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SYFY WIRE obituary

Memorable Jaws 2 Actor Marc Gilpin Dies At 56 Following Battle With Glioblastoma

Gilpin played the role of Sean Brody, youngest son of Roy Scheider's Chief Martin Brody, in the 1978 sequel.

By Josh Weiss
Marc Gilpin and a child in Jaws 2 (1978)

Marc Gilpin, the actor who played Sean Brody (youngest son of Roy Scheider's Chief Martin Brody) in Jaws 2, has passed away at the age of 56 following a battle with glioblastoma. The unfortunate news was confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter and on Instagram by fellow actor David Morwick, whose post was subsequently shared by Gilpin's older sister, Frasier star Peri Gilpin.

"Jaws 2 was the first film I saw on the big screen as a little kid," Morwick wrote in the caption (see the full tribute below). "I would take all my action figures and act out all the parts in my room. Where it all began. I’m so glad I got to talk with him he gave me the best advice and was the nicest guy. Sending prayers to his family. Soar with the angels Marc."

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Jaws 2 Star Marc Gilpin Dead at 56

Released in the summer of 1978, Jaws 2 finds the town of Amity Island terrorized by a giant, man-eating shark for the second time in a row. It was directed by French filmmaker Jeannot Szwarc once Steven Spielberg declined to return to the IP that nearly broke him. Interestingly, both directors had previously overseen episodes of Rod Serling's post-Twilight Zone anthology, Night Gallery, at NBC.

Despite Spielberg's absence, the sophomore installment still featured a number of returning faces — including Scheider, Lorraine Gary (Martin's wife, Ellen), Murray Hamilton (Mayor Larry Vaughn), and composer John Williams. The roles of Chief Brody's two sons, Michael and Sean, were filled by Mark Gruner and Gilpin, respectively. Chris Rebello and Jay Mello played them in the 1975 original.

Appearing in The Shark Is Still Working documentary, Gilpin recalled how he and several other members of the cast were stalked by an actual hammerhead shark during the shoot one day. The rest of the crew, safe and sound on a nearby barge, had no clue.

"I remember it clear as day," he said. "That sucker must've' been at least 15-feet long. The shot called for us going, 'Hey! There's a shark!' We're freaking out and everything. What they didn't realize is that we were really scared and that raft was not the most stable that we were on ... And so, we're shouting to them, 'There's a shark! There's a shark! We've gotta get out of the water! You need to put us on the barge.' They're going, 'Great! Keep doing it just like that!'

Like its predecessor, Jaws 2 was a certified box office success, netting over $200 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million.

As THR notes, Marc and Peri lost two sisters — April (48) and Patti (57) — in 2017 and 2020. Marc is survived by his wife of 24 years, Kaki, and two sons, Spencer (18) and Presley (16).

Revisit Gilpin's performance in Jaws 2 — now available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.