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Jaws star Susan Backlinie dies aged 77: Actress performed the primary shark sufferer in Steven Spielberg’s iconic film

Jaws star Susan Backlinie dies aged 77: Actress performed the primary shark sufferer in Steven Spielberg’s iconic film


Actress and stuntwoman Susan Backlinie, maybe greatest referred to as the primary shark assault sufferer in ‘Jaws,’ has died.

Backlinie, 77, suffered a deadly coronary heart assault at her dwelling in Ventura, California.

Along with her profession on the silver display, Backlinie was a nationally ranked swimmer {and professional} diver.

Earlier than she was introduced onto ‘Jaws’ at 28 years previous, she had labored as an animal coach and carried out as a mermaid.

She performed Chrissie Watkins in Steven Spielberg’s iconic 1975 movie and spent three days rehearsing the opening scene, through which she is thrashed round by an amazing white earlier than vanishing beneath the waves.

Actress Susan Backlinine, perhaps best known for her appearance in 'Jaws,' died Sunday at 77 years old

Actress Susan Backlinine, maybe greatest identified for her look in ‘Jaws,’ died Sunday at 77 years previous

She portrayed Chrissie Watkins in Steven Spielberg's 1975 flick and is remembered as the first shark attack victim whose death shocked millions to the core

She portrayed Chrissie Watkins in Steven Spielberg's 1975 flick and is remembered as the first shark attack victim whose death shocked millions to the core

She portrayed Chrissie Watkins in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 flick and is remembered as the primary shark assault sufferer whose dying shocked tens of millions to the core

She worked as an animal handler and performed as a mermaid before landing her first film role

She worked as an animal handler and performed as a mermaid before landing her first film role

She labored as an animal handler and carried out as a mermaid earlier than touchdown her first movie function

She later appeared in Spielberg’s ‘1941’ to parody the scene that launched her into stardom. This time, as an alternative of being eaten by a shark, she is picked up by a Japanese submarine.

A few of her different credit embrace ‘Two-Minute Warning,’ The Nice Muppet Caper,’ ‘Day of the Animals’ and the tv sequence ‘The Fall Man.’ 

Talking at a Canadian fan conference held in 2017, Backlinie recalled how she landed her function in ‘Jaws’.

She shared how she submitted a nude picture of herself in her software, since she assumed the film would name for her to strip down. To her reduction, that did not grow to be obligatory.

‘I do about for our 5 [conventions] a 12 months, it is enjoyable to exit and meet all of the followers,’ Backlinie instructed the interviewer on the time. 

‘All of them have the identical factor to say and the principle factor they are saying on a regular basis is: “You have stored me out of the water.”‘

Backlinie and her household moved to West Palm Seashore, Florida, when she was 10 years previous.

Whereas attending Forest Hill Excessive College, she was a cheerleader and state swimming champion who received the Class A 500-yard freestyle title in 1962, based on file archives. 

The following 12 months, she participated on the 200-yard medley workforce that secured the Class 2A state title for the Falcons. After graduating highschool, she attended nursing faculty for a 12 months.

Backlinie (pictured on the set of 'Two-Minute Warning' in 1976), died at her home in Ventura, California, her booking agent confirmed

Backlinie (pictured on the set of 'Two-Minute Warning' in 1976), died at her home in Ventura, California, her booking agent confirmed

Backlinie (pictured on the set of ‘Two-Minute Warning’ in 1976), died at her dwelling in Ventura, California, her reserving agent confirmed

Eager to do one thing ‘extra athletic,’ Backlinie labored as a mermaid on the Weeki Wachee Springs and an animal handler at Ivan Tors Studios in Miami.

After Ivan Tors shuttered, she moved to California to work with Africa U.S.A., a wildlife vacationer attraction that closed in 1961.

She was capturing on location with a tiger in Canada when the ‘Jaws’ workforce first made contact along with her.

DailyMail.com caught up with the actress in June 2022, when she was noticed operating errands days earlier than the forty seventh anniversary of the discharge of ‘Jaws’.

Backlinie is survived by her husband, Harvey Swindall. The pair lived collectively on a houseboat off the Ventura coast.

In a press release to Fox Information Digital, Swindall stated her passing was ‘very sudden’.

He described his spouse of almost three a long time as ‘essentially the most superb particular person I’ve ever met in my life. And I’ve by no means beloved anyone like her.’

Backlinie’s reserving agent, Matthew Templeton, confirmed her dying and requested that followers respect the household’s privateness.



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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