Saturday, January 5, 2013

Eugene Smith Dead at 86

Actor Eugene H. Smith died peacefully October 1, 2012, surrounded by family. He was 86 years old. He played roles in THE GUIDING LIGHT, SOMERSET, AS THE WORLD TURNS, THE EDGE OF NIGHT and ANOTHER WORLD.

Born in Brooklyn, he attended Fordham University and graduated from Texas A&M University. As a Naval aviator in WWII, he was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat in the South Pacific. Upon returning to New York, he studied opera singing and acting under the GI Bill.

Making his professional debut in 1946 in "Good News" with Alice Ghostly he went on to play the entire four-year run of the original Broadway Company of "South Pacific." Other Broadway shows included "Fragile Fox" with Dane Clark, "40 Carrots" with June Allison (and Eleanor Parker and Ginger Rogers on tour), and "Buck White" with Muhammad Ali.

Off Broadway productions included "The Trojan Horse," "Friend of the Corpse," "Bozelfok," "Good News," "The Caine Mutiny" and "Antiques."

He appeared in many television soap operas such as ANOTHER WORLD (Ed Berns), THE EDGE OF NIGHT (Steven Adler), AS THE WORLD TURNS, SOMERSET (Lt. Will Price), THE GUIDING LIGHT (Bill Bauer) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

In addition to being an NBC announcer, he is credited with 600+ TV commercials, live radio and TV shows, and industrials. He also starred in the United Artists film "Cry Murder."

A former Vice President of the Episcopal Actor Guild, Honorary Lifetime Director and Lifetime Member of The Lambs, member of The Players, Life Member of the Actors Fund, former deacon of Queens Baptist Church, and member of the Brooklyn Schutzen Corps, he held the title of billiard champion at The Lambs, and pool champ at The Players. A motorcycle enthusiast, he was also an accomplished photographer, writer and artist.

He leaves behind his wife of 62 years and fellow Broadway actor Avril Smith, his children Jason Smith, the Rev. Dr. Stacie Turk and husband Michele, the Rev. Megan Smith, Deirde Cangialosi and husband Victor, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

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