Marine conservationist contributed to many feature films
Australian marine conservationist Ron Taylor, who helped film some of the terrifying underwater footage in Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws,” as well as a number of other features with undersea scenes, died Sunday after a two-year battle with leukemia. He was 78.In addition to his work on “Jaws” and “Jaws 2,” Taylor was an underwater photographer for films including Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent,” starring James Mason; documentary “Blue Water, White Death”; Peter Weir’s “The Last Wave”; “The Blue Lagoon” and its sequel; “Gallipoli”; and “Honeymoon in Vegas.” In 1974, Spielberg asked Taylor and his wife, Valerie Taylor, to capture footage of a great white shark for “Jaws.” The director used Taylor’s footage in a now-iconic scene in which the shark in the film tears apart a cage holding one of the main characters. More recently Taylor had contributed underwater footage to a new iteration of the “Flipper” series and to the 1996 actioner “Jackie Chan’s First Strike.” Born in Sydney, Taylor worked for shark conservation for decades. He is survived by his wife.