Lee Fierro has died of complications from a coronavirus infection. She was 91. According to a report from the Martha's Vineyard Times, Fierro passed away earlier this week at an assisted living facility she had been staying at in Ohio. Fierro is most famous for her role as Mrs. Kintner in the Jaws franchise, the mother of the shark's second victim in the feature. She went on her reprise her role in Jaws: The Revenge. Most recently, Fierro appeared as Priscilla Goodrich in the indie film The Mistover Tale.
After filming Jaws, Fierro help run the Island Theatre Workshop. While there, organization president Kevin Ryan estimates the actor ended up teaching more than 1,000 kids theater acting over the span of 40 years.
“The one word I would think of when I think of Lee is dedication. I’ve watched her as a performer, director and business woman and then we became friends. She was my teacher and mentor,” Ryan told the Times. “I would still call Lee for artistic discussion and commentary … She was fiercely dedicated to the mission of teaching. She, no matter what it was, would stay at it and get the job done.”
In her biggest Jaws moment, Fierro's character slaps Roy Scheider's Chief Brody after her character's son was killed in the movie.
“She was tickled by it. She found it really entertaining,” Fierro's acquaintance Nicki Gallan told the regional paper. “She would say, ‘If you told me that’s what I’d be known for, I wouldn’t believe it.’ She had no screen training. She trained as a theater actor.” Galland recalled a story Fierro would tell about being scolded by director Stephen Spielberg for a dramatic exit from Edgartown Town Hall during the filming. “Lee, you’re not on Broadway, tone it down. Tone it down,” she recalled Fierro telling her.
As a result of various shelter-in-place order, it's said a small family-only service is currently being planned in Ohio. Those on Martha's Vineyard tell the paper a larger service will be held once the circumstances allow.