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Dick Smith

Dick Smith

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: special makeup effects designer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A legendary Hollywood makeup artist of film and TV since the 1940s, Smith is considered a pioneer in the design of aging makeup and an innovator in the field of special makeup effects. He utilized layers of latex called "old age stipple" to age Dustin Hoffman for "Little Big Man" (1970), Marlon Brando for "The Godfather" (1972), David Bowie for "The Hunger" (1983) and F Murray Abraham for "Amadeus" (1984). The latter won Smith a long overdue Oscar. He transformed Hal Holbrook into Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln for TV and reached new heights in on-screen goo with his work on Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" (1973). Smith also pushed the limits of the young art of special makeup effects with his work on the de-evolving form of William Hurt in Ken Russell's "Altered States" (1980).Smith has stated that he was the very first makeup artist hired by NBC in 1945. Back then when radio ruled the airwaves, his office space was the bottom drawer of an assistant director's desk. By 1950 TV had arrived and Smith had advanced to department head with 20 full-time makeup artists working under his direction. He has told colorful tales of the rigors of aging actors for live TV dramas on the likes of "Philco TV...

A legendary Hollywood makeup artist of film and TV since the 1940s, Smith is considered a pioneer in the design of aging makeup and an innovator in the field of special makeup effects. He utilized layers of latex called "old age stipple" to age Dustin Hoffman for "Little Big Man" (1970), Marlon Brando for "The Godfather" (1972), David Bowie for "The Hunger" (1983) and F Murray Abraham for "Amadeus" (1984). The latter won Smith a long overdue Oscar. He transformed Hal Holbrook into Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln for TV and reached new heights in on-screen goo with his work on Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" (1973). Smith also pushed the limits of the young art of special makeup effects with his work on the de-evolving form of William Hurt in Ken Russell's "Altered States" (1980).

Smith has stated that he was the very first makeup artist hired by NBC in 1945. Back then when radio ruled the airwaves, his office space was the bottom drawer of an assistant director's desk. By 1950 TV had arrived and Smith had advanced to department head with 20 full-time makeup artists working under his direction. He has told colorful tales of the rigors of aging actors for live TV dramas on the likes of "Philco TV Playhouse" and "Goodyear TV Playhouse" where every second counted. Smith continued to work in TV periodically through the 80s, garnering several Emmy nominations and winning one for "Mark Twain Tonight!" (CBS, 1967).

His subsequent films include "The World of Henry Orient" (1964), "Midnight Cowboy" (1969), "Taxi Driver" (1976), and "The Deer Hunter" (1978). The veteran makeup designer proved that he still had it with Robert Zemeckis' "Death Becomes Her" (1992), a darkly comic tale of dangerous beauty secrets.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Madonna: Innocence Lost (1994) Congo (Ruth Novak)
2.
 Detras de esa Puerta (1975) Secretary Of State
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Milestones close milestones

1945:
Was reputedly the first makeup artist hired by NBC
1948:
Early feature credit, did makeup for "Call Northside 777", a semi-documentary film noir starring James Stewart
1950:
Headed NBC's makeup department; supervised 20 full-time makeup artists
:
Worked extensively in live TV drama on such shows as "Philco TV Playhouse" and "Goodyear TV Playhouse"
1959:
Left NBC
1962:
Provided makeup for "Requiem for a Heavyweight", the film version of Rod Serling's celebrated 1956 TV play
1970:
Aged Dustin Hoffman for the satirical Western, "Little Big Man"
1972:
Aged Marlon Brando in "The Godfather"
1973:
Acclaimed for landmark makeup effects in "The Exorcist"
1977:
Received his first credit for special makeup on "The Sentinel"
1980:
First credit as special makeup consultant for David Cronenberg's "Scanners"
1983:
Aged David Bowie for "The Hunger"
1984:
Aged F. Murray Abraham to play the old Salieri in "Amadeus"
1989:
Designed old age makeup for Jack Lemmon in "Dad"
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Notes

Not to be confused with the 1920s Hollywood screenwriter, the 50s sound man, the 70s actor, or the 80s documentary producer.

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