Roy Scheider, a two-time Academy Award nominee best remembered as the reluctant, shark-hunting police chief in "Jaws," died yesterday. He was 75 years old and lived in Sag Harbor.
Scheider had suffered from multiple myeloma for years and died in Little Rock, Ark., from a staph infection, according to his wife, Brenda Siemer.
Outside of his film career, Scheider was active in East End causes, helping co-found the Hayground School in Bridgehampton, which is dedicated to creating a progressive, culturally diverse educational environment for local children. Scheider "was deeply committed to the school in every way," said Jonathan Snow, another of the school's founders.
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Letter to the Southampton Press:
from: James Henry
February 11, 2008
I was deeply saddened to learn today that my good friend and fellow Sag Harbor citizen Roy Scheider has died.
I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife Brenda and his family- and to our community, which has just lost one of its finest citizens.
Roy was not only a great actor and film star, and a beloved father and husband, but also a courageous activist.
He gave freely of his heart, talents, time, wealth, and endless good humor to the causes of civil rights, peace, social justice, and the welfare of our community.
Whenever there was a just cause to be fought for, he did not just sit back and hope for the best. He showed up-- he marched, spoke out, campaigned, wrote letters and articles, raised money, literally lay down in the streets and dared to get arrested.
He did all this, not because he expected to win every battle, much less for any personal gain, but simply because he was one of those rare people who really cared.
He was- and will continue to be - an example to us all.
Roy also happened to love Sag Harbor and the whole east end of Long Island with all his heart. In the next few days, those of us who feel his loss so greatly will be consulting with each other about a suitable community tribute.
James S. Henry, Esq.
Sag Harbor, New York 11963