The legendary Godfather of make-up, Dick Smith, has passed away
Dick Smith was known as The Godfather of Make-up, and for good reason. Aside from actually working on the legendary GODFATHER, he did a masterful job on several other great films, including THE EXORCIST, TAXI DRIVER, and AMADEUS. He passed away at age 93.
His protege, Rick Baker, tweeted the following:
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
The largest credit I can pay Mr. Smith is that I was unaware of his presence. For a long time, seeing Marlon Brando out of THE GODFATHER was strange for me. That was just simply "how he looked" to my young eyes. While his horror make-up effects were fantastic for THE EXORCIST, which contributed to the first horror film receiving a best picture nod, it was his aged make-up on a then 44 year-old Max Von Sydow that really impressed. There's a reason that dude hasn't aged for me, and it's because I always compare him to "that old exorcist" he had played in the film! For TAXI DRIVER, that burtal shoot-out in the end had to be desaturated in order for Martin Scorsese to get the R-rating, because otherwise it looked "too realistic."
Dick Smith had a slew of other great films under his belt, and whether or not people know his name, they'll always appreciate his contributions to classic cinema. Thank you for making great films that much better, and rest in peace.
F. Murray Abraham in the make-up chair getting ready for his role as Antonio Salieri in AMADEUS.