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Roy Scheider

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Title: Roy Scheider  
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Subject: Bill & Peter's Bogus Journey, Jaws (film), The French Connection (film), Nathan Bridger, Cohen and Tate
Collection: 1932 Births, 2008 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Boxers, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American People of German Descent, American People of Irish Descent, Cancer Deaths in Arkansas, Deaths from Multiple Myeloma, Deaths from Staph Infection, Delia Austrian Medal Recipients, Franklin & Marshall College Alumni, Infectious Disease Deaths in Arkansas, Male Actors from New Jersey, Obie Award Recipients, People from Orange, New Jersey, Rutgers University Alumni, United States Air Force Airmen
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Roy Scheider

Roy Scheider
Scheider in 2007
Born Roy Richard Scheider
(1932-11-10)November 10, 1932
Orange, New Jersey, USA
Died February 10, 2008(2008-02-10) (aged 75)
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Cause of death Multiple myeloma
Nationality American
Other names Roy R. Scheider
Roy Schneider
Alma mater Franklin & Marshall College
Rutgers University
Occupation Actor, Boxer
Years active 1961–2008
  • Cynthia Bebout (m. 1962–86)
  • Brenda King/Siemer (m. 1989–2008)
Children 3

Roy Richard Scheider (November 10, 1932 – February 10, 2008) was an American actor and amateur boxer. He gained fame for his leading and supporting roles in several iconic films from the 1970s, playing Police Chief Martin C. Brody in Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978), NYPD Detective Buddy "Cloudy" Russo in The French Connection (1971), NYPD Detective Buddy Manucci in The Seven Ups (1973), Doc in Marathon Man (1976), and choreographer and film director Joe Gideon in All That Jazz (1979). He is also known for playing Captain Nathan Bridger in the science fiction television series seaQuest DSV (1993-1996). Described by AllMovie as "one of the most unique and distinguished of all Hollywood actors",[1] Scheider was nominated for two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award.[2]


  • Early life 1
    • Amateur boxing 1.1
  • Film career 2
  • Other work 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Death 5
  • Filmography 6
    • Film 6.1
    • Television 6.2
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Scheider was born in baseball and boxing competitions, for which he was classed as a welterweight, weighing in at 140 lbs. Scheider competed in the Diamond Gloves Boxing Tournament in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1985. He traded his boxing gloves for the stage, studying drama at both Rutgers University and Franklin and Marshall College, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. After three years as an officer in the United States Air Force, he appeared with the New York Shakespeare Festival, and won an Obie Award in 1968. On television, Scheider played running roles on two CBS soap operas, Love of Life and The Secret Storm, and also played character roles in episodes of Coronet Blue and N.Y.P.D..

Amateur boxing

Between 1946 and 1949, Scheider boxed as an amateur in New Jersey.[7] Scheider said in a television interview in the 1980s, that he took up boxing to lose weight. He said he had no desire to fight, but that his trainer, Georgie Ward, encouraged him to compete.[8] In his second bout, at the 1946 Diamond Gloves Tournament (Golden Gloves), Scheider suffered a broken nose and lost by technical knockout in two rounds to Myron Greenberg. He went on, however, to post a 13–1 (13 knockouts) record, reversing the defeat to Greenberg in the process.[7]

Amateur boxing record: Roy Scheider (unverified)[7]
Result Opponent Method Date Round Time Event Location Notes
Win Earl Garrett KO March 17, 1949 1 Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win Ted LaScalza KO March 12, 1949 1 Jersey City, New Jersey
Win Peter Read KO February 17, 1949 1 Elizabeth, New Jersey Scheider suffers nose injury; drops out of tournament.
Win Nick Welling KO July 20, 1948 1 Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win Jerry Gould KO July 2, 1948 1 Orange, New Jersey
Win Alfonse D'Amore KO March 2, 1948 1 Orange, New Jersey
Win Peter Read TKO February 21, 1948 2 Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win Phillip Duncan KO February 19, 1948 1 Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win Stewart Murphy KO April 1, 1947 1 0:16 Golden Gloves New Jersey
Win Myron Greenberg KO January 10, 1947 1 Golden Gloves New Jersey
Loss Myron Greenberg TKO January 11, 1946 2 Golden Gloves New Jersey Scheider's nose was broken.
Win Frank Brayden KO January 9, 1946 2 Golden Gloves New Jersey

Film career

Scheider's first film role was in the 1963 horror film The Curse of the Living Corpse. (He was billed as "Roy R. Scheider"). In 1971, he appeared in two highly popular movies, Klute and The French Connection; the latter, in which he played a fictionalized version of New York City detective Sonny Grosso, gained him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.[3] His first starring role came in 1973 in The Seven-Ups, a quasi-follow-up to The French Connection, in which Scheider's character is once again based on Grosso.

Two years later, he portrayed Chief Martin Brody in the 1975 Hollywood blockbuster Jaws which also starred Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss.[3] Scheider's famous movie line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat", ad-libbed by Scheider,[9] was voted 35th on the American Film Institute's list of best movie quotes.

In 1976, he appeared as secret agent Doc Levy in Marathon Man, with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier.[10] Scheider reunited with French Connection director William Friedkin in Sorcerer, a remake of the 1953 French film Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear).[3]

He was originally cast in The Deer Hunter, the second movie of a three-movie deal with Universal Studios.[3] However, despite being under contract, Scheider dropped out two weeks before the start of filming. Universal offered him the option of reprising his role as Martin Brody for a Jaws sequel, and would consider his contractual obligations fulfilled if he accepted. Scheider accepted, and Jaws 2 was released in 1978.[3]

In 1979, he received his second Academy Award nomination, this time as Best Actor in All That Jazz, in which he played a fictionalized version of the film's director and co-writer Bob Fosse.[3]

In 1983, he starred in Blue Thunder,[3] a John Badham film about a fictitious technologically advanced prototype attack helicopter which provided security over the city of Los Angeles during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. This was followed by a role as Dr. Heywood Floyd in Peter Hyams' 2010, a 1984 sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which William Sylvester originated the role of Floyd.[11]

One of his later parts was that of Dr. Benway in the long-in-production 1991 film adaptation of William S. Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch.[3] In 1990 he co-starred with Sean Connery in The Russia House as the smart-talking CIA liaison with MI6. Scheider played a mob boss in the Gary Oldman crime film Romeo Is Bleeding (1994)[3] and a chief executive of a corrupt insurance company cross-examined by Matt Damon's character in 1997's John Grisham's The Rainmaker, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Among his later films, he appeared as the crusty father of hero Frank Castle in The Punisher (2004), and in 2007, starred in The Poet and If I Didn't Care. When Scheider died in February 2008, he had two movies upcoming: Dark Honeymoon, which had been completed, and the thriller Iron Cross. In Iron Cross, Scheider plays the leading role of Joseph, a holocaust survivor with a propensity for justice, which was inspired by director Joshua Newton’s late father Bruno Newton. Iron Cross was ultimately released in 2011.

Other work

Scheider was lead star in the Steven Spielberg-produced television series SeaQuest DSV as Captain Nathan Bridger. During the second season, Scheider voiced disdain for the direction in which the series was heading. His comments were highly publicized, and the media criticized him for panning his own show. NBC made additional casting and writing changes in the third season, and Scheider decided to leave the show. His contract, however, required that he make several guest appearances that season. He also repeatedly guest-starred on the NBC television series Third Watch as Fyodor Chevchenko.

Scheider hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in the tenth (1984–1985) season and appeared on the Family Guy episode "Bill & Peter's Bogus Journey", voicing himself as the host of a toilet-training video; portions of which were censored on FOX and syndicated broadcast. Scheider provided voiceover on the Family Guy episode "Three Kings" (which was recorded in September 2007 but aired in May 2008, three months after his death in February 2008) which also featured his Jaws co-star Richard Dreyfuss. Scheider guest-starred in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Endgame" as serial killer Mark Ford Brady, who is identified at the episode's end as being the biological father of series star Vincent D'Onofrio's, character, Detective Goren.

Scheider narrated and was associate producer of the 2006 Jaws documentary The Shark is Still Working.

In 2007, Scheider received one of two annually-presented Lifetime Achievement Awards at the SunDeis Film Festival in Waltham, Massachusetts.

After Scheider's death a biography entitled Roy Scheider: A Life was released as a tribute, compiling reviews, essays and narration on his life and extensive career.

Personal life

Scheider's first marriage was to Cynthia Bebout on November 8, 1962. The couple had one daughter, Maximillia, before divorcing in 1986. On February 11, 1989, he married actress Brenda King, with whom he had a son, Christian Scheider, and adopted a daughter, Molly. They remained married until his death.[3]


In 2004, Scheider was found to have multiple myeloma, and he received a bone marrow transplant to treat the cancer in June 2005.[12] He died on February 10, 2008, in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Hospital.[13]





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External links

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