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Legenday make-up artist Dick Smith dead at 92

While not a man who worked exclusively in the horror realm of the film industry, he did touch a few and, more importantly, helped inspire and open the door for many make-up wizards that are active now.

Dick Smith passed on July 30 at the age of 92, and immediately, the film world, primarily the portions occupied by make-up artists, felt the aftershocks of the loss. A pioneer whose specialty dealt with latex make-up (applied in pieces rather than one solid piece, a technique that wasn't popular when he started his work), Smith was an Oscar-winning make-up master that began his make-up career primarily doing television, such as the short-lived anthology series in the vein of "The Twilight Zone" entitled "Way Out." But it was in the 1970s when he began exploring make-up further. His exceptional work can be seen in films such as "The Godfather," "Taxi Driver," "Amadeus" (for which he won the Oscar), and "The Exorcist."

And for horror fans such as myself, his work can also be seen in the surreal "Altered States" and the violent "Scanners." His work always had a hint of realism (especially in regards to elderly make-up, such as that used with Marlon Brando's Don Corleone or the make-up for F. Murray Abraham as an aged Salieri in "Amadeus") despite some of the more outlandish events depicted on screen, and watching them even now brings about a certain sense of awe. Inspiring such make-up effects legends as Rick Baker, Dick Smith's passing is definitely felt...but his work will always last, and it should always be celebrated.

You will be missed, Mr. Smith.

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