Marc Gilpin, Young Actor on ‘Jaws 2,’ Dies at 56

Marc Gilpin, Young Actor on ‘Jaws 2,’ Dies at 56

Marc Gilpin, who played the younger son of Roy Scheider’s Police Chief Martin Brody in Jaws 2, has died. He was 56.

Gilpin died Saturday in Dallas after a long battle with glioblastoma, his older sister, Frasier actress Peri Gilpin, announced.

After answering a casting call, Gilpin beat out hundreds of other boys to get hired as Sean Brody in the 1978 sequel to the blockbuster Jaws (1975), directed by Steven Spielberg. He was 11 when the movie reached theaters.

Jaws 2 was directed by Jeannot Szwarc. Lorraine Gary returned as Chief Brody’s wife, but their sons, Michael and Sean, portrayed by Chris Rebello and Jay Mello in the original, were replaced by Mark Gruner and Gilpin in the second film.

Related Stories

A year later, Gilpin guest-starred on NBC’s CHiPs and appeared with his younger sister, April, on ABC’s Fantasy Island. In 1981, he was in the films The Legend of the Long Ranger and Earthbound.

In the 1985 ABC telefilm Surviving, which told the story of a teenager (Zach Galligan) dealing with the aftermath of his father’s affair, Gilpin was in a top-notch cast that included veterans Ellen Burstyn, Marsha Mason, Len Cariou and Paul Sorvino and up-and-coming stars River Phoenix, Molly Ringwald and Heather O’Rourke.

After receiving strong notices for Surviving, Gilpin was spotted by manager Jerry Silverhardt in Williamstown, Massachusetts, while he was visiting Peri. Silverhardt wanted to sign him, and Gilpin was OK with that — but only if he would sign Peri as well.

Peri, of course, found fame with her work on the NBC comedy Frasier as Roz Doyle, producer of the radio show hosted by Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane.

Born in Austin on Sept. 26, 1966, Marc Gilpin booked his first national commercial, a spot for Exxon, when he was 4. He then appeared on a 1977 episode of the Saturday morning NBC series Thunder and landed the title role in the family film Where’s Willy? (1978) before his gig on Jaws 2.

After working on episodes of NBC’s Silver Spoons and ABC’s China Beach and in the 1989 movie She’s Out of Control, Gilpin became a self-taught software engineer. He was involved with a start-up company and then worked for another firm for which he earned several software patents, his family said.

His sister April died in July 2017 at age 48. Another sister, Patti, died in 2020 at age 57.

In addition to Peri, Marc’s survivors include his wife of 24 years, Kaki, and sons Spencer, 18, and Presley, 16.