First ‘Jaws’ victim spotted on film’s 47th anniversary after legal troubles
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in public.
“Jaws” actress Susan Backlinie — who famously played the skinny-dipping shark victim in the 1975 classic’s opening scene — was recently spotted running errands in Ventura, California, ahead of the 47th anniversary of the Steven Spielberg classic’s release.
The images show the iconic opening-kill gal sporting a pensive expression while toting a bag of groceries and water bottle while wearing shorts, a hoodie and walking with a cane.
However, this time, instead of a killer great white, the 75-year-old Cali native is battling the law.
Backlinie is slated to appear in court on Nov. 14 after being arrested in August 2020 on battery charges, for which she has pleaded not guilty, according to a Ventura Police Department report obtained by The Post.
In a prior incident, the “The Great Muppet Caper” actress — whose last screen credit was a 1982 guest spot on the Lee Majors series “The Fall Guy” — was charged with a DUI in 2019 after crashing into another vehicle in her neighborhood. A subsequent mug shot showed her with a wound on her forehead, and she later pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor.
The Post has reached out to the retired actress and stunt woman’s reps for comment about her reemergence in the public eye.
Meanwhile, Backlinie now reportedly spends her days on a houseboat that looks eerily similar to Captain Quint’s legendary fishing boat Orca, which was used to hunt down the shark in “Jaws,” the Daily Mail reported.
Backlinie is most famous for her role in “Jaws” as Chrissie Watkins, the blond bombshell who was ripped to shreds by great white shark. To simulate the attack, director Spielberg reportedly attached a rope harness outfitted with 300-pound weights to the then 28-year-old Backlinie’s body, and would have the crew yank on it while she was in the water. Her surprised reaction was genuine as she didn’t know when the tug was coming, Radar Online reported.
During a 2017 fan convention in Calgary, Canada, Backlinie recalled how she landed the role by submitting a nude pic of herself in her application, since she assumed the movie would require her to strip down — which didn’t turn out to be the case.
“I do about four or five [conventions] a year. It’s fun to go out and meet all the fans,” the scream queen told the interviewer. “They all have the same thing to say and the main thing they say all the time is: ‘You’ve kept me out of the water.’ “