Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dick Smith, DARK SHADOWS make-up artist: 1922-2014

Dick Smith, right, adds a few hundred years to actor Jonathan Frid.

Legendary make-up artist Dick Smith died yesterday at the age of 92.

Jonathan Frid in DARK SHADOWS, 1967.
Smith was a pioneer in the development of latex and plastics used in make-up applications, and was responsible for creating the "aging" of Barnabas Collins in both the DARK SHADOWS television show in 1967, as well as in the 1970 feature HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS. His credits include LITTLE BIG MAN, THE EXORCIST, TAXI DRIVER and THE GODFATHER.

"It was a rush job doing a 100+ year-old makeup on Jonathan Frid for one episode but it turned out to be valuable preparation for LITTLE BIG MAN," Smith explained on his website. "I attempted blinking eyelids with partial success. Overlapping appliances covered the face and neck."

That same year Smith worked on DARK SHADOWS, he won a Primtetime Emmy for  Individual Achievements in Art Direction and Allied Crafts - Makeup for MARK TWAIN TONIGHT!, a CBS special starring Hal Holbrook.

Smith was tasked with repeating his DARK SHADOWS success on the feature film HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS.  Smith famously re-used portions of Dustin Hoffman's make-up from LITTLE BIG MAN to complete actor Jonathan Frid's transformation in the film.

"The film repeated the episode where 'Barnabas' turns ancient," Smith explained on the credits page of his official website. "I used some of the previous appliances but re-made the forehead and joined it with the back head-piece from LITTLE BIG MAN. to make him bald. Also used the eyelids from LITTLE BIG MAN."

"I was sorry to hear the sad news of Dick Smith's passing last week," said actress. Kathryn Leigh Scott. "He was a wonderful makeup artist, one of the best! We loved working with him on HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS. I still have the latex scar he made (using a veal cutlet pierced with a meat fork as a mold!) for my neck after Barnabas (in Dick's old age makeup) bit me. Wonderful memories of a dear man!"

Smith won a 1985 Academy Award for Makeup for his work on AMADEUS and received a 2012 Honorary Academy Award for his career's work.

"THE EXORCIST was really a turning point for makeup special effects," special effects artist Rick Baker (STAR WARS, VIDEODROME) told The Washington Post in 2007. "Dick showed that makeup wasn't just about making people look scary or old, but had many applications. He figured out a way to make the welts swell up on Linda's stomach, to make her head spin around, and he created the vomit scenes."

Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jonathan Frid in HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS.

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