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Craig Kingsbury as Ben Gardner

Craig Johnstone Kingsbury (October 10, 1912 – August 30, 2002) was an actor who played Ben Gardner in Jaws.


Craig was born in South Orange, New Jersey on October 10, 1912. He moved to Martha's Vineyard, where he was cast in 1973 to play Ben Gardner, a sea merchant.

According to locals who knew him, he had a pair of cows that would often get loose and walk into the street. They obeyed no one other than Kingsbury, and the police would frequently call him to come collect them.

He rarely wore shoes and would walk through town barefoot.

Kingsbury taught Robert Shaw how to act like an old sea dog when he was playing Quint.

In some interviews, Robert Shaw had speculated that islanders were inbred. Much to the comical love of the locals, who had dared Kingsbury during his coaching of Shaw to say it.

Kingsbury's plastered severed head from the film is one of the most treasured JAWS displays at fan conventions to this day.


On August 30, 2002, Craig Kingsbury passed away at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. The actor was 89 when he passed.