Monday, February 11, 2008

Why am I sadder about Roy Scheider than Heath Ledger?

I had been meaning to write something about Heath Ledger's death. The problem is, I really have nothing to say. I have never seen a single movie Heath Ledger has been in. This is not some sort of anti-Brokeback Mountain thing. He has just never been in a movie I have wanted to see.

I feel bad about the circumstances of his death. Leaving his young daughter, possible hints of drug abuse...not sure of the whole story, I am just glad TMZ has stopped with the 24 hour Britney watch to follow this saga.

Over the weekend, veteran actor Roy Scheider died. I have always felt bad for Scheider as his greatest roles and the best movies he has ever been in...he has been overshadowed by co-stars. Whether you talk about Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier or Jaws with Richard Dreyfuss...Scheider almost becomes an afterthough compared to those bigger stars with showier performances.

His best performance ever was probably the Bob Fosse directed All That Jazz. The problem is this movie has basically been forgotten as a confusing bit of cinema as the famed choreographer Bob Fosse directed this film which is essentially a bio-pic of himself during the time he was trying to finish the film Lenny while staging the broadway show of Chicago. I don't often agree with Leonard Maltin but he referrs to All That Jazz as self indulgent...and he's not wrong. It is just too bad that a great Scheider performance is lost in all of it.

Top 5 Roy Scheider movies
1. Marathon Man
2. Jaws
3. The French Connection
4. All That Jazz
5. 52 Pick Up

Post 80s, Scheider is probably best known for the television show seaQuest DSV. It lasted barely three seasons. He became quite vocal about the problems with the show during the second season, and only appeared in three episodes of the show's third and final season.

The show was a bit like an underwater Star Trek and, because of which, actually continues to have a bit of a cult following. The first season was realeased on DVD in late 2005 while the second season was released on DVD last month. Unfortunately, not a fitting end for one of the most underrated actors of the 70s.


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