With his passing at age 92, this make-up wizard left behind a legacy that literally reinvented movie F/X while influencing the people who created them.
He went to Yale, where he was planning on being a dentist. However, once he read a book on make-up techniques, he began experimenting on members of the drama club. After World War II, he sent out pictures of his self-taught applications and looks, but there were no takers in the close-knit world of Hollywood.
His father suggested he try the fledgling medium of television, and before long, a young 20 something Dick Smith was working at WNBC in New York. For a 1959 production of The Moon and the Sixpence, he had to turn Laurence Olivier into a leper. After taking one look at what Smith had done, the legendary thespian said that he was more than satisfied as the grotesque latex appliances would do "the acting for him". It was something Smith never forgot over the course of his long, legendary life (he died on 30 July, 2014).
In 1965 he published a how-to book that would become the bible for a bunch of wannabe make-up artists. Names like Rob Bottin, Tom Savini, Chris Walas, and Rick Baker all cited him as influential in their future career choice. In 1967 he stepped in to help Jonathan Frid play a 175-year-old vampire for Dark Shadows (he would improve the effect for the film at number nine on the list).
It was 1970's Little Big Man, with Smith again taking a young actor (Dustin Hoffman) and turning him into a 121-year-old man that cemented his status. From then on, Smith was a known name, working in many of the high profile Me Decade movies, such as Midnight Cowboy. Throughout the years, he has served on many high profile productions, and yet, through it all, Smith only received two Oscar nominations (for Amadeus and Dad) and only one win (for the former).
So, in celebration of his life and influence on movie make-up, here are ten examples of Smith's brilliance, from the earliest examples of his work in B-movie schlock to the horror classic which cemented his reputation, beginning with: