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Robert Shaw

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Also Known As: Robert Archibald Shaw Died: August 28, 1978
Born: August 9, 1927 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Lancashire, England, GB Profession: actor, playwright, novelist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A rough-hewn British character actor who played more leading roles later in his career, Robert Shaw went from being typecast as tough-guy villains to proving his versatility in a wide range of performances. Shaw had his start on the stage in the late 1940s and quickly segued to the screen where he broke through as an assassin for SPECTRE in "From Russia with Love" (1963). But it was his Oscar-nominated turn as King Henry VIII in "A Man for All Seasons" (1966) that helped shed new light on the actor, leading to a variety of characters in films like "Battle of Britain" (1969), "A Town Called Hell" (1971) and "Young Winston" (1972). Shaw then entered his most fruitful period to play ruthless mob boss Doyle Lonnegan in "The Sting" (1973) and criminal mastermind Mr. Blue in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), which paved the way for his most iconic performance as salty Quint in Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" (1975). From there, Shaw was a leading man in a number of major studio films like "Black Sunday" (1977), "Force 10 from Navarone" (1977) and "Avalanched Express" (1979). But at the height of his career, Shaw suffered a fatal heart attack. Whether on screen or as the author of award-winning novels,...

A rough-hewn British character actor who played more leading roles later in his career, Robert Shaw went from being typecast as tough-guy villains to proving his versatility in a wide range of performances. Shaw had his start on the stage in the late 1940s and quickly segued to the screen where he broke through as an assassin for SPECTRE in "From Russia with Love" (1963). But it was his Oscar-nominated turn as King Henry VIII in "A Man for All Seasons" (1966) that helped shed new light on the actor, leading to a variety of characters in films like "Battle of Britain" (1969), "A Town Called Hell" (1971) and "Young Winston" (1972). Shaw then entered his most fruitful period to play ruthless mob boss Doyle Lonnegan in "The Sting" (1973) and criminal mastermind Mr. Blue in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), which paved the way for his most iconic performance as salty Quint in Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" (1975). From there, Shaw was a leading man in a number of major studio films like "Black Sunday" (1977), "Force 10 from Navarone" (1977) and "Avalanched Express" (1979). But at the height of his career, Shaw suffered a fatal heart attack. Whether on screen or as the author of award-winning novels, Shaw was a unique talent the likes of whom would not be seen again.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Avalanche Express (1979) General Marenkov
2.
 Force Ten From Navarone (1978) Major Mallory
3.
 Black Sunday (1977) Major Kabakov
4.
 The Deep (1977) Romer Treece
5.
 Swashbuckler (1976) Ned Lynch
6.
 Robin And Marian (1976) Sheriff Of Nottingham
7.
 Murder on the Bridge (1975) Richard Gastmann
8.
 Jaws (1975) Quint
9.
 Diamonds (1975) Charles Hodgson/Earl Hodgson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1949:
Stage debut with Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon
1949:
Toured Australia with the Old Vic
1951:
London stage acting debut, "Caro William"
1955:
Film acting debut, "The Dambusters"
1956:
Appeared in own play, "Off the Mainland," at Arts Theatre, London; his first play produced
1965:
Scripted first screenplay, "Situation Hopeless, But Not Serious"
1967:
Play "The Man in the Glass Booth" opened in London; based on his book of the same title
1970:
Wrote screenplay, "Figures in a Landscape"
1971:
Wrote play, "Cato Street"
1978:
Was about to start shooting film about spy Kim Philby at the time of his death
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Truro School: -
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: London , England -

Notes

Shaw once told an interviewer: "When they write my obituary I would like them to say, 'He was an author who wrote one book that will last and he was also a remarkable actor.'"--quoted in the "New York Times" obituary, August 29, 1978

He received the Hawthronden Prize for Fiction (1962) for "The Sun Doctor".

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jennifer Bourke. Married 1952, divorced; born in Jamaica; had four daughters together.
wife:
Mary Ure. Actor. Married 1963, died 1975; had two sons and two daughters together.
wife:
Virginia Jansen. Shaw's former secretary. Married 1976 until Shaw's death; had one son together.

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Hiding Place" novel
"The Sun Doctor" novel
"The Cure of Souls novel
"The Man in the Glass Booth" play
"A Card From Morocco"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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