Remembering Simon MacCorkindale.
One of my all time favorite guilty pleasure movies are Jaws 3. Yep, you heard right...Jaws 3. The 3D shit fest that so many people just love to hate. Now this is coming from a massive fan of the classic original. In fact the first Jaws is one of my all time favorite movies. After the summer over the top charm of the original film's sequel, the studio decided to cash in on the 3D wave that seemed to be a clever money making marketing trick. Instead of doing the spoof route that originally was wanted, the film switched it's location from Amity Island, to the ever so popular Sea World down in Florida. Following the now grown Brody brothers, it isn't long before the very far fetched story of a great white shark getting trapped in the park takes place and the shit...or should I say chum hits the fan.
Well one of the film's leading actors, among a somewhat pretty impressive cast was Mr. Simon MacCorkindale who played the ever so handsome and dashing Philip FitzRoyce. I have fond memories renting this movie years ago when my mother told me one of the sequels had one of the Brody brothers getting killed in the opening. Well, lucky for me instead of renting the total trash bin of part 4 The Revenge, I rented part 3 and instantly was hooked due to the film's gorgeous VHS artwork. I think I was truly one of the only 7th graders who loved the Jaws movies as much as I did. Part III became a huge guilty pleasure of mine and I adored the Sea World setting. Despite it's MANY flaws (a poorly written script, bad acting, horrible 3D effects, and even worse...a bad non moving shark who floats...) this movie had plenty of charm. Philip FitzRoyce was my far one of my favorite characters. In true Stacy fashion I liked the handsome doctor like guy who of course suffers a horrible death. Played wonderfully by Simon MacCorkindale, the FitzRoyce character was somebody you just couldn't help but like even through he seemed like such an asshole. I loved every scene he was in and of course his epic being sucked into the shark's mouth death stole the movie.
For those who ever had the chance to read the original screenplay, the FitzRoyce character has a much bigger part and some nice interactions with the Bess Armstrong character. Sorta a shame they left most of that out. Still, I do love that in the movie his character dives in to save the Kelly character and later delivers a pretty bad ass line on how he's going to trap the shark "Live bait."
Simon had previously been in the awesome Agatha Christie murder mystery Death on The Nile. Having a nice career in television, Simon later on married actress Susan George before sadly passing away after loosing his battle with cancer in 2010.
I still clearly remember the night my friend texted me when I was up at school about Simon's death back in the fall of 2010. He knew what a huge Jaws fan I was, and how much I enjoyed watching part 3. Dealing with food poisoning, I remember getting the text and puking my brains out. Never will I ever forgot feeling so shitty, and bad about an actor dying.
Simon, I will always remember you in Jaws 3. You were not only handsome, but a total leading man. Thank you for all your years of amazing work, and most of all taking part in killing that great white shark in sea world.
Rest in peace.