Roy Scheider, the actor best known as Jaws' besieged police chief, has died. He was 75. Mr. Scheider died Sunday (Feb. 10, 2008) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock. The hospital did not release his cause of death, but spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said he had been treated for multiple myeloma at the hospital for the past two years. Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1975, is widely hailed as the film that launched the era of the Hollywood blockbuster. It was the first film to earn $100-million at the box office. He starred with Richard Dreyfuss, who played an oceanographer. In 2005, one of Mr. Scheider's most famous lines in the movie - "You're gonna need a bigger boat" - was voted No. 35 on the American Film Institute's list of best quotes from U.S. movies. Mr. Scheider also appeared in The French Connection and Klute (both in 1971) and was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor for his role in Bob Fosse's autobiographical All That Jazz (1979). He was also politically active, participating in antiwar rallies.
Writers set up quick end to strike
The Writers Guild of America moved swiftly Sunday toward resolving its 3-month-old strike by making two significant moves: Guild leaders decided to recommend to members the contract negotiated with the studios, and to ask them to vote on ending the walkout before a ratification vote is taken. By asking for separate votes, the union cleared the way for the entertainment industry to return to work almost immediately, which would salvage the rest of the TV season. Membership meetings will be held Tuesday in New York and Los Angeles to allow writers to decide whether to end the strike early. The ratification vote will be conducted by mail over about two weeks. "This the best deal this guild has bargained for in 30 years," said Patric Verrone, president of the guild's West Coast branch. It secures writers a share of the burgeoning digital-media market, he said, including compensation for Internet-delivered TV shows and movies. But, he said, "it is not all we hoped for, and it is not all we deserved." Still, the union's negotiating committee recommended Saturday that the contract be accepted, and the West branch's board of directors and the East Coast's council agreed.