Valerie Taylor, at 83 years old, has lived a big, brave, adventurous life.
Valerie was born in Australia but spent most of her youth in New Zealand. She was a gifted artist who dropped out of school after contracting polio and was saved by Sister Elizabeth Kenny’s treatment regimen; it took her two years to walk without assistance. Valerie obtained work as an animator at the age of fifteen and returned to Australia with her family. She loved being near the water and was an accomplished spearfisherwoman.
She met Ron Taylor in the 1950s, and that’s when her real adventures began. They sailed throughout the world together, documenting and recording their adventures for publications, television, and movies, as well as producing a number of documentaries. Valerie and Ron grew interested in conservation and, in particular, sharks. They did all of the shark work on Jaws, and Valerie and her husband inspired James Cameron to pursue a career in filmmaking.
Valerie worked with Ben Mckelvey and her husband, Ron, to convey her tale about falling in love with water. From apprentice animator to Spielberg, from “Jaws” to “Blue Lagoon,” this is an astonishing woman’s story.
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