The Amazing Legacy of Hollywood Makeup Artist Dick Smith
Hollywood lost one its visionary artists with today’s announcement that make-up wizard Dick Smith had died at the age of 92. Decades before computer animation transformed the world of visual effects, Smith — using techniques perfected in the basement of his Larchmont, NY home — worked his magic on an impressive number of iconic films. He turned an angelic teen girl into a snarling demon in 'The Exorcist,'' transformed a 48-year-old Brando into an aging Mafia don in 'The Godfather' and helped create the bloody climactic stairwell gunfight in Taxi Driver. He contributed to less-serious fare as well: For The Stepford Wives, he fashioned foam-rubber prosthetic breasts for Katharine Ross' robot surrogate and (working with CGI artists) designed some of outlandish post-mortem injuries suffered by Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in 'Death Becomes Her.' Here are some examples of his best work.
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'Little Big Man' (1970)
In this Western comedy about a white boy raised by Indians in the 1800s, Dustin Hoffman eventually aged into a 121-year-old man. The actor wore layers of foam latex — and screamed for an hour to make his voice hoarse.