Monday, February 11, 2008

Roy Scheider, "a knockaround actor".

That's how Richard Dreyfuss referred to Roy Scheider when commenting on Mr. Schnieder's passing yesterday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital. Roy Scheider's appearances in three of cinema's most memorable classics, The French Connection, All That Jazz and Jaws, cemented his standing as one of our favorite actors. Only weeks ago, I re-watched a favorite from 1986, the John Frankenheimer directed 52 Pick-up, co-starring Ann Margaret.
When an actor takes front and center, it can be easy to recognize the craft of acting that lingers behind the surface of the film, for me, Roy Scheider assumed a character so completely that the journey always felt new and fresh. From Detective Buddy Russo (The French Connection), Choreographer Joe Gideon (All That Jazz), to Police Chief Martin Brody (Jaws), we followed characters weaving stories and unspooling dramas as we we're invited along. All journeys worth taking again and again, and all with a wonderfully wry and sharp sense of comic timing.

Among the Roy Scheider films that will remain as all time personal favorites - 2010 (1984), The Men's Club (1986), Blue Thunder (1983), Marathon Man (1976), and The Seven-Ups (1973). Roy Scheider was also part of one of Francis Ford Coppola's finest ensemble casts (headed by Matt Damon and Danny DeVito) in 1997's The Rainmaker.

Our prayers and warm wishes to Mr. Scheider's family, friends and fans.

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