Dick Smith Has Passed Away

2014/07/31 16:59:23 +00:00 | Derek Anderson

We're sad to report that according to a statement made by his close friend and mentee, Rick Baker, legendary makeup artist Dick Smith has passed away at the age of 92. 

Rick Baker made the announcement via Twitter early this morning:

"The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same."

Born in 1922, Richard Emerson "Dick" Smith was the master behind a multitude of iconic makeup effects. He began his makeup career in television in the 1940's before later expanding to the world of film. Smith made memorable movie transformations possible with his innovative makeup applications and styles in a plethora of projects, including The Godfather (1972), Taxi Driver (1976), and Scanners (1981), to name just a few of many.

Horror fans likely best remember Dick Smith from the remarkable job he did transforming the innocent-looking Linda Blair into the pale-faced demon in 1973's The Exorcist. From the peeling skin to the projectile vomiting, Smith left an indelible mark on The Exorcist that made the horror onscreen palpable and the possession of Regan MacNeil believable.

Smith's work on 1984's Amadeus led to an Academy Award, and he also received an honorary Oscar in 2011 for his lifetime achievements in makeup. A close friend of Smith's and also his protégé, makeup effects guru Rick Baker fittingly introduced Smith to accept the Oscar at the 2011 Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Governors Awards.

Known as "The Godfather of Makeup", Smith was a great influence to a wide range of talented makeup artists, including Stan Winston, Alec Gillis, and Craig Reardon. Smith's works will undoubtedly continue to influence generations of makeup artists to come. Our thoughts go out to Smith's family and friends.

Source: Rick Baker
  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.