I was saddened to learn on Sunday night that the versatile actor Roy Scheider died at the age of 75 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He had been battling myeloma, but the exact cause of his death has not been revealed as of yet.
Mr. Scheider was originally from New Jersey, and best known for his roles in "Jaws," as police chief Brody, who utters the immortal line, "We're gonna need a bigger boat." And he was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor for his role in "All That Jazz."
But Mr. Scheider rose to prominence in one of my all-time favorite movies, "The French Connection," as Buddy Russo, the partner of Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle. I have seen the film at least 50 times in my life, and Roy Scheider was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. The film won Oscars for Hackman, and also won for Best Picture and Best Director, for William Friedkin in 1972.
So to honor the memory of Mr. Scheider, I have included a two-minute YouTube clip of he and Gene Hackman convincing their superior to form a special task force to nail a suspected heroin dealer. The superior is played by Eddie Egan, the real-life cop who uncovered the real-life French Connection in New York in 1962.
More on Roy Scheider's career: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Scheider