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The Academy Museum To Screen Six Films With Makeup Effects By Master Dick Smith

Films Like The Hunger, The Exorcist, Altered States, and Amadeus Will Be Shown

The Academy Museum in West Los Angeles will be screening great films that use the talents of master make-up effects artist Dick Smith in the series Dick Smith: Godfather Of Makeup.

Richard Emerson Smith, aka Dick Smith, was a remarkable pre-med student at Yale who stumbled upon a book that would change his career trajectory. A routine library visit introduced him to “Paint, Powder, and Makeup,” sparking his fascination with the art of transforming actors through makeup. This newfound passion led him away from dentistry and into the captivating world of special makeup effects.

You still have time to watch the following screenings with special guests:

The Exorcist: Special guest: Introduction by Rick Baker, assistant to Dick Smith, at the David Geffen Theater on Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Altered States: Special guest: Introduction by makeup artist Craig Reardon at the Ted Mann Theater on Thursday, August 3, at 7:30 p.m. 

Scanners at the Ted Mann Theater on Thursday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m.

The Hunger with House of Dark Shadows: Introduction to The Hunger by makeup artist Peter Montagna. Introduction to House of Dark Shadows by makeup artist Todd McIntosh on Thursday, August 10th  at 7:30 p.m.

Amadeus: Special guest introduction by makeup artist Gerald Quist on Thursday, August 24th at 7:30 p.m.

You can get tickets here

Smith’s journey as a makeup artist began at WNBC-TV, where he served as the Department Head of Makeup until 1959. This period proved crucial in honing his craft and exploring the endless possibilities of prosthetics. From his basement workshop in Larchmont, New York, Smith dedicated himself to developing innovative methods and makeup techniques that would revolutionize the field.

His expertise in realistic aging makeup earned him widespread acclaim, with standout examples being his work on Dustin Hoffman’s transformation into Jack Crabb in “Little Big Man” (1970) and F. Murray Abraham’s portrayal of Antonio Salieri in “Amadeus” (1984). For the latter, Smith earned an Academy Award alongside collaborator Paul LeBlanc.

Smith’s groundbreaking techniques went beyond traditional full-face masks. He pioneered multiple overlapping foam latex pieces, allowing actors greater facial expressiveness and resulting in groundbreaking transformations in the industry.

In recognition of his unparalleled mastery of texture, shade, form, and illusion, Smith received an Academy Honorary Award in 2011, celebrating his illustrious career achievements. His influence on movie makeup was profound, with his work on Marlon Brando’s iconic transformation for “The Godfather” (1972) becoming a highlight of his legacy.

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