The first victim of “Jaws” was 77 years old

Susan Baclineni, the actress and model, was a slender young woman going out for a night swim off the coast of Amity Island. The first victim of the shark In Steven Spielberg Jaws, He died. She was 77 years old.

Bacline died Saturday at her home in Ventura, Calif., her publicist, Matthew Templeton, said. Tell Daily jaw website.

A nationally ranked professional swimmer and diver, Paklinny had performed as a mermaid and worked as an animal trainer when, at age 28, she was hired to play the skinny Chrissy in Universal’s film. Jaws (1975).

“I didn’t want an actor to do that. I wanted to be a stunt actor because I needed someone skilled in the water, who knew water ballet and knew how to withstand what I imagined would be a lot of violent shaking,” Spielberg said in Laurent Bouzereau’s 2023 book. Spielberg: The first ten years. “So, I did the stunts to find her, and Susan was up to the challenge.”

“The first thing [Spielberg] “He told me, ‘When your scene is over, I want everyone under the seats with popcorn and gum,’” Bacline said. the Palm Beach Post In a 2017 interview.

As the director described her in Bouzereau’s book: “She was wearing a belt. It had two eye rings and wires leading to two pegs on the beach [about 50 yards away]. Five crew members were on one side and five crew members were on the other side, basically pulling Susan. There was a ribbon hanging from the wire, and when it reached one of the pegs, they had to stop pulling and the other team took over and pulled in the other direction.

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“What you didn’t want to happen was for both teams to pull out at the same time. For added safety, it had the ability to quickly release the wire if something went wrong. It had to be perfectly designed to give the impression that the shark was pulling violently to the right and then Immediately violently to the left.

Susan Bacline in Jaws

Susan Bacline in Jaws


Backlinie worked the scene for three days on Martha’s Vineyard. “We were filming anywhere from 6 or 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., because of the light,” she said. He said In an interview last year. “I’ll tell you, I was exhausted at the end of the day.”

Because of it, people never went swimming in the ocean again.

Born on September 1, 1946, Bacline moved with her family from Washington to West Palm Beach, Florida, when she was 10 years old. She was a cheerleader and state swimming champion at Forest Hill High School; After graduating in 1964, she enrolled in nursing school for a year.

According to the mailShe swam as a mermaid at the Weeki Wachee Springs attraction in Florida and worked with wildlife in Miami at Ivan Tors Studios, home of Fin On NBC. On a national tour with Tours, she shared the stage with Gentle Ben, the bear who starred in the 1967-1969 CBS series with Dennis Weaver and Clint Howard.

Backlinie was shooting on location with a tiger in Canada when Jaws The staff found it. “If you use me, you can get close-ups during the stunt itself,” she told Spielberg. “If you use an actress, she’ll have to hide her face.”

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In the 2010 TV documentary Jaws: The inside storyShe said that during her scene, “When I felt my hips going to one side, I would throw my arms in the opposite direction as hard as I could.

“I also had a pair of fins on because when they pulled me to one side, I would fall under the water, so I had to kick as hard as I could to stay above the water. It took a lot of energy, but I was in pretty good shape at the time. Between takes, Spielberg was in an inner tube next to her.

Jaws It will be her first appearance in a movie. Backlinie went back into the water naked and into the dark for Spielberg to enter 1941 (1979) – There was that ominous music again – only this time it was her Encountered a Japanese submarine.

The back line also appeared in Two-minute warning (1976), Stranger in the woods (1976), Animals day (1977) — she was an animal trainer in that, too — Big caper dolls (1981) and a 1982 episode of Scapegoat Before retiring from stunt work.

She and her husband, Harvey, lived on a houseboat in Ventura.

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