The actress and stunt girl Susan Backlinie, whose portrayal of a violent loss of life as the primary shark assault sufferer within the opening scene of the blockbuster film “Jaws” terrified moviegoers, died on Saturday. She was 77.

Ms. Backlinie died at her residence in California, her agent, Sean Clark, mentioned on Sunday. He mentioned she had a coronary heart assault.

“Jaws,” the 1975 film directed by Steven Spielberg, memorably options Ms. Backlinie in a scene during which she performed a skinny-dipper, Chrissie Watkins, who runs alongside the seaside and dives into the water for a nighttime swim.

The placid scene is shattered as she is all of a sudden pulled beneath the water. She screams whereas being violently thrashed by an unseen nice white shark and tries desperately to cling to a clanging buoy solely to be pulled beneath the water one closing time.

For the scene, Ms. Backlinie was secured to a harness, based on The Daily Jaws web site. The Palm Beach Post reported that Ms. Backlinie was carrying a pair of denims with metallic plates stitched into the edges with cables hooked up.

“To create the impact of being pulled by the water, Susan was tethered to a line anchored to the ocean ground beneath her and intentionally left unaware of when she could be submerged initially, aiming to elicit a extra genuine shock from her,” The Each day Jaws reported.

In an interview with The Submit in 2017, Ms. Backlinie recalled Mr. Spielberg telling her, “When your scene is completed, I would like everybody beneath the seats with the popcorn and bubble gum.”

She mentioned, “I believe we did that.”

In “Jaws: The Inside Story” documentary, Mr. Spielberg described the sequence as “one of the crucial harmful” stunts.

“She was really being tugged left and proper by 10 males on one rope and 10 males on the opposite again to the shore, and that’s what brought about her to maneuver like that,” he mentioned.

The actor Richard Dreyfuss, who starred within the film because the oceanographer Matt Hooper, defined within the documentary how Ms. Backlinie and Mr. Spielberg added to the fear of the scene by later recording her screams.

Mr. Spielberg “had her tilt her head again and he poured water down her throat whereas she screamed, which is now generally known as waterboarding,” Mr. Dreyfuss mentioned.

Ms. Backlinie labored with Mr. Spielberg once more within the 1979 parody battle movie “1941” during which she spoofed her “Jaws” character by taking a late-night swim. Because the suspenseful rating from “Jaws” performed, she encountered the rising periscope of a Japanese submarine as a substitute of a shark.

At age 10, Ms. Backlinie lived in West Palm Seaside, Fla., the place she swam for miles off the coast and in native swimming pools, The Submit reported. In highschool, she was a cheerleader and a state freestyle swimming champ.

She carried out as a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a vacationer attraction on Florida’s west coast, and finally moved to California.

Ms. Backlinie, who was born on Sept. 1, 1946, is survived by her husband, Harvey Swindall, based on Mr. Clark.

After “Jaws,” she continued to work in movies, showing within the horror film “Day of the Animals” (1977), and as a water ballet performer in Jim Henson’s “The Nice Muppet Caper” (1981). She additionally appeared in an episode of the stunt tv collection “The Fall Man” in 1982.

Nevertheless it was the opening scene of “Jaws” for which she could be finest remembered.

In The Submit interview, she recalled how followers who attended film conventions talked to her about their worry of swimming due to that scene.

“One of many important feedback I get from everyone is, ‘You realize you saved me out of the water,’” she mentioned.



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