Jaws actor becomes police chief of the same town where Spielberg’s famous shark movie was filmed

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An actor who starred in the hit movie Jaws has become the police chief of the town where the movie was filmed.

Jonathan Searle was just nine years old when he was in a scene from the 1975 film where two boys pulled a prank that scared bathers by swimming with a fake shark fin on the police chief’s back.

The other child was played by his brother in Steven Spielberg’s classic, which was filmed in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyards – an island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Oak Bluffs voiced Amity in the film where a menacing great white shark is hunted by a police chief played by marine scientist Roy Scheider (Richard Dreyfuss) and Robert Shaw’s professional shark hunter Quint.



Nine-year-old Jonathan Searle in the movie Jaws

Jonathan, now 56, probably won’t have to deal with terrorizing sharks, but he will be busy after being elected Oak Bluffs police chief.

The former child actor, who was born and raised on the island, was one of two natives to make the final list of candidates for the role before being voted in by the 5,000 residents of Oak Bluffs with a 3-1 result on Monday.

He will take over at the end of next month when current chef Erik Blake retires.

Speaking after the announcement of his new role, Jonathan told the Vineyard Gazette: “I am clearly thrilled and humbled and honored to have been offered the job.



Actors Richard Dreyfuss, left, and Robert Shaw lean over the back of their boat during a scene
Actors Richard Dreyfuss, left, and Robert Shaw lean over the back of their boat during a scene

“It’s something I’ve worked on my whole career.”

Jonathan joined the police 11 years after his appearance in Jaws and became a sergeant in Edgartown – another town that was used in the film. He will leave this role to become the Chief of Police of Oak Bluffs.

Jaws was the highest-grossing film of 1975 and has grossed $471,411,300 (£377.5m) at the box office since its release, according to IMDb.

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