February 13, 1918
Waupaun, Wisconsin, United States
January 23, 1994
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Production designer, Ballet producer, Set designer, Art consultant
Prolific and accomplished set designer of theater, dance, opera and film who contributed to our cultural atmosphere over four decades. Smith added color to the 50s in particular by designing some of the decade's most beloved artifacts of performance. He created the Broadway sets of "My Fair Lady," "Auntie Mame," "West Side Story," "Camelot" and "Hello, Dolly!," among many others. For the Metropolitan Opera, he designed "La Traviata" and, in the sphere of modern dance, he crafted the look and space of Agnes de Mille's "Fall River Legend" and Jerome Robbins' "Fancy Free." His film work included the primary-colored confection that was the set of Joseph Mankiewicz's "Guys and Dolls" (1955), "Porgy and Bess" (1959), and even the provincial glories of the film musical "The Sound of Music" (1965). His final film set design was for "Giselle" (1968).