Raised in Scotland and Cornwall, Robert Shaw was drawn to acting from an early age. Shaw trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and in 1949 debuted onstage at the Shakespeare Memorial Theater at Stratford-on-Avon. From 1951 he appeared in (mostly) British films as a character actor, frequently playing heavies.
He attained international fame after appearing in From Russia with Love (1963), the second James Bond movie. His portrayal of a remorseless killer from S.P.E.C.T.R.E. gave Bond a true nemesis — and provided audiences with one of the most thrilling “train-fights” in film history. In 1967 Shaw received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons (1966), which went on to capture Best Picture. In the mid 70s he suddenly became a highly paid star after his appearances in several blockbuster movies, including 1973’s The Sting (where he again played the heavy — this time opposite Paul Newman and Robert Redford), 1975’s Jaws (as the shark-killer Quint) and 1977’s The Deep (opposite a scantily-clad Jacqueline Bisset).
He wrote several novels, including “The Man in the Glass Booth” (1967), which was later adapted into a play, and in 1975 made into a film. His novel “The Hiding Place” (1959) was the source material for the screen comedy Situation Hopeless — But Not Serious (1965).
Shaw was born in West Houghton, England, on August 29, 1927. He died of a heart attack at age 51 in Ireland.