Monday, February 11, 2008

Roy Scheider Dies at 75

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:


SoSock said...

Thanks for the clip.
I had forgotten just how good Scheider was in that. I remember loving the movie when I first saw it, then enjoying it again in the early days of video when it was released as a "classic", but haven't watched it in years.
I think now I'll have to go get it, or at least rent it and rewatch.
Interesting story - I saw it when it was first released, in a theater, even though I was too young - 13. But I was in a very un-modernized town in Nicaragua that had 1 small theater and the movies came in on the plane every 2 days. You might get an old B & W flick 1 time, a cartoon reel the next day, then something that was still in theaters back home (like The French Connection) after that. And it was 7 cordobas (a dime) to get in, regardless. The R rating didn't mean squat down there :)

The Omnipotent Q said...

I was even younger when I first saw the film, SoSock. My father took me to see "The French Connection" when I was 10, and I remember how much I loved it from the first time I saw it, especially the riveting chase scene that was filmed in the heart of Brooklyn (and not too far from where I currently live).