R.I.P. Roger Kastel, Jaws and The Empire Strikes Back Poster Artist

November 16, 2023

Roger Kastel—the artist who created one of the most iconic movie posters of all time, the 1975 one sheet for Jaws—died on November 8 at age 92 (The New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, CNN, Boston Globe)


Roger Kastel / Tony Seiniger

Original 1975 U.S. one sheet for Jaws, artwork by Roger Kastel. After Kastel's original artwork was sent to L.A. to be used for the one sheet, it went missing and still has not surfaced. Kastel's last saw his original illustration at a 1976 exhibit at the New York Historical Society.

Jaws book covers by Paul Bacon and Roger Kastel

Jaws book covers by Paul Bacon (left) and Roger Kastel (right)

The first U.S. hard-cover for Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws was created by artist Paul Bacon. Doubleday Senior Editor Tom Congdon was unhappy with it, saying the shark "looked like a penis with teeth." Kastel was brought on for the paperback release. He went to New York’s Natural History museum for research, and asked a model he was shooting for Good Housekeeping, 24-year-old Wilhelmina model Allison Maher, to pose for the swimmer (she was paid $35). In Kastel's version, he removed the bathing suit the swimmer had on on the hard-cover, which got the book banned in several cities.

The Empire Strikes Back

Roger Kastel

Kastel also created one of the most iconic Star Wars posters, the Gone With the Wind style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back