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Jaws Illustrator Roger Kastel Passes Away

Roger Karl Kastel was a prolific American illustrator who created the iconic Jaws movie poster. He died on November 8th at the age of 92 in Massachusetts.

The Jaws poster and the blockbuster movie itself scared an entire generation of filmgoers who then feared sharks and avoided ocean swimming. “Aren’t you afraid of sharks?” became one of the most common questions asked of ocean swimmers, marathon swimmers, and channel swimmers since the movie was first released in 1975.

The legendary painting of the shark and the female swimmer was featured on the cover of the paperback novel by Peter Benchley novel and the poster for the Steven Spielberg film. But the famed illustration was just one of over 1,000 illustrations that Kastel created during his lengthy career that started at 15 and lasted for over 40 years.

Susan Backlinie was the victim of the iconic shark attack by the great white shark in the opening scene of Jaws. Backlinie, a former competitive swimmer and stuntwoman specialized in swimming work. She played Chrissie Watkins in the blockbuster film.

For more information about Kastel’s work, visit his website here.

© 2023 Daily News of Open Water Swimming

to educate, enthuse, and entertain all those who venture beyond the shoreline

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