William Smith Death: Action Actor and Star of Laredo and Rich Man, Poor Man’s Personal Life Revealed
William Emmett Smith was an American actor who lived from March 24, 1933, to July 5, 2021. He appeared in nearly 300 feature films and television productions in a wide variety of character roles over the course of his 75-year Hollywood career.
His best-known role being the menacing Anthony Falconetti in the 1970s television mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man. Smith is also recognised for his appearances in exploitation films such as Any Which Way You Can (1980), Conan The Barbarian (1982), Rumble Fish (1983), and Red Dawn (1984), as well as several starring parts in the 1970s.
Smith was born in Columbia, Missouri, on March 24, 1933, to William Emmett Smith and Emily Richards Smith, and grew up on his parent’s cattle ranch.
His family eventually relocated to Southern California, where he began performing at the age of eight in 1942, appearing in films including The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Song of Bernadette, and Meet Me in St. Louis as a child actor.
|Name||William Emmett Smith|
|Birth||March 24, 1933, in Columbia, Missouri|
|Death||July 5, 2021|
|Net Worth||$1.5 Million|
William Smith’s Early Career!
Smith was a member of the US Air Force. He won the global 200-pound (91 kg) arm-wrestling championship on several occasions, as well as the US Air Force weightlifting competition.
Smith, a lifelong bodybuilder, held the world record for reverse-curling his own weight. His signature arms were as long as 19+12 inches. Smith had a 31–1 amateur boxing record. [requires citation]
He was a Russian Intercept Interrogator and flew secret ferret missions over the Russian SFSR during the Korean War. He possessed CIA and NSA clearance and was expected to work for the US government in a classified job, but while pursuing his doctorate, he earned an acting contract with MGM.
William Smith’s Television Career!
Smith established himself as a prolific and genuinely accomplished character actor with appearances in a wide range of genres between 1961 and 2014. He was occasionally cast as a law enforcement officer or an anti-heroic protagonist, despite his reputation as an anti-social personality.
He played police Sergeant Danny Keller on the ABC television series The Asphalt Jungle, which premiered in 1961. In the syndicated television series The Virginian, he played Bill, a ranch worker from the Shiloh Ranch, in the episode “The Rope of Lies” in 1964.
Joe Riley, a good-natured Texas Ranger on the NBC western series Laredo (1965–1967), was one of his first prominent roles. Smith made a guest appearance as Jude Bonner on James Arness’ long-running western Gunsmoke in 1967.
In “The Understanding” (1969), an episode of Death Valley Days, Smith played John Richard Parker, the brother of Cynthia Ann Parker, who were both kidnapped by the Comanche in Texas. Parker suffers the illness, is abandoned by his fellow Comanche warriors, and is rescued by Yolanda, his future Mexican wife (Emily Banks).
In the 1969 episode “The Restless Man,” he played Hendry Brown, an outlaw turned temporary sheriff. Brown takes the post of the sheriff to bring law and order to a lawless community, begins to court a young woman (played by Emily Banks again), but soon returns to his lethal outlaw ways in search of bigger pleasures.
In the 1972 episode “Hostage!” of Gunsmoke, Smith’s character beats and raps Amanda Blake’s character Miss Kitty Russell, then shoots her twice in the back. Smith has been dubbed “our time’s best bad-guy character actor.”
Smith played Detective James “Kimo” Carew, a new cop in the Hawaii Five-O squad, in the final season of the show. He had earlier appeared in Stoney Burke alongside Jack Lord.
He played Anthony Falconetti, the Jordache family’s antagonist, in the 1976 television miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, and reprised the character in the sequel Rich Man, Poor Man Book II.
Other 1970s TV appearances include an Indian medicine man who advises Kolchak in the Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode “The Energy Eater,” and Commander Maxwell in the early Six Million Dollar Man episode “Survival of the Fittest.”
He also played John Waverly in the 1979 miniseries The Rebels, Jason Steele, the manipulative leader of a hellish biker gang whom David Hasselhoff’s character Michael Knight has to outsmart in an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, and Harold Turner, the manipulative leader of a hellish biker gang whom David Hasselhoff’s character Michael Knight has to outsmart in an episode of Knight Rider.
Smith rose to prominence on the big screen in the early 1970s, starring in a number of cult films. In 1970, Smith played hefty Terry Bartell in the film Darker than Amber.
Rod Taylor hit Smith (who was playing the villain) in the first battle sequence that finishes the film, and Smith replied in kind, turning a planned fight scene into a real brawl as the cameras continued to roll.
Taylor was a “really tough person,” according to Smith, who shattered three of his ribs while breaking Taylor’s nose.
Smith also appeared in two biker films in 1970: Nam’s Angels (originally titled “The Losers”), which co-starred Bernie Hamilton, and C.C. and Company, which starred Ann-Margret, Joe Namath, Jennifer Billingsley, and genre favourite Sid Haig, and was directed by Seymour Robbie and written by Ann-husband, Margret’s actor Roger Smith.
He played James Eastman in Grave of the Vampire (co-starring Michael Pataki and Lyn Peters), Invasion of the Bee Girls (co-starring Victoria Vetri, Anitra Ford, and Katie Saylor, written by Nicholas Meyer and directed by Denis Sanders), and The Swinging Barmaids (written by Nicholas Meyer and directed by Denis Sanders) in 1972.
He co-starred alongside Fred Williamson in two popular Blaxploitation films, Hammer and the controversially titled Boss Nigger, in 1972 and 1975, respectively. He played Ken Nichols, a gorgeous swindler who may be a person of interest in a murder investigation Columbo is working on, in the Columbo episode “The Greenhouse Jungle” in 1972.
Wife and children of William Smith: Was he married or not?
Her spouse passed away on July 5 at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, she stated.
William Smith and his wife, Joanne Cervelli Smith, have two children. However, their identities have yet to be revealed on any social media networks.
Death of William Smith!
William Smith, a burly character actor best remembered for playing tough dudes and brawling with Clint Eastwood in the 1980 film Any Which Way You Can, has died at the age of 88.
Smith’s wife, Joanne Cervelli Smith, told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor died on Monday at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. The reason for death has not been revealed.
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