SAD LOSS. Legendary actress passed away today

Susan Backlinie, an actress and stuntwoman who played the first person eaten by the shark in Jaws, has died.

Backlinie passed away at home in Ventura, California, on Saturday. She was 77 years old.

Matthew Templeton, her convention agent, told The Daily Jaws that the news was true.

“It is with heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved Susan passed away this morning,” he said.

“We want to thank everyone who sent their condolences at this time.

“Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

She was best known for her role as Chrissie Watkins in Steven Speilberg’s 1975 movie Jaws.

It was when she was 28 years old that the nationally ranked swimmer and professional diver played the victim of skinny-dipping.

For a while, Backlinie worked with animals and water before the movie found her.

The stunt woman worked as a mermaid at Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs tourist attraction and had done work with many wild animals, such as a tiger and a bear.

Backlinie was going after her first movie because she knew Spielberg would be interested in something no other actress could offer.

“If you hire me, you might get close-ups of the stunt itself.” He told the director, “If you hire an actress, she’ll have to cover her face.”

“I went to stunts to find the perfect stuntwoman, and Susan was up to the task,” Spielberg wrote in Laurent Bouzerau’s book Spielberg: The First Ten Years.

Backlinie talked about what Spielberg told her before they filmed the famous scene in an interview in 2017.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘When your scene is done, I want everyone under the seats with the popcorn and the bubblegum,’” she told The Post.

A lot of people have paid tribute to the actress and stuntwoman on social media, with a lot of focus on her role in Jaws.

“Susan was a loving and kind person, and the Jaws community will miss her very much,” said Jeffrey Kramer, who also played Susan on the show.

“She has a special place in our hearts.”

One fan wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “Rest in peace to Susan Backlinie. Her Chrissie Watkins in ‘Jaws’ had the most memorable tug on the leg in movie history.”

Another fan said, “She has to go down in movie history,” and a third said, “She did an unbelievable job that made the whole world afraid of the ocean.”

A lot of people have said nice things about her, like “scream queen legend” and “class act.”

One man even said that her role helped him with his lifelong job of looking for sharks.

“Susan will be remembered forever and immortalized as the first victim of the great white shark of Jaws fame,” the fan wrote on The Daily Jaws when they reported her death.

“As a kid of 11, it made me interested in GW sharks for some reason.”

“Now 61, I have cage dived in South Africa and Australia recording over 29 different GW sharks, rip Susan, thank you, Susan.”

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