Actor William Emmett Smith was American. He played a variety of character roles in almost 300 feature films and television productions over the course of a more than 75-year Hollywood career, earning over 480 total credits.
His most well-known performance was as the menacing Anthony Falconetti in the 1970s television miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. In addition, Smith played the lead in a number of exploitation movies in the 1970s, including Any Which Way You Can (1980), Conan The Barbarian (1982), Rumble Fish (1983), and Red Dawn (1984).
William Smith Early life
On March 24, 1933, William Smith was born in Columbia, Missouri. His family left Columbia after the Dust Bowl. South California became their new location.
Smith won the arm-wrestling championship of the world multiple times and also won the United States Air Force weightlifting championship. He had both CIA and NSA clearances and intended to enter a classified position with the U.S. government, but landed an acting contract with MGM instead. He has been described as the “greatest bad-guy character actor of our time”.
Smith starred opposite James Garner in The Rockford Files and George Peppard in The A-Team. In Hawaii Five-O, he played Detective James “Kimo” Carew. On television, he appeared in Rich Man, Poor Man, and Knight Rider. He also appeared in The Dukes of Hazzard and Six Million Dollar Man.
In Darker than Amber, he played heavy Terry Bartell in a famous on-set fist fight scene. In the 1970s, he co-starred with Ann-Margret in Nam’s Angels and Invasion of the Bee Girls. Appeared in two popular Blaxploitation films, Hammer and Boss Nigger. After that, he played a vindictive sergeant in Twilight’s Last Gleaming.
William Smith Cause of Death
At the Motion Pictures and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, he passed away on July 5, 2021.
In his lifetime, Smith married twice, In 1969, he wed Michele Smith for the first time; however, they later divorced. In 1989, he wed Joanne Cervelli for the second time. The couple kept their marriage.
William E. Smith III (son) and Sherri Anne Cervelli were his two children, and he had been married to his wife for 31 years (daughter). We enjoyed your company and found you admirable. Legend, rest in peace!
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How William Smith Started Acting
when he initially began appearing in movies. He performed the role of a child extra without receiving any credit. The film in question was 1942’s The Ghost of Frankenstein. In that movie, he collaborated with Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr.
He then had an appearance in The Song of Bernadette in 1943. And he appeared in the films Going My Way and Meet Me in St. Louis in 1944. He produced A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 1945 after that.
Smith enrolled in the American military in 1951. He joined the Air Force in order to serve his nation. He later took part in the Korean War after winning a boxing match.
Russian, French, German, and Serbo-Croatian were among the numerous languages that William Smith spoke with ease. NSA and CIA took notice of him since he was a gifted and competent individual. In these organizations, he was offered a teaching role.
He had a contract from MGM while pursuing his degree in foreign languages, but he intended to be an actor.
Smith had the lead role in the 1961 ABC police drama The Asphalt Jungle. Then, in 1963, he produced a BBC series. The show was referred to as Zero One.
In movies like Hammer (1972), Black Samson (1974), and Boss Nigger, he played some outstanding roles (released in 1975).
The Films of William Smith
William made an appearance in the Piranha movie in 1972. Then he produced Invasion of the Bee Girls in 1973. He then made an appearance in Fast Company in 1979. These are all cult favorites.
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He portrayed a vengeful sergeant in the 1977 film Last Gleaming. Then, in 1979, he portrayed a con artist in the film The Frisco Kid. Later, in 1983, he appeared in Rumble Fish as a police officer.
With Arnold Schwarzenegger As a Client
He portrayed the father of the main character in the well-known movie Conan The Barbarian. Even the script for his opening monologue in the movie was written by him.
He engaged in an arm-wrestling match with Arnold Schwarzenegger while they were working together. Even in German, Arnold proclaimed to him, “One day, I will be a movie star.” And as we all know, he did indeed do that.
Schwarzenegger’s body was one aspect of him that greatly impressed Smith. There were no stunt doubles that could match his physique due to his girth.
He was so forced to perform each stunt by himself. Even after filming for 12 hours, he would go on a 2-mile walk and then exercise for 2 hours because his fitness regimen was so demanding.
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