So long to Roy Scheider, a solid character actor who could slip into various personas with nary a wrinkle. He was of course best known for "Jaws," and was quite good in comedic roles (his "SNL" hosting stint in early 1985 showed his underappreciated range). But to me, Scheider will always be Joe Gideon, Bob Fosse's Doppelgänger in the wonderful "All That Jazz." Scheider was rightfully nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for "Jazz," but lost to Dustin Hoffman for "Kramer Vs. Kramer," though the award that year should have gone to Peter Sellers for "Being There." What are you gonna do? The Oscars usually blow it, and that year was no exception.
Here's the final ten minutes of "Jazz," as Gideon prepares to die after a lifetime of overwork, infidelity, personal betrayal, deceit, booze and pill abuse, and brilliant choreography. Fosse staged his own death for the camera (Death played by Jessica Lange, awaiting him in white), and now Roy Scheider has joined the final production. RIP.
I'm the author of "MR. MIKE: The Life and Work of Michael O'Donoghue, The Man Who Made Comedy Dangerous," "AMERICAN FAN: Sports Mania and the Culture That Feeds It," and "SAVAGE MULES: The Democrats and Endless War."
I wrote jokes for Bill Maher and countless other comics, some of whom ran for public office. I've done the media/public speaking thing, pounding podiums when not singing and dancing for tossed coins. Once upon a time I wrote Red State Son, the archive of which can be found in the blogroll below.