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Jaws actor Shaw’s Mayo life celebrated in new doc

Staying In

QUINT-ESSENTIAL Robert Shaw as contrarian Sam Quint in Jaws.

Henry McGlade

A new and revealing documentary about the celebrated film actor Robert Shaw will be aired on TG4 on Christmas Night. A movie star with many demons, Shaw hid from the world in Tourmakeady and found happiness and peace as locals warmed to him and helped him to live again. It is this side of the actor that Dearg Films’s documentary, ‘Robert Shaw – Jaws, Deoch agus Deora’ explores.  
In Tuar Mhic Éadaigh, Shaw became a different man – but still quite a character – and the programme contains many colourful stories of his time there; drunken escapades, his attempts to become a farmer, his love of the Irish language and finally and tragically, his death. His ashes are scattered in his adopted Mayo village, and in 2008 the locals erected a monument in his memory.
Robert Shaw was a leading Hollywood star, an Oscar-nominated actor who appeared in 56 movies. He was also an established author, the father of ten children and husband to three wives. He battled James Bond in ‘From Russia With Love’ and the world’s most famous  great white shark in ‘Jaws’. He won rave reviews for his performance as Henry VIII in ‘A Man for All Seasons’ and was the memorable foil for Robert Redford and Paul Newman in ‘The Sting’.
Shaw was also a man of words and letters, and he was fascinated by the Irish language. He insisted his children learn it, and he enrolled them in the local school, where they were taught all subjects through Irish. His son, Colin Shaw, remained in Tuar Mhic Éadaigh following his father’s death and became fluent in Irish. Location shooting, interviews, unique access to Shaw’s personal archive and clips from his movies combine to give an in-depth view of who Shaw was and why he came to Ireland.   

‘Robert Shaw – Jaws, Deoch agus Deora’ airs on TG4 on Christmas Day, December 25, at 10.10pm.