Thursday, September 18, 2008

So long to Frank who inspired Jaws

A real-life shark hunter who inspired Jaws has sung Spanish Ladies for the last time.

Frank Mundus, who died of a heart attack at the age of 82 last week, inspired Peter Benchley's character Quint, with his capture of a 4,500lbs great white shark in 1964.

Quint, played by Robert Shaw in the 1975 big screen blockbuster, in turn inspired a novel about a Lake District beauty spot plagued not by a shark but a giant pike.

At one point filming was set to commence on The Pike, with a 12ft mechanised esox set to star alongside Joan Collins, but the project never made it onto the silver screen.

Mythical tales about giant pike pre-date Frank Mundus's exploits by centuries, as this recent round-up from The Times reports.

Hysteria about the pike's voracious appetite persists to this day, when the occasional ill-founded story about attacks on pets, livestock or even waterskiers sometimes make the headlines of news-starved local papers.

In the meantime, it's so long to Frank Mundus - whose on-screen characterisation famously observed: "We're gonna need a bigger boat..."