The world has lost a legend as noted makeup effects artist Dick Smith has passed away at the age of 92.
While he is known for his incredible work on films such as THE GODFATHER, TAXI DRIVER, and AMADEUS (for which he won an Oscar), Smith was beloved by horror fans for his notable work on classics such as THE EXORCIST, GHOST STORY, ALTERED STATES, and more. An inspiration to many special effects & makeup artists that followed, Smith was known as 'The Godfather of Makeup', and was honored with a special tribute to mark his huge contribution to the makeup profession and entertainment industry by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2009.
Smith became a part of horror legend with 1973's THE EXORCIST as his gruesome transformation of Regan (Linda Blair) from a sweet 12 year-old girl into a demon-possessed monster was vivid and wholly believable, thanks in large part to Smith’s astounding work which included his construction of the dummy whose head-turning capability resulted in one of the most famous images in American movies.
As a younger legend of movie makeup, Rick Baker (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) said of Smith, "There’s never going to be another Dick Smith. Dick is, without a doubt, the greatest makeup artist who’s ever going to live."
The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same.— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) July 31, 2014