R.I.P. DICK SMITH
By Dr. Know on July 31st, 2014
Genre movies – and movies in general – have lost a legend today; Makeup maestro Dick Smith has died. He was 92.
Smith was a pioneer in the makeup effects field, having created makeup and effects for such notable films as The Godfather, The Exorcist, Scanners and Taxi Driver.
Rick Baker – Smith’s protege and multi-Academy Award winning makeup artist – notified the world this morning via Twitter:
The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same.
— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) July 31, 2014
Smith was renowned for his realistic transformations in films like Amadeus — aging F. Murray Abraham into a wizened Antonio Salieri — earning an Academy Award for his work in the latter alongside Paul LeBlanc. In 2012, Smith was given an honorary Governor’s Academy Award for his contribution to the field, which was presented by Baker. Earlier this year, Smith received the Makeup Artists Lifetime Achievement Award at the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylist Guild Awards. He also won a Primetime Emmy in 1967 for his work on Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight.
“Rarely have there been make-up artists with the legendary inventiveness, creativity and artistic excellence of Dick Smith,” Makeup Artists Guild President Sue Cabral-Ebert said of Smith in January. “Dick’s transparency and willingness to share the secrets of the craft have been the catalyst for young make-up artists all over the world to follow their imaginations and dreams.”
Smith was also responsible for realizing Linda Blair’s harrowing possession in The Exorcist. Other landmark work included in his filmography are The Godfather: Part II, The Deer Hunter, Little Big Man, Marathon Man and Death Becomes Her.
Smith is survived by wife Jocelyn De Rosa and two children.
Farewell, Mr. Smith. Your talent and innovation will be felt for decades to come.