J. Scott Smart

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J. Scott Smart
Jack Smart 1933
Smart in 1933.
Born (1902-11-27)November 27, 1902
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died January 15, 1960(1960-01-15) (aged 57)
Springfield, Ohio
Other names Jack Smart
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Mary-Leigh Smart (nee Call)
Children None

J. Scott Smart, born John Kenley Tener Smart, also known as Jack Smart (November 27, 1902 – January 15, 1960), was an American radio, film and stage actor during the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s.


Jack was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His family later moved to Buffalo, where he was a 1922 graduate of Lafayette High School. He is best known for his lead as Brad Runyon in the detective show The Fat Man, which aired on ABC Radio from 1946 to 1951.(See Laughlin 1994, Dunning 1976, Buxton and Owen 1996.) Jack was a regular on The March of Time and The Fred Allen Show. In fact, he played so many character roles during the early days of radio drama that he became known as the "Lon Chaney of Radio". Jack was also an accomplished stage actor and played roles in major productions of A Bell For Adano and Waiting for Godot. He appeared in many movies, including Kiss of Death and the movie version of The Fat Man. A running gag in the film was Smart getting in and out of the car he rented - a tiny MG! The film was an early major role for Rock Hudson. He vied with noted other rotund actor Bud Stevens for roles requiring fat fellows. In his later life, Jack lived in Ogunquit, Maine, and indulged his lifelong passion for art in becoming a well-known painter and sculptor. Jack was married to Mary-Leigh Smart from 1951 until his death in 1960. They had no children. Jack, together with his wife, were an established part of the arts colony. His wife Mary-Leigh Smart and her friend Beverly Hallam bequeathing their 41-acre oceanfront estate as the Surf Point Artist Colony. [1]

Jack died of pancreatic cancer in Springfield, Ohio.


  • Buxton, Frank and Bill Owen (1996) The Big Broadcast: 1920-1950 (second edition), New York: Scarecrow Press.
  • Dallman, V.Y. (1960) Obituary in the Illinois State Register, January 15, 1960.
  • Dunning, John (1976) Tune In Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925–1976, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
  • Laughlin, Charles D. (1994) J. Scott Smart, a.k.a. The Fat Man. York, Maine: Three Faces East Press.
  • MacDonald, J. Fred (1979) Don't Touch That Dial: Radio Programming in American Life, 1920–1960. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, p. 173.
  • Plante, William C. (1960) "J. Scott Smart". The Players Bulletin, spring issue.
  • Taylor, Robert (1989) Fred Allen: His Life and Wit. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

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  1. ^ seacoastonline.com article by Susan Morse Posted Oct. 4, 2009