Susan Backlinie, 1946-2024

Many famous movie actors are associated with a particularly punchy line or memorable monologue; some are even synonymous with a single spectacular shot. Susan Backlinie won herself a spot in film history largely on the strength of a single yelp of surprise: At the beginning of Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller Jaws, after the character played by Backlinie ill-advisedly goes on an after-dark skinny-dipping jaunt just off the coast of the Atlantic, Backlinie gasps as she is tugged on by an unseen shark

So terrifying is this moment — and so identified has it become with the film that surrounds it — that when Turner Classic Movies asked filmmaker Chuck Workman to assemble a montage of great movies from the art form’s
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