Lee Fiore Wiki – Lee Fiore Biography
Lee Fiore best known for ‘Jaws’ slap scene, her legacy is teaching theater to more than a thousand children.
Lee Fiore, famous for lifting her black veil and slapping Chief Brody across the face in “Jaws,” has died, according to her friends on Martha’s Vineyard who remember her as the dedicated, vibrant matriarch of the Island’s robust theater scene.
Fiore, 91, was living off-Island in Ohio at an assisted living facility where she died from complications of COVID-19, according to Kevin Ryan, artistic director and board president for Island Theatre Workshop, a program Fiore championed during her 40-plus years on Martha’s Vineyard. During those years, Ryan estimates Fiore taught and mentored more than 1,000 children in the theater.
“The one word I would think of when I think of Lee is dedication. I’ve watched her as a performer, director, and businesswoman and then we became friends. She was my teacher and mentor,” Ryan said. “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.”
Lee Fiore Age
She was 91 years old.
Lee Fiore Family
When Fiore’s family made the decision for her to move to Ohio to be closer to them in 2017, it was Ryan who loaded up a truck and drove her belongings to her new home. “She was never really settled with it, but it had to happen,” he said.
Ryan’s phone has been ringing off the hook with friends offering condolences and reminiscing about Fiore.
Lee Fiore Funeral
A small service, given the current circumstances, is planned by the family in Ohio, but Ryan said when it’s possible there will be a memorial service on-Island.
Nicki Galland said she considered Fiore her second mother. “I wouldn’t have gotten through my teen years without her,” said Galland, a novelist who credits Fiore for inspiring her creativity. “She’s the reason I followed my dreams. That’s such a hackneyed phrase, but it’s true. This is going to stick with me for a long time.”
Galland first met Fiore when she was leading the Apprentice Players at the high school. She would later come back to assist Fiore with that group.
Galland recalled Fiore performing in “The Lion in Winter” as Eleanor of Aquitaine. “I remember her saying at one of the rehearsals: ‘Even though I’m here right now as Lee, inside I’m 80 percent Eleanor of Aquitaine’.”
MJ Munafo, artistic director at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse in Vineyard Haven, said Fiore starred in many roles at the Playhouse through the years. “I loved her and she was an inspiration to me,” Munafo said. “She was a huge presence on the Island theater community. She worked with hundreds of young people who just adored her.”
Donald Lyons, who played opposite Fiore multiple times through the years, recalled her as a good friend. “We were in a million plays together, which was always quite fun for me,” he said.
In that scene from “Jaws,” a furious Fiore walks up to Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, and slaps him. “I just found out that a girl got killed here last week and you knew, you knew there was a shark out there. You knew it was dangerous, but you let people go swimming anyway,” she says, sobbing. “You knew all those things and still my boy is dead now, and there’s nothing you can do about it. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.”