Jaws Author Dies

JAWS author PETER BENCHLEY died in his Princeton, New Jersey home on Saturday night (11FEB06). He was 65.

The writer, whose 1974 best-selling novel was adapted into STEVEN SPIELBERG's movie blockbusters, died from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and a fatal scarring of the lungs, his widow WENDY confirmed.

Despite his novel turning sharks into objects of fear for millions of people around the world, the author was a long-time campaigner for the conservation of the sea creatures.

Wendy says, "Spielberg certainly made the most superb movie; Peter was very pleased.

"But Peter kept telling people the book was fiction, it was a novel, and that he no more took responsibility for the fear of sharks than MARIO PUZO took responsibility for the Mafia."

Betchley is survived by three children and five grandchildren.


Tags: Jaws - Peter Benchley - Steven Spielberg - Mario Puzo


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LSwinford's picture


I remember watching some interview show on TV because I was home sick and bored stiff. They interview Benchley for having some phenomenal book and getting an equally phenomenal book and movie deal over it. Later, when I saw the movie, it gripped me tremendously. To this day, when things are about to go really, really bad, a common line I will be heard to utter is, "We're going to need a bigger boat." While I never finished the book (started it a couple of times), the story was great. I remember Benchley said, more than once, that in studying sharks for the book and movies, he was awed by sharks. I too have a fascination with those ancient fish and Benchley and Spielberg helped cement it in my mind. (Having lived with asthma that seems to have gotten worse in recent months, I fear Benchley's end more than I do sharks. Its not the death, its the dying that is scarey.)
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