Dick Smith, the man who made a 43-year-old Max von Sydow look like a 80-year-old priest in "The Exorcist", a 48-year-old Marlon Brando like a 63-year-old gangster boss in "The Godfather" and a 33-year-old Dustin Hoffman like a 121-year-old Indian in "Little Big Man", has passed away at the age of 92.

Based on my opening you can say that he was a true expert at aging people up in an convincing and realistic way but he could do more than just that and was extremely talented in basically all make up disciplines that you can think of and was a true pioneer in his profession. From historical dramas such as "Amadeus" and the "North and South" series to science-fiction projects such as "Scanners", "Starman" and "Altered States" and from serious movies such as "Midnight Cowboy", "Taxi Driver" and "The Deer Hunter" to gruesome horror productions such as "The Exorcist", "The Hunger" and "House on Haunted Hill" (his last movie), he did it all!

It's amazing to realize that throughout his 58-year long career he only got nominated for 2 Oscars (still 2 times more than me) and won only just once. for his work on "Amadeus". But perhaps that at the same time also is a great compliment for a make up artist. Perhaps people really thought that the priest from "The Exorcist" was played by a 80-year-old and Marlon Brando had truly aged that much thoughout the years, after he had been out of the picture for most people for a while, untill he gained new found fame with "The Godfather".

He did however also receive an Honorary Award at the 2012 Academy Awards, which was handed out by colleague Rick Baker to him and he won various other awards thoughout his career, such as an Emmy and a BAFTA. But more important than any awards, he worked on countless of great and memorable movies, that also thanks to his talents and craftmanship are still now some of the greatest and most memorable movies till this very date.

Have a look at some of his work, that I'm sure you are very familiar with already, even when you haven't seen the particular movie yet.

The Exorcist (1973)

The Godfather (1972)

Amadeus (1984)

Little Big Man (1970)

The Hunger (1983)

Scanners (1981)

Taxi Driver (1976)

Altered States (1980)

Ghost Story (1981)

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Dick Smith receives an Honorary Award at the 2011 Governors Awards

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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