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Farwell Dick Smith: The Legacy & Legend



Dick Smith, legendary Makeup Artist and pioneer died on Wednesday July 30, 2014 in Los Angeles at the age of 92.  Smith was born in Larchmont New York as Richard Emerson Smith and was educated at Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut and Yale University. After reading a book on theatrical make-up techniques entitled Paint, Paste and Makeup, he began doing make-up for the Yale drama group.  Upon exploring this book, Dick Smith began experimenting with his first creature creations in a simple lab in his basement.


Later on, after leaving the Army following WWII, Smith was appointed as the first make-up director of NBC’s station in New York City where he worked for fourteen years. Dick Smith career spans many decades including television shows such as Dark Shadows & The Twilight Zone, however he is best know for his pioneering effects techniques in The Exorcist. 


Smith won an Academy Award for his aging techniques in Amadeus and later received a second Academy Award nomination for his work on Dad (1989), for which he was required to age Jack Lemon then in his mid-60s, into an octogenarian.  And in 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award for his life's work.





Dick Smith was a pioneer, legend, and an inspiration to makeup artists past present, and future. He mentored and helped build the careers of many artists we know and admire today including Rick Baker. He will be missed but his legacy will live on sparking the imaginations for many many generations to come.