Wednesday, June 15, 2005

RIP Lane Smith

Blast it. One of my more favorite Hollywood character actors, Lane Smith, is dead. People in my demographic generally remember him as Perry White on the ABC program Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. As for my own part, Mr. Smith won permanent recognition as President Richard M. Nixon in the television version of The Final Days. I think it was the scene where Leonid Brezhnev was barrelling around in a Lincoln at Camp David that sealed the deal.1 Sublime humor, if you will. Additional roles by Mr. Smith that scored points with the judge from the Western District of Virginia: -"Nathan Bates" in V: The Series -"Mayor Bates" of Calumet in Red Dawn Red Dawn is a fundamentally disturbing movie overall, but Mr. Smith's character manages to be more memorable than not. It isn't every day that you get to see an actor have to react to the simulated slaughter of the residents of his town, and he does a pretty unforgettable job in one of the most wrenching sequences from Mr. Milius' picture. At the same time, Mr. Smith manages to provide some comic relief as he stammers around about the nature of the Boy Scouts in order to protect his son from arrest. Mr. Smith's gravelly voice and expressive face often served him well, in my opinion. He will be missed. He was sixty-nine years old. ---- 1 Mea culpa, Mr. President; I understand from the IMDB that you didn't like this movie.


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