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Dick Smith Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 26 June 1922Larchmont, New York, USA
Date of Death 30 July 2014Los Angeles, California, USA  (complications from broken hip)
Birth NameRichard Emerson Smith
Nickname The Godfather of Makeup
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dick Smith was born on June 26, 1922 in Larchmont, New York, USA as Richard Emerson Smith. He is known for his work on The Godfather (1972), The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Taxi Driver (1976). He was married to Jocelyn DeRosa. He died on July 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Spouse (1)

Jocelyn DeRosa (10 January 1949 - 2003) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (7)

Television's first important make-up artist, Smith was make-up director for the National Broadcasting Company for fourteen years. He developed many new materials and shades of color and pioneered in such techniques as the use of foam latex and plastics in unusual quick changes for both color and black-and-white TV shows. Registered a Democrat, Smith was in charge of TV make-up for the Democratic National Convention in 1948 and made up James A. Farley and Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.. He studied at Wooster School and Yale University, where he studied as a premedical student, to enter dentistry, and he majored in zoology. But in his sophomore year he read a book on the tricks of make-up used by Hollywood experts during the filming of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941). He soon began to do make-up for the Yale drama group and decided to pursue a career in theatrical makeup when he graduated.
Distantly related to Ralph Waldo Emerson.
While many makeup artists are secretive about their techniques, he is known for openly sharing his knowledge with others.
He worked for the NBC television network in New York from 1945 to 1959.
His 2011 Honorary Academy Award was presented by his protégé Rick Baker.
Dick Smith only had 4 fingers on his left hand because his ring finger was lost due to an infection after an injury. Smith referred to it as his "Mickey Mouse Hand" because the ring finger bones in the hand were removed at his request to make it look more natural.
Was approached to do the make-up effects in The Terminator (1984), but turned it down and recommended Stan Winston because he felt he was better suited for the job.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on how to make wrinkles:] It's simple. We stipple a special latex formula on with a sponge, then while it's drying, we stretch the actor's own skin -- you know, maybe pull it up from the cheekbones. We use a hair dryer to dry the latex quickly and when we let go of the real skin, the face will be as wrinkled as a prune. If we want deeper wrinkles, we just add another layer of liquid latex. [New York Sunday News, July 13, 1958]

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