There’s no question about it… without the skilled underwater camera work of Ron Taylor, Jaws wouldn’t have been the classic film that it has become. Sadly, the man responsible for bringing us face-to-face with the great white is no longer with us.
Ron Taylor, a beloved Australian marine conservationist who helped film some of the terrifying underwater footage used in the classic shark thriller Jaws, has died after a long battle with cancer, a close family friend said Monday. He was 78.
Taylor, who had suffered from leukemia for two years, died on Sunday at a hospital in Sydney, said Andrew Fox, who worked with Taylor on shark conservation efforts for decades. Fox said Taylor had mixed feelings about his work on Jaws, which terrified beachgoers but ultimately helped draw attention to the intimidating yet often threatened animals. But in later years, Fox said, they came to realize that “it’s actually the movie Jaws that spawned people wanting to learn about great whites.”
Taylor and his wife, Valerie, spent years filming great white sharks and trying to persuade a wary public that the much-feared creatures were beautiful animals worthy of respect. Their stunning up-close images of sharks drew the attention of Jaws director Steven Spielberg, who asked the couple to capture footage of a great white for his 1975 blockbuster.
We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to offer our sincerest of condolences to Ron’s friends, family, and constituents. Thank you for everything, sir, and rest easy.
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