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Peter Benchley Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (1)  | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Princeton, New Jersey, USA  (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
Birth NamePeter Bradford Benchley
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Grandson of famed humorist and actor Robert Benchley and the son of highly respected children's books author Nathaniel Benchley, novelist Peter Benchley's book were decidedly more dramatic in their content and style than his father's, and usually centered on the world's oceans as a backdrop to his vigorous plots.

Benchley is of course best remembered for penning the multi-million selling thriller Jaws, which was eventually filmed by director Steven Spielberg starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. Jaws (1975) was a box office sensation, becoming one of the seminal films of the 1970s, spawning several inferior sequels, numerous low budget copycat films starring hammerheads, tiger and mako sharks. Plus generations of swimmers chose backyard pools over the mysterious ocean surf for cooling off in summer.

Benchley also wrote The Deep and The Island which were also both brought to the screen, but with much less fanfare and box office return than the Jaws venture. Interestingly, after the enormous hysteria created over the great white shark and their alleged man-eating habits, Benchley became a dedicated environmentalist committed to learning all he could about one of the world's most amazing apex predators. In the ensuing years, Benchley became one of the great white shark's greatest defenders and publicly admitted on numerous occasions that with what he now knew about the fragility of the species, he would have never written a book like Jaws which demonised the great white.

Benchley kept very active in his passion for studying great whites up until the time of his death from pulmonary fibrosis on February 11th, 2006.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44@hotmail.com

Spouse (1)

Winifred Brownell Wesson (19 September 1964 - 11 February 2006) ( his death) ( 3 children)

Trivia (11)

Grandson of Robert Benchley. Son of Nathaniel Benchley. Brother of Nat Benchley.
Three children with Winifred (Wendy): Tracy, Clayton and Christopher. Five grandchildren.
Former speech writer for U.S. president Lyndon Baines Johnson.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1961 he became a reporter at the Washington Post then worked as an editor at Newsweek. He later went to the White House where he wrote difficult speeches about the Vietnam War for President Lyndon Johnson.
Became a conservationist and expressed regret over portraying sharks as killing machines as he did in his first novel Jaws. The book sold over twenty million copies and was made into the big-screen classic Jaws (1975).
Graduated from Harvard University in 1961
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Writers Branch)
His first book was a children's book called, Jonathon Visits the White House.
For Jaws (1975), he was paid $175,000 for the book and screenplay with escalator clauses that brought his total for film rights to about $250,000. In addition he received 10% of the production's net profits, which was approximately $10 million. He received another $1 million for the book's foreign sales, as of 1976.
He was nominated for the 2016 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Arts and Letters category.
He was inducted in the 2018 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Arts and Letters category.

Personal Quotes (1)

If I had known then what I know now about sharks, I would not have been able to write 'Jaws'.

Salary (2)

The Deep (1977) $1,000,000
The Island (1980) $4,000,000

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