Actress In Iconic ‘Jaws’ Scene Dead At 77


Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Susan Backlinie, who played the victim in the iconic “Jaws” scene, died in her home in Ventura, California, Saturday morning. She was 77.

Backlinie’s husband, Harvey Swindall, confirmed her death in a brief statement issued to TMZ, saying she passed away from a heart attack, and noting that he will miss her very much, according to the publication. Backlinie was a seasoned actress who got her start in acting in 1975. She was credited for her acting skills, as well as her role as a talented stuntwoman, according to TMZ.

The famous actress played Chrissie Watkins in the Steven Spielberg-directed hit, “Jaws,” and immediately solidified her long-lasting career in Hollywood. The terrifying, gruesome scene involved her character going skinny dipping before the situation took a dramatic turn. The scene became a pop culture classic, as her character was savagely yanked back and forth in the horrifying attack, moments before she was eaten by the shark. Many fans were so horrified by the scene that they refused to swim in the ocean.

Backlinie was a professional diver and nationally ranked swimmer with experience acting as a mermaid and working as an animal trainer when she was hired to star in “Jaws,” at the age of 28, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The scene was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard for three days.

“We would film anywhere from 6 or 7 in the morning until 9, because of the light,” she said in a 2023 interview.

“I’ll tell you, I was exhausted at the end of the day.”

Backlinie’s credits include a number of stunt roles in films and television. She played a role in “The Great Muppet Caper,” “Day of the Animals,” and the TV show “The Fall Guy,” to name a few. (RELATED: Veteran Entertainment Reporter Sam Rubin Dies)

Susan is survived by her husband, Harvey. Funeral arrangements have not yet been conveyed.

Watch more iconic ‘Jaws’ scenes below: