgers University in New Jersey to study history, but transferred to Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after his first year. At Franklin and Marshall, Scheider got his first true taste of the theater, appearing in several stage productions while he earned his history degree and contemplated law school. But the acting bug hadn't quite bitten for Scheider; instead, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1955, serving three years and rising to the rank of first lieutenant before he was discharged.
Upon his return from the military, Scheider intended to finally head to law school. But when the drama department at Franklin and Marshall offered him a part in a Shakespeare production, Scheider decided to try his hand at acting again. His performance caught the eye of a Broadway scout, and Scheider made his professional acting debut in 1961, appearing as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet for the New York Shakespeare festival.
Scheider's film debut came three years later in The Curse of the Living Corpse (1964), a low-budget horror film. He also played minor roles in such films as Paper Lion (1968) and Stiletto (1969) before he landed his breakthrough role in the 1971 thriller, Klute. The movie, starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, featured Scheider as a pimp for a call-girl ring. The film helped put Scheider on the map in Hollywood, and landed Fonda several awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
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