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Charles Martin Smith

Smith at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival
Born October 30, 1953 (1953-10-30) (age 56),
Van Nuys, California,
United States. United States
Occupation Actor, writer, director
Years active 1971 - Present

Charles Martin Smith (born October 30, 1953) is an American film actor, writer, and director.




Early life

Smith was born in Van Nuys, California. His father, Frank Smith, was a film cartoonist and animator, [1] while his uncle Paul J. Smith was an animator as well as a director for the Walter Lantz Studios.[2] Smith spent three years of his youth in Paris where his father managed the English-language branch of a French animation studio.[3] He received his high school diploma from Grover Cleveland High School, Reseda, California. He attended California State University, Northridge and was awarded a B.A. in Theatre.[4]

Acting background

Smith was discovered by a talent agent while acting in a school play, Man of La Mancha. After a few years of working in film and television, he landed the role of Terry "The Toad" Fields in the George Lucas' 1973 film American Graffiti.

In 1974 he starred with Ron Howard again in The Spikes Gang, filmed in Spain, along with Lee Marvin and Gary Grimes; and in 1978 he earned a starring role in Cotton Candy, directed by Ron Howard.

Smith gained notice as one of Buddy Holly's bandmates in The Buddy Holly Story, a race car driver in Disney's Herbie Goes Bananas, and as a scientist in Never Cry Wolf. His work in Starman was also lauded.[5] In 1979 Smith was cast alongside Barney Martin as the lead in Norman Lear's last TV series concept, McGurk: A Dog's Life, which never progressed beyond the pilot.

One of his latter starring roles was in "The Beacon (The Twilight Zone)," an episode of The New Twilight Zone where he starred with Martin Landau, and Giovanni Ribisi in an early role.

The rest of Smith's acting career has chiefly involved supporting roles. He received good reviews for his work in The Untouchables. After this he co-starred in The Hot Spot and Deep Cover, and in the mid-1990s in less successful films such as Speechless and I Love Trouble.

Smith played a major role in the controversial HBO film And the Band Played On, then turned in a well-regarded performance in the TV miniseries Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo.

He also appeared in The Beast in (1996) and in a minor role in the big budget Deep Impact in 1998. He also played a major character in the made-for-television movie Blackout Effect.

More recently he has appeared in mini-series such as P.T. Barnum, Kingdom Hospital and The Triangle as well as the feature film Lucky You directed by Curtis Hanson. In 2009 he played a featured role, Sheriff Golightly, on Fringe's second episode.

Never Cry Wolf

Smith devoted almost three years to filming Never Cry Wolf. Smith said, "I was much more closely involved in that picture than I had been in any other film. Not only acting, but writing and the whole creative process." He also found the process difficult. "During much of the two-year shooting schedule in Canada’s Yukon and in Nome, Alaska, I was the only actor present. It was the loneliest film I’ve ever worked on," Smith said.[6]

Carroll Ballard, director of Never Cry Wolf, asked Smith to write much of the narration for the film. Smith also had to perform a lengthy scene in which he was entirely naked.


Along with his acting career, since the mid-1990s Smith has increasingly focused on his work behind the camera. His first film as director was the camp horror film Trick or Treat (1986) for Dino De Laurentiis. He was one of the directors of the TV series Space: Above and Beyond (1995) as well as the director of the initial episode ("Welcome to the Hellmouth") that launched the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997). He next directed the hugely successful feature film Air Bud (Disney, 1997), and two TV miniseries for Hallmark Entertainment, Roughing It (2001) and Icon (2005).

He also wrote and directed the Canadian feature film The Snow Walker (2003) for Lions Gate Films, based on a story by Farley Mowat (of Never Cry Wolf fame) which marked a return to the Arctic for Smith and garnered nine Genie Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Smith.

He has lived in Vancouver, Canada since the 1980s and continues to add to production, directing, acting and writing credits in a career that has spanned over thirty-five years.[7]

June 2007, Smith is currently directing Stone of Destiny for Mob Films, based on a screenplay written by Smith, starring Charlie Cox and Kate Mara. The film climaxes at Arbroath Abbey, the scene being filmed on June 29, 2007. In the summer of 2008, it was announced that Stone of Destiny would be the closing Gala Presentation for the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.[8]


External links


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