Smith, Lois 1930–

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SMITH, Lois 1930


Original name, Lois Arlene Humbert; born November 3, 1930, in Topeka, KS; daughter of William Oren (a telephone company employee) and Carrie Davis (maiden name, Gottshalk) Humbert; married Wesley Dale Smith (a teacher), November 5, 1948 (divorced, 1970); children: Moon Elizabeth. Education: Trained for the stage with Donal Harrington at University of Washington, Seattle, 194850, and with Lee Strasberg at Actors Studio, New York City, c. 1955.

Addresses: Agent Gregg Klein, Abrams Artists Agency, 9200 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1130, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Career: Actress. Member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, IL, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, and Actors Studio, New York City. Public Broadcasting Service, member of advisory panel on program funding, 198182; State University of New York College at Purchase, honorary founder of Harold Clurman Theatre Artists Fund, Center for Arts, 1983; Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, Clarence Ross fellow of American Theatre Wing, 1983; Juilliard School, guest director, 1987; acting teacher and ordained minister.

Member: Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Dramatists Guild, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Awards, Honors: Film Daily Critics' Poll Award, 1955, for East of Eden; National Society of Film Critics Award, best supporting actress, and Golden Laurel nomination, Laurel awards, best supporting performance, female, 1971, for Five Easy Pieces; Joseph Jefferson Award nomination, 1989; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best featured actress in a play, 1990, for The Grapes of Wrath; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best featured actress in a play, 1996, for Buried Child; National Medal of Arts (with Steppenwolf Ensemble), 1998.


Stage Appearances:

Joan, Time Out for Ginger, Wilmington Playhouse, Wilmington, DE, 1952, then Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 19521953.

Antoinette, The Wisteria Trees, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1955.

Cathy, Mardi Gras, Locust Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 1955.

Josephine Perry, The Young and Beautiful, Longacre Theatre, then American National Theatre and Academy Playhouse, both New York City, 1955, later Arts Theatre, London, 1956.

Laura Wingfield, The Glass Menagerie, City Center Theatre, 1956.

Carol Cutrere, Orpheus Descending, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1957.

Mary Devlin, Edwin Booth, FortySixth Street Theatre, New York City, 1958.

Alley, Ding Dong Bell, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, 1961.

Lucha Moreno, Bicycle Ride to Nevada, Cort Theatre, New York City, 1963.

Sheila Knight, Time of Hope, Playhouse in the Park, Philadelphia, PA, 1963.

Jo Britten, Blues for Mr. Charlie, American National Theatre and Academy, 1964.

Andromache, Tiger at the Gates, Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 1965.

Celimene, The Misanthrope, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1965.

Confidante, The Critic, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1965.

Virginia, Galileo, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1965.

Yelena, Uncle Vanya, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1965.

Title role, Miss Julie, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1966.

Pamela, The Last Analysis, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1966.

The preacher woman, Bechlch, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1966.

A Dream of Love, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1966.

Mary L., The Time of Your Life, Theatre of the Living Arts, 1967.

Sonya, Uncle Vanya, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1969.

Mary, Sunday Dinner, American Place Theatre, St. Clement's Church Theatre, New York City, 1970.

Louise Harper, "Come Next Tuesday," Judith Kalmus, "'Twas Brillig," the woman, "So Please Be Kind," and the mother, "Present Tense," in Present Tense, Sheridan Square Playhouse, New York City, 1972.

Mission Control voice, A Break in the Skin, Actors Studio Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Cora, The Iceman Cometh, Circle in the Square Theatre Company, Joseph E. Levine Theatre, New York City, 19731974.

Trina Halvey, Summer, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 19741975.

Gabby, Harry Outside, Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Woman, Eh, Joe?, Harvard University Theatre, Cambridge, MA, 1975.

Multiple roles, Touching Bottom, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1978.

Silvia, "Stage IDenial," blonde sister, "Stage IIIBargaining," nurse, "Stage IVDepression," and lady customer, "Final StageAcceptance," Stages, Belasco Theatre, New York City, 1978.

Denise, Hillbilly Women, Actors Studio Theatre, then Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, both 1979.

Old woman, Tennessee, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, 1979.

Emily, Deer Season, St. Clement's Church Theatre, 1980.

Multiple roles, After All, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, 1981.

Hillbilly Women, 1981.

Molly Malloy, The Front Page, Long Wharf Theatre, 1982.

Catherine Senesh, Hannah, Harold Clurman Theatre, New York City, 1983.

Madam Arkadina, The Seagull, Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, 1983.

Linda, "Special Family Things," Festival of OneAct Plays, American Place Women's Project, American Place Theatre, 1984.

Madeleine Bejart, Cabal of Hypocrites, Actors Studio Theatre, 1984.

Reba, "Bite the Hand," OneAct Play Marathon, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 1984.

Rivers, The Vienna Notes, Second Stage Theatre Company, McGinnCazale Theatre, New York City, 1985.

Blanche, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Contemporary Theatre, Seattle, WA, 1986.

Mrs. Dotson and the bride, Bodies, Rest and Motion, Mitzie E. Newhouse Theatre, New York City, 19861987.

Grady, "April Snow," OneAct Play Marathon, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 1987.

Jessie Bliss, The Stick Wife, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, CT, 1987.

Dolly, 27 Benedict Street, Playwrights' Horizons Theatre, New York City, 1988.

Esther French, Juliet, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 1988.

Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Royal George Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1988.

Mrs. Campbell, The Man Who Climbed the Pecan Trees, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 1988.

Natalie BauerLechner, Gus and Al, Playwrights' Horizons Theatre, 1988.

Mary, Beside Herself, Circle Repertory Theatre, 1989.

Mistress Overdone, Measure for Measure, Lincoln Center Theatre, New York City, 1989.

Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath, Cort Theatre, 1990.

"Sam I Am," Octoberfest '91, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 1991.

Anita, Dog Logic, American Place Theatre, 1992.

Escape from Happiness, Center Stage, Baltimore, MD, then Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT, both 1993.

Halie, Buried Child, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, IL, 1995, then Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City, 1996.

Necessary Targets (benefit performance), Helen Hayes Theatre, New York City, 1996.

Betty, Defying Gravity, American Place Theatre, 19971998.

Kandall Kingsley, Impossible Marriage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Laura Pels Theatre, New York City, 19981999.

Maggie Donovan, Give Me Your Answer, Do!, Roundabout Theatre Company, Gramercy Theatre, New York City, 19992000.

Mother Courage, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 2001.

Also appeared in Mrs. Warren's Profession, Center Stage; and The Vagina Monologues, Westside Theatre Downstairs, New York City.

Major Tours:

Trina Halvey, Summer, U.S. cities, 1974.

Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, U.S. and British cities, 1989.

Stage Director:

Measure for Measure, Juilliard School Theatre, New York City, 1987.

Film Appearances:

Anne, East of Eden (also known as John Steinbeck's East of Eden ), Warner Bros., 1955.

Spurs O'Brien, Strange Lady in Town, Warner Bros., 1955.

Jane Aldridge, The Way We Live Now, United Artists, 1970.

Partita Dupea, Five Easy Pieces, Columbia, 1970.

Neighbor, Brother John, Columbia, 1971.

Elinore, Up the Sandbox, National General, 1972.

Anita, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1976.

Kathy, Resurrection, Universal, 1980.

Mrs. Axman, Foxes, United Artists, 1980.

Mrs. Carnahan, Four Friends (also known as Georgia's Friends ), Filmways, 1981.

Mary (some sources cite Mare) Spofford, Reuben, Reuben, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1983.

Mrs. Prescott, Reckless, MetroGoldwynMayer/United Artists, 1984.

Helen Giles, Twisted, Hemdale Home Video, 1986.

Martha, Fatal Attraction, Paramount, 1987.

Sara, Black Widow, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1987.

Mrs. Nelson, Midnight Run, Universal, 1988.

Bronte's mother, Green Card, Buena Vista, 1990.

Mama Threadgoode, Fried Green Tomatoes (also known as Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe ), Universal, 1991.

Mrs. Bell, Hard Promises, Columbia, 1992.

William Foster's mother, Falling Down (also known as Chute libre ), Warner Bros., 1993.

Orna, Holy Matrimony, Buena Vista, 1994.

Helen's mother, Dead Man Walking (also known as After Midnight, Dead Men, Death Wish, and Sister Prejean ), Gramercy, 1995.

Sophia Darling Richards, How to Make an American Quilt, Universal, 1995.

Aunt Meg Green, Twister, Warner Bros., 1996.

Luluna, Larger Than Life, MetroGoldwynMayer/United Artists, 1996.

Mrs. Ferriter, Trance (also known as The Eternal and The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy ), Trimark Pictures, 1998.

Ginger, Tumbleweeds, Fine Line, 1999.

Helen Jackson, The Pledge, Warner Bros., 2001.

Mother, The Hire: Powder Keg, BMW Films, 2001.

Dr. Iris Hineman, Minority Report, Twentieth CenturyFox, 2002.

Helen Rounds, Red Betsy, Lang Films, 2003.

Ma, A Foreign Affair, Innovation Film Group, 2004.

P.S., Newmarket Films, 2004.

Television Appearances; Series:

Zoe Cannell, Somerset (also known as Another World: Somerset and Somerset: Bay City ), NBC, 19721974.

Eleanor Conrad, The Doctors, NBC, 19751977.

Ella Fitz, Another World, NBC, 1983.

Mrs. Oates, The Edge of Night, ABC, 1983.

Mrs. Tannen, Good Sports, CBS, 1991.

Elwinna Pendergast, All My Children, ABC, 2000.

Betsy Cramer, One Life to Live, ABC, 2003.

Also appeared as Mrs. Bendarik, Love of Life, CBS.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Clara, Rage of Angels (also known as Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels ), NBC, 1983.

Sarah, Doubletake, CBS, 1985.

Margaret Hill, Switched at Birth, NBC, 1991.

Deadly Matrimony (also known as Shattered Promises and Shattered Vows ), NBC, 1992.

Miss Maude, A Will of Their Own, NBC, 1998.

Voice, New York: A Documentary Film (also known as American Experience: New YorkA Documentary Film ), PBS, 1999.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Alice Todd, White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd (also known as Hot Toddy ), NBC, 1991.

Lureen, Keep the Change, TNT, 1992.

Madge Wallace Gates, Truman, HBO, 1995.

Julia, Hudson River Blues (also known as Family Blues ), Romance Classics Channel, 1997.

Lucy Thompson, The Laramie Project, HBO, 2002.

Anna Howard Shaw, Iron Jawed Angels, HBO, 2004.

Helen, The Best Thief in the World, Showtime, 2004.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Alma, Victory, NBC, 1960.

"Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen," Dragon Country, PBS, 1970.

Particular Men, PBS, 1972.

Bertha Dorset, The House of Mirth, 1980.

Cornelia, The Jilting of Granny Wetherall, 1980.

Margaret, "The Unforgivable Secret," ABC Afterschool Specials, ABC, 1981.

Mary Neal, The Execution of Raymond Graham, ABC, 1985.

Juliet, Arts and Entertainment, 1989.

The 44th Annual Tony Awards, 1990.

Ma Joad, "The Grapes of Wrath," American Playhouse, PBS, 1991.

Voice, "Coney Island," The American Experience, PBS, 1991.

Anne Turner, The Last Ferry Home, syndicated, 1992.

Voice, "The Donner Party," The American Experience, PBS, 1992.

Lou Wheaton, "Skylark" (also known as "Sarah, Plain and Tall: Skylark"), Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS, 1993.

Himself, Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself, PBS, 1998.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Megan, "The Apple Tree," Kraft Television Theatre, NBC, 1953.

Barbara Sparling, "Jack Sperling, FortySix," Studio One, CBS, 1954.

"How Beautiful the Shoes," Star Tonight, ABC, 1955.

"A Matter of Life," Star Tonight, ABC, 1955.

"The Second Day of Christmas," Robert Montgomery Presents, NBC, 1955.

Jeannie, "Bring Me a Dream," The U.S. Steel Hour, CBS, 1956.

"Noon on Doomsday," The U.S. Steel Hour, CBS, 1956.

"The Cause," Matinee Theater, NBC, 1958.

Herself, The Ed Sullivan Show, CBS, 1958.

Cindy, "Cindy's Fella," Ford Startime (also known as Startime ), NBC, 1959.

Title role, "Miss Julie," Strindberg on Love (also known as Play of the Week ), syndicated, 1960.

"Men in White," The DuPont Show of the Month, CBS, 1960.

Anna, "Incident on a Bridge," Route 66, CBS, 1961.

Hilda, "The Master Builder," Play of the Week, syndicated, 1961.

Jenny Musgrave, "When Queens Ride By," Letter to Loretta (also known as The Loretta Young Show ), NBC, 1961.

Brycie Koseloff, "Only by Cunning Glances," Route 66, CBS, 1962.

Dana, "Go Read the River," Route 66, CBS, 1962.

Dawn Garrison, "Strike a Statue," Naked City, ABC, 1962.

Esther Terranova, "The Invisible Badge," The Defenders, CBS, 1962.

Libby Clayton, "To Each His Own Prison," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1963.

Jane Wells, "A Pattern of Sundays," The Eleventh Hour, NBC, 1964.

Lucy, "Who in His Right Mind Needs a Nice Girl?," Route 66, CBS, 1964.

Evelyn, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night," CBS Playhouse, CBS, 1967.

Sara, "Proxy," Tales of the Unexpected, syndicated, 1984.

Maria Gannucci, "The Confirmation Day," The Equalizer, CBS, 1985.

Dorothy Hermes, "Coal Black Soul," The Equalizer, CBS, 1987.

Elsie, "Haunting," Spenser: For Hire, ABC, 1988.

Marjorie Warren, "Our Wedding," thirtysomething, ABC, 1991.

Mary Beth Berluti, "The Civil Right," The Practice, ABC, 1997.

Moira, "Roz's Krantz & Gouldenstern Are Dead," Frasier, NBC, 1997.

Libby, "When Nina Met Her Parents," Just Shoot Me, NBC, 2000.

Beatrice Graf, "Apocalypse Cow," Going to California, Showtime, 2001.

Mildred, "A Rock and a Hard Place," Touched by an Angel, CBS, 2002.

Rebecca Tolliver, "Competence," Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (also known as Law & Order: SVU ), NBC, 2002.

Elizabeth Bennett, "The Saint," Law & Order: Criminal Intent, NBC, 2004.

Also appeared in Justice, NBC.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Doris Adams, Adams Apple, CBS, 1986.


Stage Plays:

All There Is, 1982, first act produced in workshop at Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, 1985.



New York Times, April 28, 1996.

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Smith, Lois 1930–

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