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‘Jaws’ actress Susan Backlinie dies aged 77

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Jaws actress Susan Backlinie has passed away at the age of 77.

The star, who was also a stuntwoman, played the role of the first victim in the 1975 Steven Spielberg film, her character Chrissie Watkins crossing paths with the shark after going for a late night swim during a beach party in the film’s opening scene.

The news of Backlinie’s death was confirmed by her husband Harvey Swindall, who told Fox News that she died from a heart attack and that her passing was “very unexpected”.

“[She] was the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life. And I’ve never loved anybody like her,” he said.

Speaking back in 2015 about being cast in Jaws, Backlinie recalled to the Palm Beach Post: “The first thing [Spielberg] said to me was, ‘When your scene is done, I want everyone under the seats with the popcorn and bubblegum. So I think we did that.”

Spielberg also opened up in 2010 documentary Jaws: The Inside Story about how they managed to make the scene work.

“She was actually being tugged left and right by 10 men on one rope and 10 men on the other back to the shore, and that’s what caused her to move like that,” he explained.

As well as Jaws, Backlinie worked on the original TV series version of The Fall Guy, as well as The Grizzly And The Treasure and Day Of The Animals. She also parodied her Jaws appearance in Spielberg’s 1979 comedy 1941.

The news of her death has led to many tributes, with fansite The Jaws Daily writing on X (formerly Twitter): “We are deeply saddened to share the news that #JAWS star Susan Backlinie aka Chrissie Watkins passed away earlier today, aged 77. R.I.P. Susan. We’ll miss you.”

Many more have shared their tributes on social media, which you can read below:

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NME Original Article

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