Jaws actress Lee Fierro dies from coronavirus aged 91

Jaws actress Lee Fierro has died from complications with coronavirus at the age of 91. 

The Hollywood star, who hailed from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, was living at an assisted care facility in Ohio when she died, Variety reports. 

Fierro’s family are now said to be planning a small funeral service in Ohio bearing in mind the social distancing rules in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

A memorial service will take place in Martha’s Vineyard at a later date once the pandemic has settled. 

Fierro was best known for starring in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 shark epic Jaws, playing mother to Alex Kintner (played by Jeffrey Voorhees), the second victim of the killer great white shark. 

Fans will remember the famous scene where Alex was attacked off the shore of Amity Island, prompting Fierro’s character to storm up to police chief Brody (Roy Scheider) and slap him across the face. 

The actress reprised her role as Alex’s mother in sequel Jaws: The Revenge in 1987. 

During her time working on the first Jaws installment, Fierro worked as a drama teacher at Island Theatre Workshop. It was perhaps her most important role as she mentored more than 1,000 aspiring actors and worked there for more than 25 years as artistic director well into her 80s. 

In 2017, Fierro moved to Ohio to be closer to her family. 

Recalling her famous Jaws scene, a friend of Fierro told Martha’s Vineyard Times: ‘She was tickled by it. She found it really entertaining.

‘She would say, “If you told me that’s what I’d be known for, I wouldn’t believe it”. 

Remembering Fierro fondly, the workshop’s board of president Kevin Ryan said: ‘The one word I would think of when I think of Lee is dedication. I’ve watched her as a performer, director and businesswoman, and then we became friends. She was my teacher and mentor.


‘I would still call Lee for artistic discussion and commentary, … She was fiercely dedicated to the mission of teaching. She, no matter what it was, would stay at it and get the job done.

In 2014, Voorhees – who played her young son in Jaws – recalled randomly bumping into Fierro near to the location where the movie was filmed.

‘At the restaurant I run [in the Martha’s Vineyard-area town where Jaws was filmed] is a sandwich called the Alex Kintner Burger, and one time this lady came in with her friend, and I recognised instantly it was my mother from the film,’ Voorhees told The New Daily.

‘So I approached her table and said, “Can I ask you a very personal question — if you think this is a little odd tell me to go away — but do you believe in reincarnation? Because I think I died years ago, and you look like my mother from a previous life”.’

Voorhees continued: ‘And Lee realised who I was and so she went along with the joke and said, “Oh, my God, I had a son that died years ago in the ocean!” And everyone in the restaurant, including her friend, were just wondering what the hell was going on!’

Fierro is survived by her five children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed the lives of almost 70,000 people worldwide while there are now more than 1.2 million reported cases. 

In the UK, almost 5,000 people have died from Covid-19 and the country is approaching 48,000 cases.

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