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Child Actor in Jaws Named Police Chief of Town Where It Was Filmed

"Boy Swimmer with Cardboard Fin" then, Boy in Blue now

jaws child actor police chief jonathan searle steven spielberg marthas vineyard oak bluffs movie film news
Jaws (Universal Pictures)
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    If you, like us, can’t watch old films without wondering what the child actors are doing now, we have some news for you: Jonathan Searle, who played one of the boys who staged a shark attack in Jaws, was just voted to become police chief of Oak Bluffs — the Martha’s Vineyard town where the Steven Spielberg classic was filmed.

    In case you need a refresher, the 1975 blockbuster stars Roy Scheider as Martin Brody, a police chief looking to hunt down a shark that’s been wreaking havoc on the quaint fictional island. Searle and his brother Steven play two kids who have the ill-advised idea to fake an encounter using a cardboard fin — or, as the film’s credits so scrupulously describe them, “Boy Swimmers with Cardboard Fin.”

    Per the Vineyard GazetteSearle is a native of Martha’s Vineyard and has served in the police department of Edgartown, which is adjacent to Oak Bluffs, since 1986. ““I’m clearly elated and and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position,” Searle told the Gazette. “It’s something I’ve been working toward my whole career.” Guess acting was never a long-term goal of his.

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    While the Gazette didn’t name-drop Searle’s Hollywood connection, the Edgartown Police Department paid homage to Jaws on its 44th anniversary back in 2019 with a “then and now” photo montage, including photos of Searle. But now that he’s top dog in the police department, it’s safe to say: He’s going to need a bigger boat.

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