Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Lane Smith

My friend and colleague Mark Dawidziak and I talked off and on about an all-star team of TV actors -- people you would want to get together for just about any acting project. Guys like Brian Dennehy. James Woods. Hal Holbrook. Barry Corbin. Joe Morton. Charles Durning. Ned Beatty. These folks were not for the most part big-name stars, but could give you comedy, give you drama, overplay, underplay -- you want it, you got it.
We never wrote down the list. It was more one of those things you'd talk about, and maybe a few years later you'd see someone else who belonged on the list, or you'd decide someone else wasn't all that great. But I'm sure that any time we talked about it at length, Lane Smith would come up.
Smith, who died recently, was one of the great go-to guys in TV and the movies. His resume includes a Pauly Shore movie and a memorable performance as Richard Nixon (in TV's ''The Final Days''). Not long ago, I was reminded how deft he was while watching the new DVD of ''Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,'' the Dean Cain-Teri Hatcher series where Smith zestfully played Perry White. I crossed paths with him a couple of times over the years, and found him not only approachable but a likable guy. It's too bad he's gone.
Here's a link to one obit:
Lane Smith dies.

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