Actress Susan Backlinie, First Victim of 'Jaws', Passes Away at 77
Film & TV News Jaws

Actress Susan Backlinie, First Victim of 'Jaws', Passes Away at 77

Nathan Lees
Nathan Lees

Susan Backlinie, the stuntperson and actress who as a young skinny-dipper out for a nighttime swim off the coast of Amity Island became the shark’s first victim in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, has passed away at the age of 77.

Backlinie died Saturday at her home in Ventura, California.

Backlinie Jaws Scene

Backlinie's career spanned performing as a mermaid, working as an animal trainer, and being a nationally ranked swimmer. However, she is best remembered for her role as Chrissie in the iconic film Jaws. Her stunning performance as the shark attack victim left a lasting impact on audiences worldwide. Steven Spielberg specifically wanted a stuntperson for the role, and Backlinie's expertise in the water made her the perfect fit.

During the filming of Jaws, Backlinie showcased her swimming abilities and endurance. The scene where she is attacked by the shark was meticulously choreographed to create a realistic and intense sequence that captivated viewers. Backlinie's dedication to the role and willingness to undergo challenging stunts added authenticity to the film.

After Jaws, Backlinie continued to work in the entertainment industry, appearing in various films and TV shows. Her diverse talents and passion for performing made her a respected figure among her peers. She retired from stunt work later in her career but remained beloved by fans for her memorable role in Jaws.

With the passing of Susan Backlinie, the film industry has lost a talented performer whose contribution to cinema will always be remembered. Her legacy lives on through her work, inspiring future generations of actors and stunt performers.

Rest in peace, Susan Backlinie.

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