Westhoughton is the birthplace (in 1927) of the film star and author Robert Shaw. He is probably best known for his leading role in the highly successful film Jaws. The son of a local doctor, Shaw’s first major film was the Dambusters. Many others followed, including the hugely successful Jaws. His second novel, The Sun Doctor, won the Hawthornden Prize for Literature. A plaque commemorating his association with Westhoughton was put on the town hall in 1996.