Ron Taylor, an Australian marine conservationist who, along with his wife Valerie, helped film some of the real-life shark footage used in “Jaws,” has passed away at the age of 78 after a battle with cancer, a family friend tells the AP.
The sequence near the end of “Jaws” where Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) goes into the shark cage is actually filled with footage shot by Ron and Valerie Taylor off the coast of Australia. The two put a jockey into a miniature shark cage, so as to make the real-life great whites look as large as the fictional 25-foot shark in the movie.
One great white became entangled in the top of the shark cage and began thrashing about violently, which was then used in the movie for when the shark attacks Hooper and the cage, and Hooper escapes to safety.
Ron and Valerie went on to shoot several documentaries, including “Shark Hunters” and “Operation Shark Bite,” where Valerie tests a chain-mail suit the couple designed to mitigate damage from shark attacks.