Charles Martin Smith

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Charles Martin Smith
CharlesMartinSmith08TIFF.jpg
Born (1953-10-30) October 30, 1953 (age 60)
Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, writer, director
Years active 1971–present
Spouse(s) Ursula Martin (divorced)
Children 1 child

Charles Martin Smith (born October 30, 1953) is an American film actor, writer, and director. He is best known for his roles in American Graffiti, Never Cry Wolf, Starman, and The Untouchables and for writing and directing the films "Dolphin Tale" and "Dolphin Tale 2"

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in Van Nuys, California. His father, Frank Smith, was a film cartoonist and animator,[1] while his uncle Paul J. Smith was an animator as well as a director for the Walter Lantz Studios.[citation needed] Smith spent three years of his youth in Paris, where his father managed the English-language branch of a French animation studio.[2] He received his high school diploma from Grover Cleveland High School, Reseda, California. He attended California State University, Northridge and was awarded a B.A. in Theatre.[3]

Acting background[edit]

Smith was discovered by a talent agent while acting in a school play, Man of La Mancha. After a few years of working in film and television, he landed the role of Terry "The Toad" Fields in George Lucas's 1973 film American Graffiti, a role he would reprise in the film's 1979 sequel, More American Graffiti.

In 1974 he starred with Ron Howard again in The Spikes Gang, filmed in Spain, along with Lee Marvin and Gary Grimes; and in 1978 he earned a starring role in Cotton Candy, directed by Ron Howard.

Around 1975 or 1976, Smith auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker for the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars. Actor Perry King did a screen test with Smith playing the part of Han Solo. Neither actor got the job as Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford ended up with those parts. (King did end up providing Solo's voice in Brian Daley's adaptations of the trilogy of Episodes IV, V, and VI of the Star Wars saga for National Public Radio, but Smith never contributed his voice to any of these in any role.)

Smith played one of Buddy Holly's bandmates in The Buddy Holly Story, a race car driver in Disney's Herbie Goes Bananas, and the starring role as a scientist in Never Cry Wolf. His work in Starman, as Mark Shermin, the SETI member sympathetic to the Starman's situation—where Richard Jaeckel's character of George Fox, who wanted to capture the Starman, was not—was also lauded.[4] In 1979 Smith was cast alongside Barney Martin as the lead in Norman Lear's last TV series concept, McGurk: A Dog's Life, which never progressed beyond the pilot.

One of his latter starring roles was in "The Beacon (The Twilight Zone)," an episode of The New Twilight Zone where he starred with Martin Landau and Giovanni Ribisi in an early role.

One of his other starring roles was in "Banshee (Ray Bradbury Theater)," an episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater where he starred with Peter O'Toole and Jennifer Dale and also in "Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar! (Ray Bradbury Theater)".

The rest of Smith's acting career has chiefly involved supporting roles. He received good reviews for his work in The Untouchables. After this he co-starred in The Hot Spot and Deep Cover, and in the mid-1990s in less successful films such as Speechless, I Love Trouble, and Perfect Alibi.

Smith played a major role in the controversial HBO film And the Band Played On, then turned in a well-regarded performance in the TV miniseries Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo.

He also appeared in The Beast in (1996) and in a minor role in the big budget Deep Impact in 1998. He played a major character in the made-for-television movie Blackout Effect.

More recently he has appeared in mini-series such as P.T. Barnum, Kingdom Hospital and The Triangle as well as the feature film Lucky You directed by Curtis Hanson. In 2009 he played a featured role, Sheriff Golightly, on Fringe's second episode.

Never Cry Wolf[edit]

Smith devoted almost three years to filming Never Cry Wolf. Smith said, "I was much more closely involved in that picture than I had been in any other film. Not only acting, but writing and the whole creative process." He also found the process difficult. "During much of the two-year shooting schedule in Canada’s Yukon and in Nome, Alaska, I was the only actor present. It was the loneliest film I’ve ever worked on," Smith said.[5] During the filming, he became so enamored of the Northwest that he decided to relocate to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he has resided since the mid-1980s.

Carroll Ballard, director of Never Cry Wolf, asked Smith to write much of the narration for the film. Smith also performed in a lengthy scene with wolves and caribou in which he was entirely naked.

Directing[edit]

Along with his acting career, since the mid-1990s Smith has increasingly focused on his work behind the camera both as a writer and director. His first film as director was the camp horror film Trick or Treat (1986) for Dino De Laurentiis. In 1992, Charles Martin Smith directed and at the same time acted in Fifty/Fifty, a movie filmed in Malaysia which also starred Robert Hays and Peter Weller. Fifty/Fifty is an action packed movie about Tengarra, a nation ruled by a cruel dictator. He was one of the directors of the TV series Space: Above and Beyond (1995) as well as the director of the initial episode ("Welcome to the Hellmouth") that launched the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997). He next directed the hugely successful feature film Air Bud (Disney, 1997), and two TV miniseries for Hallmark Entertainment, Roughing It, starring James Garner as Mark Twain, (2001) and Icon (2005), starring Patrick Swayze, Michael York and Patrick Bergin. He directed numerous episodes of the respected Canadian television series DaVinci's Inquest, and wrote and executive produced The Clinic, a 2 hour movie about a veterinary clinic for Animal Planet in 2003.

In 2003 he wrote and directed the acclaimed Canadian feature film The Snow Walker for Lions Gate Films, based on a story by Farley Mowat (of Never Cry Wolf fame) which marked a return to the Arctic for Smith and garnered nine Genie Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director for Smith.

He has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia and also in Los Angeles, California since the 1980s and continues to add to production, directing, acting and writing credits in a career that has spanned more than 40 years.[6]

In 2007, Smith wrote and directed the British/Canadian co-production Stone of Destiny for Mob Films, and Infinity Features, starring Charlie Cox, Robert Carlyle and Kate Mara. Stone of Destiny was the closing Gala Presentation for the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.[7] His next film as director is Dolphin Tale for Alcon Entertainment. The hit film, based on a true story, stars Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, and was released on September 23, 2011 by Warner Bros. To date, the film has grossed over $70 million at the domestic box office and over $100 million world-wide.

He returns to write and direct the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2. He based his original script on various true-life events that have occurred at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, including the dramatic rescue of a baby dolphin named "Hope" that coincidentally happened during the wrap party of the first film, with many of the film's cast and crew watching. The entire cast has returned to take part, and the movie will be released by Warner Bros on September 12, 2014.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Brady Bunch Ronnie Episode "The Wheeler-Dealer"
1972 The Culpepper Cattle Co. Tim Slater
Fuzz Baby
Room 222 Episode "You Don't Know Me, He Said"
1973 Go Ask Alice (TV movie) Jim
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Charles Bowdre
American Graffiti Terry 'The Toad' Fields
Love, American Style (TV series) Julius Episode "Love and the Blue Plate Special/Love and the Man of the Year/Love and the Time Machine"
(segment "Love and the Time Machine")
Chase (TV series) Little Bits Episode "Sizzling Stones"
1974 The Streets of San Francisco (TV series) Russell Jamison Episode "Blockade"
The Spikes Gang Tod
The Rookies (TV series) Bobby Lewis Episode "Death at 6 A.M."
Petrocelli (TV series) Frankie Episode "A Covenant with Evil"
1975 Lucas Tanner (TV series) Rod Jernigan Episode "Those Who Cannot, Teach"
Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins Alan Boone
1976 No Deposit, No Return Longnecker
Law of the Land (TV movie) Dudley
Baretta (TV series) Harold Episode "Shoes"
1977 The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (TV series) Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt Episode "The Tenderfoot"
The Hazing Barney
1978 The Buddy Holly Story Ray Bob
Cotton Candy (TV movie) George Smalley
1979 A Dog's Life (TV movie) Tucker
More American Graffiti Terry 'The Toad' Fields
1980 When the Whistle Blows (TV series) Jimmy Episode "Love Is a Four-Letter Word"[1]
Herbie Goes Bananas D.J.
1983 Never Cry Wolf Farley Mowat / Tyler
1984 Starman Mark Shermin
1985 The Twilight Zone (TV series) Dr. Dennis Barrows Episode "The Beacon/One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty"
(segment "The Beacon")
1986 Trick or Treat Mr. Wimbley Also directed the film
1987 The Untouchables Agent Oscar Wallace
1989 The Experts Mr. Smith
1986-1989 The Ray Bradbury Theater (TV series) Douglas Rogers / Hugh Fortnum Episodes "Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!" (Fortnum) and "Banshee" (Rogers)
1990 The Hot Spot Lon Gulick
1992 Deep Cover Carver
Boris and Natasha Hotel Clerk
Fifty/Fifty Martin Sprue
1993 Partners (TV short) 'Grave Squad' Lawyer [2]
And the Band Played On (TV movie) Dr. Harold Jaffe
The Untouchables (TV series) Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey Episode "Attack on New York"
Tales from the Crypt (TV series) Colin Episode "Half-Way Horrible"
Picket Fences (TV series) Lyman Pike Episode "Blue Christmas"
1994 L.A. Law (TV series) Dale Hardy Episode "Dead Issue"
I Love Trouble Rick Medwick
Roswell (TV movie) Sheriff Wilcox
Northern Exposure (TV series) Roger Brewster (Satan) Episode "The Robe"
Speechless Kratz
1995 Brothers' Destiny (TV movie) Merriman [3]
Take Out the Beast (TV short) The biorobot [4]
The Outer Limits (TV series) Spencer Deighton Episode "Blood Brothers"
The X-Files (TV series) Dr. Osbourne Episode ""F. Emasculata"
Perfect Alibi Franklin Dupard
Streets of Laredo (TV mini-series) Ned Brookshire (railroad accountant)
1996 Goosebumps: Escape from Horrorland (Video Game) Renfield
The Final Cut Capt. Weldon Mamet
The Beast (TV movie) Schuyler Graves
Wedding Bell Blues Oliver Napier
1997 Dead Silence (TV movie) Roland W. Marks [5]
1998 Blackout Effect (TV movie) Henry Drake
Deep Impact Dr. Marcus Wolf (uncredited)
Hoods Gun Dealer (uncredited)
1999 The New Woody Woodpecker Show (TV series) Marty Episode "Pinheads/The Chilly Show/Silent Treatment"
P.T. Barnum (TV movie) Beach [6]
The Apartment Complex (TV movie) Gary Glumley
2000 Here's to Life! Ned [7]
2000-2001 Family Law (TV series) Mr. Chilton Episodes "The Gay Divorcee" and "Going Home"
2001 Ally McBeal (TV series) Mayor Horn Episode "Nine One One"
2002 Roughing It (TV movie) Platt
Dead Heat Morty
Touching Wild Horses Charles Thurston [8]
2004 Kingdom Hospital (TV series) Earl Swinton Episode "Thy Kingdom Come"
The Last Casino (TV movie) Barnes
2005 Icon (TV movie) Doctor Also directed the film
Left Behind: World at War Vice President John Mallory
The Triangle (TV mini-series) Captain Jay
2005-2006 Da Vinci's City Hall (TV series) Joe Friedland / Mike Franklin Also directed 3 episodes
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV series) Sheriff Bartley Episode "Infiltrated"
2007 Still Small Voices Burton Hayes
Drive (TV mini-series) Mr. Bright Episodes "No Turning Back", "Let the Games Begin", "Partners", and "The Starting Line"
Lucky You Roy Durucher
2008 Jack and Jill vs. the World Carlin
2009 Leverage (TV series) Glenn Leary Episode "The Beantown Bailout Job"
Fringe (TV series) Sheriff Golightly Episode "Night of Desirable Objects"
2010 Psych (TV series) Roy Kessler Episode "Not Even Close... Encounters"

References[edit]

External links[edit]