“Bruce the Shark” installation at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, November 2020. Credit: Todd Wawrychuk/Academy Museum Foundation.

Last Surviving ‘Jaws’ Shark Finds a Home

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Last week, staff at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures finished installing an artifact that’s the last of its kind: a 25-foot-long, 1,208-pound shark model from the 1975 classic film “Jaws.” It’s the last remaining model from the production — three others have since been lost to time.

The shark was designed by art director Joe Alves and is constructed out of fiberglass, acrylic paint, plastic and a steel skeleton. It also has an underwater apparatus and fin.

To suspend the shark — “Bruce,” as director Steven Spielberg called him — a team of engineers, construction workers and art handlers had to remove two glass panels from the museum’s building to hoist it inside. If you walk past the museum on Fairfax Avenue and 6th Street, you can probably catch a glimpse of the fishy fiend, mouth agape to show off 116 teeth.

Prior to his new home, Bruce languished in a family junkyard business in Sun Valley, where 25 years of wear and tear required a careful seven-month-long restoration by special effects and makeup artist Greg Nicotero.

Bruce, before his restoration. Credit: Todd Wawrychuk/Academy Museum Foundation.

“It’s been a long journey for Bruce since he was acquired in 2016, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to his new home,” said Bill Kramer, director and president of the Academy Museum. “We look forward to our opening when museum visitors can engage with our exhibitions, experience our beautiful Renzo Piano-designed building and come face to face with one of the most iconic characters in film history.”

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens to the public on April 30, 2021. Guests will be able to explore six floors of moviemaking-themed exhibits, conservation areas, event spaces and more.

Los Angeleno