Scheider was born in , the son of Anna Scheider ( Crosson) and auto mechanic Roy Bernhard Scheider. Scheider's mother was of background and his father was and . As a child, Scheider was an athlete, participating in organized and competitions, for which he was classed as a welterweight, weighing in at 140 lbs. Scheider competed in the Diamond Gloves Boxing Tournament in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He attended in , and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1985. He traded his boxing gloves for the stage, studying drama at both and , where he was a member of fraternity. After three years as an officer in the , he appeared with the , and won an in 1968. On television, Scheider played running roles on two CBS soap operas, and , and also played character roles in episodes of and .
Roy Richard Scheider (November 10, 1932 – February 10, 2008) was an American and amateur . He gained fame for his leading and supporting roles in several iconic films from the 1970s, playing Martin C. Brody in (1975) and (1978), Detective Buddy "Cloudy" Russo in (1971), NYPD Detective Buddy Manucci in (1973), Doc in (1976), and choreographer and film director Joe Gideon (whose character was based on ) in (which was written and directed by Fosse) (1979). He is also known for playing in the science fiction television series (1993-1996). Described by as "one of the most unique and distinguished of all Hollywood actors", Scheider was nominated for two , a and a .
When he is not planning for his upcoming stage musical or working on his Hollywood film, choreographer/director Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) is popping pills and sleeping with a seemingly endless line of women. The physical and mental stress begins to take a toll on the ragged perfectionist. Soon, he must decide whether or not his non-stop work schedule and hedonistic lifestyle are worth risking his life. The film is a semi-autobiographical tale written and directed by the legendary Bob Fosse.