“Jaws” Poster Artist Roger Kaste’s Cause of Death Not Revealed Yet
The poster artist of Steven Spielberg’s horror classic Jaws, Roger Kaste’s cause of death is still unknown since he passed away on November 15, 2023, at the age of 91.
May he rest in peace; we send our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and fans during this heartbreaking period.
The legendary Jaws art, which has been parodied and ripped off countless times over the years, was originally created as new cover art for Peter Benchley’s novel. That paperback artwork was eventually purchased by Universal, who used it as the art for Spielberg’s movie.
Kastel recalled his process in the documentary The Shark Is Still Working, “I did a very rough sketch, and [the publisher] said ‘That’s great, just make the shark realistic and bigger. Make him very much bigger!’” Kastel of course obliged, whipping up a terrifying oil painting that was no doubt responsible for selling countless books and likely even more movie tickets.
Kastel’s painting is still to this day one of the most recognizable pieces of pop culture artwork, the art itself a major piece of merchandising for Universal and the enduring Jaws brand.
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Was Roger Kaste’s Cause of Death an Illness?
While there is no information about Roger Kaste’s cause of death at this time, some rumors claim he lost his life due to an illness he was suffering from for a long time.
Kastel’s biography on his official website provides an overview of his incredible career: “Roger Kastel, a native of White Plains, New York, began his art career while still in high school, commuting into Manhattan to study at the famed Arts Students League.
After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Roger returned home and became a professional artist doing freelance work for various studios, as well as ad agencies throughout New York.
Eager to hone his craft, Roger, after putting in a full day’s work doing storyboards, mechanicals, and layouts, continued his education by returning to the Arts Students League in the evenings. While still a student Roger had his first paperback book cover published in the 1960’s by Pocket Books.
“All told, Roger estimates that he has done more than 1,000 illustrations for various publishers. By the 1970s Roger Kastel hit full stride as an artist, becoming one of the most well-respected illustrators in the business, working for every major publishing house in New York.”
Fellow movie poster legend Drew Struzan tweets today, “We lost another creative brother … Roger Kastel who gave us the iconic Jaws poster among other wonderful pieces of art. It saddens me. Could the lesson be to appreciate all the more our living creatives?”