Lee Fierro, the actress best known for her role as Mrs. Kintner in Jaws, has died following complications from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to Variety per The Martha's Vineyard Times. Fierro was 91 years old.
Fierro is best known for her scene in the 1975 movie, Jaws, where she played a grieving mother to one of the shark's victims, Alex Kinter (Jeffrey Voorhees) and slapped co-star, Roy Scheider for not taking the threat of the predator seriously on the beach. She also reprised her role as the same character in the movie's sequel, Jaws: The Revenge in 1987.
Fans took to social media to express their condolences over the tremendous loss, sharing their love and thoughts for the woman who sparked a defining pop culture moment in the lives of many who adored her role in Jaws.
Lee Fierro, who played Mrs. Kintner in 'Jaws' has died at age 91 due to the coronavirus.
In 'Jaws,' Fierro played a mom whose son was killed by a shark.April 5, 2020
Sad to hear about Lee Fierro passing away. Surely holds the title to one of films greatest ever slaps?
Rest in peace Miss Kintner pic.twitter.com/5Hd0QSmfR2— Robert Parry (@Robert19203) April 5, 2020
So... Lee Fierro, who played the character in JAWS who slaps Sheriff Brody for not taking the shark -- and its threat to public health -- seriously enough...
...has died of COVID-19.
2020 continuing to just shovel the irony on us in nightmarish heaps.— David Avallone (@DAvallone) April 5, 2020
While shooting the Steven Spielberg horror movie in Martha's Vineyard, Fierro was well known by the community as a drama teacher at the Island Theatre Workshop, where she mentored hundreds of aspiring actors. According to artistic director and board president, Kevin Ryan, of the Island Theatre Workshop, Fierro championed more than 40-plus years in the theater, helping children hone their craft.
"The one word I would think of when I think of Lee is dedication. I've watched her as a performer, director and business woman and then we became friends. She was my teacher and mentor," Ryan said. "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."
Fierro was a resident of the famed east coast vineyard, but had been living at an assisted care facility in Ohio at the time of her death. She moved in 2017 to the Midwestern state to be closer to her family. Due to social distancing practices in place because of the increasing coronavirus pandemic, a small service for Fierro will be planned by her family in Ohio. There will be a memorial service in Martha's Vineyard at a later date.
As of this writing on Sunday, there have been 1.2 million cases confirmed worldwide, and more than 331,000 confirmed cases in the the U.S.
Photo credit: Universal Pictures