‘Jaws’: How Much of the Original Cast Is Still Alive Today?

by Emily Morgan

In 1975 fans flocked from the beaches to the movie theaters to see Steven Speilberg’s blockbuster hit, Jaws

Now, decades later, the Jaws universe has produced three sequels and has ignited a continued interest in the world of sharks. Now, we’re taking a looking at which cast members are still alive today. 

Starting with Richard Dreyfuss, the actor portrayed Matt Hooper in the hit movie. His character was an oceanographer obsessed with underwater carnivores. Martin Brody hired him to help him capture the great white.

Today, Dreyfuss is still starring in movies. In 2014, while participating in the Turner Classic Movies Festival, he shared the impact filmmaking has had on his career.

“No art form has ever swept the world like this one,” he said. “Movies have captured your dream state. … They are reaching into your dream state and pulling you out and showing you that you’re alive.”

Viewers also remember Roy Scheider as Police Chief Martin Brody in the suspenseful film. He quickly emerged as the plot’s hero. His character found and killed the 25-foot great white in the original Jaws

After starring in other films, he returned to the franchise when he reprised his role in Jaws 2. He continued acting until 2003. He died at 75 in 2008 from complications due to a staph infection. 

Looking back on the original actors from Jaws

Additionally, Robert Shaw starred as Quint in Jaws. As the official shark hunter, Quint met his unfortunate demise when the shark attacked him. Shaw later died at just 51 in 1978 from a heart attack while traveling with his wife and son.

Jonathan Searle also made a cameo appearance in the original film as a prankster. 

Although his stint in acting was relatively short, he decided to serve his community. So he became a police officer with the Edgartown Police Department. On July 15, he was sworn in as the new Oak Bluffs police chief on Martha’s Vineyard— where Spielberg filmed several shots. 

Starring as Martin Brody’s wife, Ellen, Lorraine Gary quickly rose to fame after she starred in the cult-classic film.  In1987, she came out of retirement to reprise her role as Ellen in Jaws: The Revenge. Unfortunately, that would be her last acting role. 

Fans of Jaws remember Chris Rebello for his performance as Michael Brody, Martin and Ellen’s son. Sadly, like Robert Shaw, he died in 2000 after suffering a major heart attack while hunting. 

Finally, Murray Hamilton took on the role of Larry Vaughn, the mayor of Amity Island— the fictional town from Jaws. In addition to his role in Jaws, Hamilton appeared in Anatomy of a MurderThe HustlerThe Graduate, and The Amityville Horror. After a longtime battle with cancer, Murray died in 1986 at 63.