Ben Gardner
Background information
Appears in
Feature firsts
Feature lasts
Character information
Full name
Gender Male
Status Deceased
Cause of death Killed by Bruce
Other names
Occupation Fisherman

Sally Gardner (wife)

Allies Martin Brody, Matt Hooper
Appearances Jaws
Portrayed by Craig Kingsbury

Ben "Benjamin" Gardner was a local fisherman on Amity Island, and became a well-known figure following the infamous "Amity Incident" in 1974. He was portrayed by the late Craig Kingsbury.

Jaws (film)Edit

In the film depiction of the "Amity Incident" (Jaws) released in 1975, he was the first person on the dock to greet Oceanographer Matthew Hooper.

The Amity IncidentEdit

As a seasoned fisherman of game fish in the region, Gardner had hoped to collect the reward for catching the rogue shark that had plagued the Island of Amity in the summer of 1974. The ensuing frenzy to win the bounty offered by Mrs. Kintner, created a disorganized 'shark posse' armada with Gardner leading the pack. Sometime late in the afternoon or evening of the first day out in search of his quarry, a large great white shark attacks Gardner's boat, 'Flicka'. Bite marks on the gunwale and hull found by visiting oceanographer, Matt Hooper during a subsequent investigation, indicated the attack was both brutal and relentless. Gardner's head appeared from within the hull of the wreck, causing Hooper to scream and dropped the tooth he had pulled from the hull in shock and terror.


Dr. Matthew Hooper stated in a subsequent APD police report that he initially saw a shark tooth stuck in the wrecked hull of the boat. While attempting to remove the tooth, Ben's presumed severed head suddenly appeared causing him to fumble and drop it into the murky water below. The head was however not mentioned by Hooper to the Mayor during a well publicized dispute.

This attack, unfortunately, did little to convince the Mayor to close the beaches in order to prevent further resulting attacks that summer. The head was later discovered as the boat was towed in, and it was determined to in fact be the remains of Mr. Benjamin Gardner.


Ben's corpse

Ben's First MateEdit


Gardner's first mate was onboard when the boat was attacked and was initially listed as missing, but was later found by deputy Hendricks curled under a table at a local Island bar, soaked in boat fuel and whiskey. 

Film continuityEdit

The boat was green when Ben was with his friends hunting the shark, but when Martin and Matt saw the boat wrecked, it was dark blue.


The boat was then later painted plain white and placed on display at Universal Studios in Hollywood. It disappeared in 2005. Some believe it was due to fearful requests from night shift workers at USH who were certain they'd seen the apparition of Ben Gardner trawling the lake.

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