Peter Bradford Benchley (May 8, 1940 – February 11, 2006) was an American author, screenwriter, and ocean activist. He is known as the author of the bestselling novel Jaws and co-wrote its film adaptation with Carl Gottlieb. Several more of his works were also adapted for both cinema and television, including The Deep, The Island, Beast, and White Shark.Later in life, Benchley came to regret writing such sensationalist literature about sharks, which he felt encouraged excessive fear and unnecessary culls of such an important predator in ocean ecosystems and became an advocate for marine conservation.
Benchley was the son of Marjorie (née Bradford) and author Nathaniel Benchley and grandson of Algonquin Round Table founder Robert Benchley. His younger brother, Nat Benchley, is a writer and actor. Peter Benchley was an alumnus of the Allen-Stevenson School, Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University.After graduating from college in 1961, Benchley travelled around the world for a year. The experience was told in his first book, a travel memoir titled Time and a Ticket, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1964. Following his return to America, Benchley spent six months reserve duty in the Marine Corps, and then became a reporter for The Washington Post. While dining at an inn in Nantucket, Benchley met Winifred "Wendy" Wesson, whom he dated and then married the following year, 1964. By then Benchley was in New York, working as television editor for Newsweek. In 1967 he became a speechwriter in the White House for President Lyndon B. Johnson, and saw the birth of his daughter Tracy.Once Johnson's term ended in 1969, the Benchleys moved out of Washington, and lived in various houses, including an island off Stonington, Connecticut where son Clayton was born in 1969. Benchley wanted to be near New York, and the family eventually got a house at Pennington, New Jersey in 1970. Since his home had no space for an office, Benchley rented a room above a furnace supply company.
Movies & TV shows
1 TV show
I Love the '70s
I Love the '70s is a mini-series. The show is from the British Broadcasting Corporation. It examines the pop culture of the 1970s, using footage from the era, along with "Where Are They Now?" intervie...
The Search for Atlantis
Ted Danson takes viewers on a spectacular 2-hour search for one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known--the fabled Lost City of Atlantis. The epic journey spans the globe from the volc...
1 TV show
Amazon was a syndicated television show created by Peter Benchley. It was developed by Canadian production companies Alliance Atlantis Communications & WIC Entertainment and German company Beta Film G...
1 TV show
Craig T starred in a 1998 TV movie called Creature. Kim Cattrall and Matthew Carey. The 1994 novel White Shark was written by Peter Benchley. The film is about an amphibious shark-like monster that wr...
1 TV show
The most exciting events of the day are being discussed on ABC daytime's morning chat fest. Hot topics in the news, the best experts in their field, celebrity interviews and general entertainment are ...
2 TV shows
E! True Hollywood Story
A documentary series on E! deals with famous Hollywood celebrities, movies, TV shows and also well-known public figures. salacious re-tellings of Hollywood secrets, show-biz scandals, celebrity murder...
Graves Point is a small seaport village with unexplained deaths and disappearances. A large claw is found on an empty raft on the shore. Herbert says it's a giant squid.
1 TV show
Dolphin Cove is an American drama created by Peter Benchley, set in Queensland, Australia that aired on CBS in 1989 for eight episodes.
The third film in the series follows a group of marine biologists attempting to capture a young great white shark that has entered Florida's Sea World Park. The shark's mother is a guest at Sea World....
A group of modern day pirates led by David Warner raid boats of people on vacation in the Caribbean. Michael Caine is a reporter who goes out there with his son to investigate the mystery of the disap...
The Great Houdinis
A biography of the renowned escape artist Harry Houdini looked at his fascination with the occult and his promise to his wife on her deathbed that he would speak from the beyond.