November 30 - 2000: "Jaws" actor dies while deer hunting on Martha's Vineyard

Chris Rebello was performer in the movie "Jaws" key moment
Screen shot of Chris Rebello from the "Jaws" Trailer.

2000: Local football coach dies while deer hunting on Martha's Vineyard

Chris Rebello was performer in the movie "Jaws" key moment

On this day in 2000, Chris Rebello, a popular football coach at Martha's Vineyard High School who had appeared as an extra in the 1975 movie "Jaws," died while deer hunting with friends in Aquinnah on Martha's Vineyard when he collapsed after complaining of feeling ill.

It was diagnosed as a heart attack. Rebello was 37.

At age 12, Rebello played the older son of Police Chief Martin Brody in the movie "Jaws," which was filmed on the Vineyard in 1974 and became the biggest grossing (in more ways than one) movie within three months of its release the following year.

Rebello, a 37-year-old father of three, also worked as a groundskeeper on the island.

In the photo above, Rebello had just witnessed a fatal shark attack on a man in a rowboat who'd been trying to help him. It was this incident that prompted his father, portrayed by the actor Roy Scheider, to hire the shark hunter Quint and accompany him in his search for the monstrous great white.

The "key moment" in the movie, as described by director John Singleton, whose films include "Boyz N the Hood," came "when Brody looks out at sea after one final shark attack at the beach, one that nearly cost his own son his life."

"He looks at the ocean and he's afraid, he can't swim, but he has to face it," Singleton told the DGA Quarterly in the spring of 2006, describing the visceral impact of  the film and its influence in his work. "It's classic heroic art." People magazine reported on July 19, 2000, as the elder son of Police Chief Brody, who watches in shock as a shark munches another swimmer, 11-year-old Chris Rebello was only half acting, "The other half was just that the water was so cold," he says. "I was miserable."

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