Action Star Known For His On-Screen Fights, William Smith, Dies at 88

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Actor William Smith, known for his portrayals of villains and on-screen movie fights, died July 5 in Woodland Hills, California. He was 88 years old.

Mr Smith’s wife, Joanne Cervelli Smith, said she died at the Cinema and Television Fund’s Cottage and Hospital. He did not specify why.

While Mr. Smith is best known for his roles in action movies like “Any What Way You Can” (1980) and television series like “Laredo”, “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Hawaii Five-O,” the real action came from his off-screen life.

He was a multilingual, bodybuilder, champion discus thrower and Air Force pilot during the Korean War. Web site.

Mr. Smith had over 300 acting credits listed on IMDb from 1954 to 2020. He did his own stunts, and sometimes those scenes got heated. He was getting into fistfights with Rod Taylor when the two really started fighting for the 1970 movie “Darker Than Amber.” They both walked away with broken bones.

“Now that was a good fight,” Mr. Smith said in an interview in 2010. BZ Movie.

Columbia, Mo. The native solidified his Hollywood status after grappling with on-screen actors like Clint Eastwood, Nick Nolte, and Yul Brynner. In the 1980s, the 1.80-foot-old actor starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders” (1983) and “Conan the Barbarian” (1982), in which he played Conan as his father. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s photo.

His last role was in the 2020 movie “Irresistible” directed by Jon Stewart.

He played the dangerous and eccentric character Anthony Falconetti in “Rich Man, Poor Man” and would later play the character in the sequel to the “Rich Man, Poor Man Book II” series.

Born on March 24, 1933, Mr. Smith was raised on a cattle ranch in Missouri by his parents, William Emmett Smith and Emily Richards Smith. On the farm, he would develop a love and admiration for horses and the classic Western lifestyle, according to his website.

His family later moved to Southern California, and Mr. Smith immediately began looking for work in films, finding work as a child actor and later as a studio extra.

Ms. Smith said in a phone interview Sunday that she has a compassionate side as well as tough male roles that have made her husband a star on the screen. “He’s definitely tough as a nail but he had the heart of a poet,” he said.

In 2009, Mr. Smith published a book of poetry called “The Poetic Works of William Smith”.

Ms. Smith said that the place where you can find Mr. Smith even as an old man is the gym. Young actors would often talk to him between practice sets and share advice, sometimes inviting them over to his house to discuss upcoming auditions.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Smith was survived by his son, William E. Smith III, and his daughter, Sherri Anne Cervelli.

Alyssa Lukpat contributed to the reporting.

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