Ron Taylor, the Australian marine conservationist who rose to fame after filming the real-life shark footage for Jaws, along with his wife Valerie, has lost his battle against leukemia.
Taylor died on Sunday, aged 78, in a Sydney hospital.
One of Taylor’s most dramatic sequences in the 1975 blockbuster was of a Great White apparently tearing a shark cage apart containing one of the characters.
The shark completely dwarfs the diver, but all was not as it seemed.
The real shark was actually only half the size of the 25-foot mechanical one that Spielberg used for the film.
To make the shark appear bigger Taylor explained that the production crew simply told him to use a half-size shark-cage with a small diver inside it.
What’s more, the shark in the footage wasn’t really tearing the cage apart, but was actually stuck, and thrashing around to free itself.
Luckily, Taylor explained, he was in the water with a 35mm camera and was able to capture the terrifying scene.
Following the release of the movie Taylor became extremely concerned that he had helped taint the image of the Great White shark, making it a death machine in the eyes of the public.
To put matters right he spent decades educating people about the real nature of the animals.