‘Jaws 2’ actor Marc Gilpin has died at the age of 56.
The former child actor – who beat out hundreds of boys to play Sean Brody in the 1978 sequel – passed away in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday (29.07.23) following a long battle with glioblastoma, a type of fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour, his sister, ‘Frasier’ actress Peri Gilpin, announced to The Hollywood Reporter.
In May 2022, a GoFundMe page was set up to help Marc, his wife Kaki and their two sons, Spencer, 18, and 16-year-old Presley, as they “faced the unimaginable”.
The page explained Marc had two tumours in his brain, with one in the central area meaning it could not be surgically removed.
In September, news seemed to be positive as an update from the fundraiser’s organiser, Kim Parks, read: “The tumor has not grown, shrunk some, and had no new satellites. Neuro Oncologist very encouraged by the response to treatment.(sic)”
After leaving acting, the ‘Surviving’ star became a self-taught software engineer but lost his job shortly before his cancer diagnosis.
The GoFundMe page read: “As if this is not enough for this family of four to endure, they are also dealing with significant financial stress. Recently Marc lost his job along with his company paid insurance plan and has been actively pursuing new employment.
“Facing this medical crisis, Marc is clearly unable to gain employment at this time. His wife, Kaki, is an elementary school teacher which is the most admirable profession but sadly also very underpaid. Given the current crisis situation they are in, Kaki has had to take FMLA time off of work to navigate all of the doctor appointments, treatments and more. Therefore, her salary is even more reduced during this period.”
Marc was cast in ‘Jaws 2’ as the younger son of Roy Scheider’s Police Chief Martin Brody following a casting call and was just 11 when the movie was released.
A year later, he had a guest role on ‘CHiPs’ and appeared with younger sister April on ‘Fantasy Island’.
His other roles included parts in movies ‘The Legend of the Lone Ranger’ and ‘Earthbound’, and telefilm ‘Surviving’.
April died in July 2017 aged 48, and another sibling, Patti, passed away in 2020 at the age of 57.