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Frank Kent Smith (March 19, 1907 – April 23, 1985) was an American actor who had a lengthy career in film, theatre and television.

Kent Smith
Kent Smith 1953.JPG
Kent Smith (1953)
Born Frank Kent Smith
(1907-03-19)March 19, 1907
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died April 23, 1985(1985-04-23) (aged 78)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1936-1977
Spouse(s) Edith Atwater (1962–1985; his death)
Betty Gillette (1937–1954)
Children 1


Early yearsEdit

Smith was born in New York City and was educated at Harvard University.[1]


Smith's early acting experience came included productions with the Maryland Theatre in Baltimore. His professional acting debut was in 1929 in Blind Window in Baltimore. He made his Broadway acting debut in 1932 in Men Must Fight.[1] He also appeared on Broadway in Measure for Measure, Sweet Love Remembered, The Best Man, Ah, Wilderness!,[2] Dodsworth (1934), Saint Joan (1936), Old Acquaintance (1941), Antony and Cleopatra (1948) and Bus Stop (1956).


Smith moved to Hollywood, California, where he made his film debut in The Garden Murder Case.[1]

His biggest successes occurred during the 1940s in films such as Cat People (1942), Hitler's Children (1943), This Land Is Mine (1943), Three Russian Girls (1943), Youth Runs Wild (1944), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1946), Nora Prentiss (1947), Magic Town (1947), My Foolish Heart (1949), The Fountainhead (1949), and The Damned Don't Cry! (1950). He continued acting in films such as Comanche (1956), Sayonara (1957), Party Girl (1958), The Mugger (1958), Imitation General (1958), The Badlanders (1958), This Earth Is Mine (1959), Strangers When We Meet (1960), Susan Slade (1961), The Balcony (1963), A Distant Trumpet (1964), Youngblood Hawke (1964), The Young Lovers (1964), The Trouble with Angels (1966), A Covenant with Death (1967), Games (1967), The Money Jungle (1968), Kona Coast (1968), Assignment to Kill (1968), Death of a Gunfighter (1969), The Games (1970), Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), Die Sister, Die! (1972), Lost Horizon (1973) and Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977).

During WW II, Smith served as a private in the US Army, making training films covering among others, medical, dental, artillery, & electronics.


Regular castEdit

Smith played Edgar Scoville in the ABC science fiction series The Invaders (1967-1968)[3] and was a host for the CBS anthology series Philip Morris Playhouse (1953-1954).[3]:831

Guest appearancesEdit

Smith had roles in television films such as How Awful About Allan (1970), The Night Stalker (1972), The Judge and Jake Wyler (1972), The Cat Creature (1973) and The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974). His numerous television credits included a continuing role in the soap opera Peyton Place as Dr. Robert Morton; Smith's wife, actress Edith Atwater, played his character's wife on the series. He began guest-starring in television series in 1949 in The Philco Television Playhouse, and also appeared in Robert Montgomery Presents, Wagon Train, General Electric Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Naked City, Have Gun Will Travel, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Americans, Barnaby Jones, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, and the 1976 miniseries Once an Eagle. His last appearance was in a 1977 episode of Wonder Woman.[4]

Kent Smith and Simone Simon in Curse of the Cat People (1944).

Personal lifeEdit

Smith was married to actress Betty Gillette from 1937 until 1954, and to actress Edith Atwater (died March 1986) from 1962 until his death from congestive heart failure in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 78.

He was survived by his wife and daughter.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 690–691. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Kent Smith, the Actor, Dies; Career Lasted Four Decades". The New York Times. New York, New York City. Associated Press. April 26, 1985. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 508509. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. 
  4. ^ Kent Smith on IMDb

External linksEdit