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"A powerful presence and such a talented man. I was in awe of him."

A Shaw’s Life

From the Orkney Islands to the set of JAWS

Robert Shaw never wrote his autobiography. The colourful actor - who starred in such films as JAWS, The Sting, and A Man for All Seasons - died too young. His sister, Joanna, has written her memoir, and it provides a fresh look at the Shaw family.

Fans of Robert Shaw will appreciate her insights into their childhood together, and how Robert overcame his family’s early trauma to become such a successful actor (and award-winning writer).  Fans of JAWS will appreciate her observations about what really happened on the set when the cameras were not rolling.

Most of all, A Shaw’s Life is about the challenges faced by women and minorities. Joanna Shaw fought against Apartheid alongside Nelson Mandela in South Africa, raised seven children while teaching full-time in America, and waged a four-year battle in the U.S. court system for a woman’s right to equal pay. 


Through all the ups and downs, she never lost her uniquely Shaw view of the world, laughing at every step of her journey!


South Africa 1970

Dr. Joanna Shaw

Dr. Joanna Shaw Myers is a graduate of Cambridge University, where she received her degree in English Literature, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her PhD. She was Head of the English Department at Chestnut Hill College and later taught at Rutgers University. 

Her memoir, A Shaw’s Life - provides a fresh look at the Shaw family, including her brother, the actor Robert Shaw - offers a peek into what happened on the set of JAWS when the cameras were not rolling - and serves up a lifetime of experience about her fight for equal rights for women and minorities.

Dr. Shaw now lives with her daughter, is the nanny for her two youngest grandchildren, and continues to laugh at herself and the rest of the world.

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