Roy Scheider (10 November, 1932 – 10 February, 2008) was an American actor best known for his role as police chief Martin Brody in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws.
Scheider was born in Orange, New Jersey, the son of Anna S. (née Crosson) and Roy Bernhard Scheider, who was an auto mechanic. Scheider's mother was of Irish Catholic background and his father was German American and Protestant.
As a child, Scheider was an athlete, participating in organised baseball and boxing competitions. 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 in the United States Air Force, he appeared with the New York Shakespeare Festival, and won an Obie Award in 1968.
Scheider's first film role was in the 1963 horror film Curse of the Living Corpse. (He was billed as "Roy R. Sheider"). In 1971, he appeared in two highly popular movies, Klute and The French Connection, the latter garnering him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Four years later, he portrayed Chief Martin Brody in the Hollywood blockbuster Jaws which also starred Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss.
Scheider's famous movie line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat", which was actually ad-libbed by Scheider, 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 (as his younger brother) and Laurence Olivier.
He was originally cast as Michael (Robert DeNiro's role) in The Deer Hunter, the second movie of a three-movie deal with Universal Studios. However, bound by a Universal contract to make a Jaws sequel, he was deprived of the role.
In 1979, four years after he appeared in Jaws, he was nominated for his second Academy Award, this time as Best Actor in All That Jazz, in which he played a fictionalized version of the film's director Bob Fosse.
He was the original choice to play John Rambo in the 1982 film First Blood, but the part eventually went to Sylvester Stallone.
In 1983, he starred in Blue Thunder, a John Badham film about a fictitious technologically advanced prototype attack helicopter which was to be used as 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: The Year We Make Contact, a 1984 sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which William Sylvester originated the role of Floyd.
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.
Among his most recent films is the crusty father of hero Frank Castle in The Punisher (2004). In 2007, he 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 Iron Cross, which was in post-production.
In 1993, Scheider signed on to be the lead star in the Steven Spielberg-produced television series SeaQuest DSV. 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 exit 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.
Scheider hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in the tenth (1984-1985) season (musical guest: Billy Ocean) and appeared on the Family Guy episode "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey," voicing himself as the host of a toilet-training video.
In 2007, Scheider received one of two annually-presented Lifetime Achievement Awards at the SunDeis Film Festival in Waltham, Massachusetts. (Academy Award winner Patricia Neal was the recipient of the other.)
Scheider guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent as a death row inmate on May 14, 2007. He narrated, and become associate producer, of the Jaws documentary The Shark is Still Working.
Scheider's first marriage was to Cynthia Bebout on November 8, 1962. The couple had one daughter, Maximillia, before divorcing in 1989.
On February 11, 1989, he married actress Brenda King, with whom he had a son, Christian, and a daughter, Molly. They remained married until his death.
In 2004, Scheider was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. In June 2005, he underwent a bone marrow transplant to successfully treat the cancer which was classified as being in partial remission.
Scheider died on February 10, 2008 in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Hospital. He was 75 years old.