Martin Smith (actor/musician)

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Martin Smith (26 June 1957 - 5 November 1994, Scotland, UK) was a British actor, singer, and composer who starred in many shows in London's West End. He died from complications of AIDS at the age of 37, leaving a legacy of recorded music.

He made various appearances on television and in the film Yanks (1979), but Martin Smith was best known as Micky Doyle (1985–1986) in the long-running British soap Crossroads. His acting debut was made in Scotland in BBC's Play For Today. Following this, he made many various appearances in many television shows such as Fox, Very Like a Whale, One-Upmanship, Question of Guilt, Play for Today, Henry V, Follow the Star, Jackanory, Playhouse, Secret Army, House on the Hill, and Kelly Monteith Show. He later moved south and began landing leading roles in West End musicals, including shows like Billy, Something's Afoot, Let The Good Stones Roll, The Great American Backstage Musical and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. He also had Regional Theatre experience, playing for two seasons as the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester where he had roles in the critically acclaimed Sophocles Trilogy, and he played the role of Stephen Foster in a show about the composer's life entitled Beautiful Dreamer. Another one of his early appearances in the West End in musical theatre included Che in Evita. In 1984, he starred in the original London cast of the show Peg where he played the role of Jerry Adair. He also appeared in a production of William Finn's March of the Falsettos at the Library Theatre in Manchester in 1987, that same year he appeared in No Way To Treat A Lady at the Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead. And starting in 1987-88, he played Marius and covered for Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. In 1988 he starred in a new London production of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet. He later played the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera and Stine in City of Angels in London, as well as creating original roles such as 'Adam' in Children of Eden.

He recorded several concerts with the BBC Concert and Radio Orchestras, and was a regular vocalist on the BBC Radio 2 shows Songs From the Shows and Friday Night is Music Night in the 1980s. He was featured in the Cole Porter revue A Swell Party - A Celebration of Cole Porter (1992) at London's Vaudeville Theatre, singing "Love For Sale" as it was originally intended to be sung - by a man.

In the 1980s Smith became a member of The Salvation Army at Regent Hall Corps in Oxford Street, London. He played several concerts for the organisation and recorded the song "I'll Make My Promises" for the soundtrack album for the Gowans/Larsson musical "The Blood of the Lamb" (released by SP&S in 1981).

As a composer Smith wrote scores for several musicals, including King and La Tosca. He recorded several songs from those shows on a solo album a year before his death.

A year after his death, a gala tribute concert was held in his honour at the Prince Edward Theatre. The concert featured Michael Ball, Dora Bryan, Lily Savage, John Barrowman, Sally Ann Howes, Ruthie Henshall, and many other stars.

Recordings[edit]

  • Great Duets From The Musicals
  • I'll Make My Promises from The Blood of the Lamb (1981)
  • Peg - Original London Cast (1984)
  • An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner (1987)
  • Bitter Sweet - London Cast (1988)
  • Les Misérables - Complete Symphonic Recording (1988)
  • Hey, Mr. Producer! (1990)
  • Children of Eden - Original London Cast (1991)
  • A Swell Party - Original London Cast (1991)
  • Child Of The Earth (1993)
  • City of Angels - Original London Cast (1993)
  • The Magic Of The British Musicals (1994)
  • Martin Smith: A Handful Of Keys (1993)

External links[edit]