||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2013)|
Smith in 1953.
|Born||Frank Kent Smith
March 19, 1907
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 23, 1985
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Edith Atwater(1962–1985) (his death)
Betty Gillette (1937–1954) (1 child)
Born Frank Kent Smith in New York, New York, Smith made his acting debut on Broadway in 1932 in Men Must Fight and, after spending a few years there, moved to Hollywood, California, where he made his film debut in The Garden Murder Case. Initially, he was groomed to play leading roles in "B" pictures, usually as solid and dependable types, or as the friend or rival for the heroine's affections in more prestigious films. As he aged quickly, turning grey quite young, he moved into character roles.
His biggest successes occurred during the 1940s in films such as Cat People (1942), Hitler's Children (1943), This Land Is Mine (1943), Three Russian Girls (1943), Youth Runs Wild (1944), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1946), Nora Prentiss (1947), Magic Town (1947), The Fountainhead (1949), My Foolish Heart (1949), and The Damned Don't Cry! (1950). He continued acting in supporting roles from the 1950s in films such as A Distant Trumpet and made his final film appearance in Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977).
His numerous television credits included a continuing role in the soap opera Peyton Place as Dr. Robert Morton; Smith's wife, actress Edith Atwater, played his character's wife on the series. Smith had featured roles in the television movies The Judge and Jake Wyler, The Night Stalker, and The Snoop Sisters (all in 1972). He began guest-starring in television series in 1949 in The Philco Playhouse and also appeared in Robert Montgomery Presents, Wagon Train, General Electric Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Naked City, Have Gun Will Travel, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Americans, Barnaby Jones, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, and The Invaders. His last appearance was in a 1977 episode of Wonder Woman.
Smith was married to the actress Betty Gillette from 1937 until 1954, and to the actress Edith Atwater from 1962 until his death from congestive heart failure in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 78.