Smith, Lane 1959-

views updated May 29 2018

Smith, Lane 1959-


Born August 25, 1959, in Tulsa, OK; son of Lewis (an accountant) and Mildred Annette (a homemaker) Smith; married Molly Leach (a designer), 1996. Education: Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA), B.F.A. (illustration), 1983.


Home—Washington Depot, CT. E-mail—[email protected].


Illustrator and author. Freelance illustrator, 1983—. Art director for film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, Disney, 1996; contributed design work to Monsters, Inc., Pixar, 2000. Exhibitions: Works exhibited at Master Eagle Gallery, New York, NY; Brockton Children's Museum, Brockton, MA; Joseloff Gallery, Hartford, CT; Bruce Museum; and in American Institute of Graphic Artists touring show.

Awards, Honors

New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year citation, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year citation, Horn Book Honor List inclusion, Booklist Editor's Choice listee, and Silver Buckeye Award, all 1987, all for Halloween ABC; Silver Medal, Society of Illustrators, New York Times Best Books of the Year citation, American Library Association (ALA) Notable Chil- dren's Book citation, Maryland Black-eyed Susan Picture-Book Award, and Parenting Reading Magic Award, all 1989, all for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!; Golden Apple Award, Bratislava International Biennial of Illustrations, 1990, Society of Illustrators Silver Medal, 1991, and first-place award, New York Book Show, all for The Big Pets; Parent's Choice Award for Illustration, New York Times Best Books of the Year citation, and ALA Notable Children's Book citation, all 1991, all for Glasses—Who Needs 'Em?; ALA Caldecott Honor Book designation New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year citation and Notable Children's Book citation, and School Library Journal Best Books of the Year citation, all 1992, all for The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales; Publishers Weekly, Best Children's Book citation, and Booklist Editors' Choice citation, both 1995, and ALA Best Book for Young Adults citation, 1996, all for Math Curse; New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Notable Book designations, Child magazine Best Book of the Year designation, National Parenting Publication Gold Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award, Quills Award nomination, School Library Journal, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, Parenting, and Child magazine Best Book of the Year designations, and Bookbinder's Guild New York Book Show Merit Award, all 2006, all for John, Paul, George, and Ben.



Flying Jake, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1989.

The Big Pets, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Glasses—Who Needs 'Em?, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

The Happy Hocky Family!, Viking (New York, NY), 1993.

Pinocchio: The Boy, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.

The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country!, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

John, Paul, George, and Ben, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.


Eve Merriam, Halloween ABC, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987, revised edition published as Spooky ABC, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Jon Scieszka, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Jon Scieszka, The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.

Jon Scieszka, Math Curse, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

Karey Kirkpatrick, Disney's James and the Giant Peach, Disney Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach: A Children's Story, Knopf (New York, NY), 1996.

Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, Knopf (New York, NY), 1998.

Jon Scieszka, Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

George Saunders, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, Villard (New York, NY), 2000.

Jon Scieszka, Baloney, (Henry P.), Viking (New York, NY), 2001.

Jon Scieszka, Science Verse, Viking (New York, NY), 2004.

Jon Scieszka, Seen Art?, Viking/Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), 2005.

Jon Scieszka, Cowboy and Octopus, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Rolling Stone, Time, Ms., Newsweek, New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and Esquire.


Jon Scieszka, Knights of the Kitchen Table, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Jon Scieszka, The Not-So-Jolly Roger, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Jon Scieszka, The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.

Jon Scieszka, Your Mother Was a Neanderthal, Viking (New York, NY), 1993.

Jon Scieszka, 2095, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

Jon Scieszka, Tut, Tut, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Jon Scieszka, Summer Reading Is Killing Me!, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Jon Scieszka, It's All Greek to Me, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.


The "Tim Warp Trio" books were adapted as a television series, which itself has been novelized.


Children's book aficionados of all ages are likely acquainted with the work of Lane Smith, whose satirical illustrations range from downright goofy to more than a bit unsettling. The winner of numerous awards and the author of several original self-illustrated picture books, Smith is best known for his long-time collaboration with writer Jon Scieszka (pronounced "shes-ka"), which has produced such popular children's books as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables, Science Verse, and the multi-volume "Time Warp Trio" series. Smith's illustrations have also appeared in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Time, and Ms., and he designed the characters for the Disney film adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book James and the Giant Peach.

Smith is noted for creating figures with large heads and small bodies, and in his picture-book worlds the laws of physics often do not apply. He paints in oils, using dark pigments that give his figures a distinctively strange, otherworldly quality. In an essay for Children's Books and Their Creators Smith explained that he is frequently asked by adults why his work is so dark. "I am not quite sure why myself," he continued. "All I can say is when I was a child, I liked dark things. I liked the night. I liked being inside with my family and listening to the sound the wind made outside. I liked the scratching of the clawlike branches against the roof. I liked thunderstorms. I liked building tents and castles out of blankets and chairs, then crawling under them. I liked telling ghost stories. I liked Halloween."

Born in Oklahoma, Smith grew up in Corona, California, with his parents and brother Shane. Influenced by the humor in his household, he developed an early fascination for the offbeat and the absurd. During summer trips back to Oklahoma along Route 66, he enjoyed discovering unusual sights along the way. "I think that's where my bizarre sense of design comes from," he once revealed. "Once you've seen a 100-foot cement buffalo on top of a doughnut stand in the middle of nowhere, you're never the same."

Smith's artistic talent became evident during grade school and junior high school. As he admitted in an essay for Talking with Artists, his career was determined by his lack of mathematical ability: "I guess I really knew I wanted to be an artist when my fourth-grade math test came back with a big ‘D’ on it." While Smith spent his time drawing and writing stories, he also read extensively. "I think one of my fondest memories is of lying stretched out on the library floor at Parkridge Elementary, reading Eleanor Cameron's Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet," he recalled in the same essay. "I loved the story and the art. To this day, whenever I smell hard-boiled eggs I think of how Chuck and David saved the planet with the sulfur-smelling eggs. From then on I drew only space stuff."

After high school Smith enrolled at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he studied illustration. To earn money for tuition, he worked as a night janitor at nearby Disneyland, maintaining park attractions such as the Haunted Mansion and the Revolving Teacup. When he developed an interest in pop art and European illustration, one of his teachers warned Smith that, with those influences, he would never find a job in the United States. In 1984, the year after he earned his degree, Smith moved to New York City and, contrary to his teacher's prediction, was soon selling his illustrations to some of the nation's most popular magazines. As Smith admitted in Horn Book, although he was initially worried about employment prospects in New York, "the punk/new-wave movement came, and my work seemed to fit acceptably into that category."

While working on assignments for Ms., Time, Rolling Stone, and other magazines by day, Smith developed his oil-painting technique at night. In college he had

concentrated on drawing, so oils were a new medium for him. His first substantial project was a series of thirty Halloween-themed paintings that illustrated the letters of the alphabet. He submitted the finished work to the children's book department at Macmillan. Impressed by his work, the publisher hired children's author Eve Merriam to compose poems for each of the thirty illustrations. Smith enjoyed his first experience in collaboration, finding that Merriam's poetry gave him new ideas. For instance, as he commented in his Horn Book essay, "I had V for ‘Vampire,’ and she came up with ‘Viper,’ which I liked a lot because I could use the V for the viper's open mouth." When Halloween ABC was published in 1987, reviewers responded positively to Smith's illustrations. Although the book was banned in some places because it was considered "Satanic," it received several awards.

In the mid-1980s Smith met Scieszka, a teacher and aspiring children's author. In addition to sharing Smith's wacky sense of humor—they both enjoyed "Monty Python" films and Mad magazine—Scieszka liked Smith's art, so they collaborated on the book The True Story of

the Three Little Pigs! In this version of the traditional tale (told from the wolf's point of view), Alexander T. Wolf is jailed in the Pig Pen and charged with killing the three pigs. Claiming that he has been misunderstood and victimized by the media, Alexander maintains that he called on the pigs only to borrow a cup of sugar to make a birthday cake for his grandmother. At the time he had a bad cold, and his sneeze blew their houses down. Alexander is quick to add that if the houses had not been so poorly constructed they would not have collapsed. In Horn Book Smith explained his approach to illustrating Scieszka's story: "I think Jon thought of the wolf as a con artist trying to talk his way out of a situation. But I really believed the wolf, so I portrayed him with glasses and a little bow tie and tried to make him a victim of circumstance."

When The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! was published, it sold out within a few weeks, and children, teachers, and librarians all praised the contemporary twist the book gave to an old story. While a Publishers Weekly reviewer predicted that Smith's pictures might seem "mystifyingly adult," other critics delighted in his quirky style. In their review of the book for Wilson Library Bulletin, Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard observed that by "using minimal but subtly changing browns and ochres, he combines a great variety of creative modes: fanciful, realist, surreal, cartoonish."

In 1989 Smith also wrote and illustrated Flying Jake, the first of several solo picture books he has produced. He dedicated the work to his high school art teacher, Mr. Baughman, who taught him to experiment with different media when expressing various moods. His second original work, The Big Pets, he described in Children's Books and Their Creators as "a surreal nighttime journey of a little girl and her giant cat." In Smith's story, the girl and her cat travel to the Milk Pool, where children swim and other cats happily drink along the pool's edge, and also encounter the Bone Garden and the Hamster Hole. In Children's Books and Their Creators Smith recalled that, "when I wrote Big Pets … I was expanding on my own childhood fantasies of slipping out into the night for fantastic adventures while knowing there was a home base of security to come back to." Reviewers were charmed by the book's illustrations, finding them to be less threatening than those in The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! As a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, Smith's "enticing illustrations … provide the perfect landscape for this nocturnal romp."

Another original work, Glasses—Who Needs 'Em? describes a boy's visit to the eye doctor to be fitted for his first pair of eyeglasses and is based on Smith's own experience getting glasses in the fifth grade. As he told Publishers Weekly interviewer Amanda Smith, he wanted the book's young protagonist to be "a little reluctant about [getting glasses] but still be kind of cool, so kids who wear glasses empathize and get some laughs out of the book, too." Writing in Children's Books and Their Creators, he also credited his wife, book designer Molly Leach, with giving Glasses—Who

Needs 'Em? the right visual effect by creating the opening lines of the story in the form of an eye examination chart. The words in the first line are in large letters, then they shrink down to the type size used in the rest of the book. "Not only did this device draw the reader into the story and establish the proper framework," Smith observed, "it also looked smashing!" Leach has designed several of Smith's other books.

Both The Happy Hocky Family! and The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country! are playful spoofs on the beginner-level schoolbooks of the 1950s. The seventeen-episode plot in The Happy Hocky Family! is designed to help young readers understand the disappointments, mistakes, and accidents—as well as the positive experiences—that can happen in life. In his illustrations, Smith uses stick figures, basic outline shapes, and primary colors. In reviewing the book for the New York Times Book Review, Edward Koren noted that "Smith's draftsmanship, wonderfully expressive, still manages to create a family that is general and unspecific, one that could be of any racial or ethnic group." Moving from primary to brown tones for The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country!, Smith contrasts the city amenities with their country counterparts through visual images; for example, "Milk" is shown as a cow rather than a supermarket container, and "garbage collector" is a raccoon rather than a city employee. Noting the retro-appeal of the work, School Library Journal contributor Barbara Auerbach dubbed The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country! "an irreverent look at country life."

With John, Paul, George, and Ben Smith attracted both the attention of educators and numerous picture-book honors. With a title that plays on popular culture, the book focuses on the Founding Fathers, who achieved America's independence from England despite an amusing collection of personal foibles illustrated by Smith in a somewhat shaky historical accuracy. For example, George Washington's legendary admission to chopping down cherry trees prompted the establishment of the nation's capital in New York, where few cherry trees would tempt the president's axe. "While children will love the off-the-wall humor" in John, Paul, George, and Ben, School Library Journal contributor Marianne Saccardi added that "there is plenty for adult readers to enjoy" as well. While Carolyn Phelan wrote in Booklist that Smith's un-history might "confuse children unfamiliar with the period," the book's illustrations are "deftly drawn, witty, and instantly appealing." "Humor, both broad … and sly … reminds readers that books hold many discoveries, and quite a bit of ye olde fun," wrote Horn Book reviewer Betty Carter in praise of Smith's patriotic picture-book effort.

The success of Smith's collaborations with Scieszka have made both men popular guests in schools. During their visits to classrooms, they read from the stories Scieszka has published. Not surprisingly, a particular favorite of many children is "The Stinky Cheese Man," which appears in the 1992 story collection The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. As Smith noted in Horn Book, the story usually elicits "a huge reaction" from children. They "would just roll in the aisles. And then for the rest of the day you wouldn't hear anything else…. they would raise their hand and say, ‘How about "The Stinky Car"?’ Or they would come up after class and say, ‘How about "The Stinky Cat"?’ Because you know you are not supposed to talk about things being stinky."

The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales contains "updated" versions of such classic stories as "Chicken Little," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Princess and the Frog," and "The Princess and the Pea." As part of Scieszka's updating, however, Chicken Little becomes Chicken Licken, and while the animals the chicken warns are indeed crushed, the crusher is the book's table of contents rather than a falling sky. In another updated retelling, the ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck, not a lovely swan, and the frog prince is revealed to be … just a frog. Sustaining the ironic theme, "The Princess and the Pea" is retitled "The Princess and the Bowling Ball."

The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales was an immediate hit, receiving praise from readers and reviewers alike. Smith received a 1993 Caldecott Honor Book award as well as several other citations for his illustrations, and Mary M. Burns, writing in Horn Book, lauded it as "another masterpiece from the team that created The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!" New York Times Book Review contributor Signe Wilkinson predicted that the book will appeal not only to children but to readers of all ages: "Kids, who rejoice in anything stinky, will no doubt enjoy the blithe, mean-spirited anarchy of these wildly spinning stories," while "for those who are studying fairy tales at the college level, ‘The Stinky Cheese Man’ would be a perfect key to the genre."

Among Smith and Scieszka's many popular works is their "Time Warp Trio" novel series, which includes Knights of the Kitchen Table, The Not-So-Jolly Roger, The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy, Your Mother Was a Neanderthal, 2095, Tut, Tut, Summer Reading Is Killing Me!, and It's All Greek to Me. In the series, Joe, Sam, and Fred travel back in time and, with the aid of a magical book, encounter fantastic adventures. When they are transported to medieval England in Knights of the Kitchen Table, they save King Arthur's Camelot. Using their magic power to read, the three friends are able to defeat an evil knight, a giant, and a dragon. In The Not-So-Jolly Roger, the boys meet Blackbeard and his band of pirates, who threaten to kill Joe, Sam, and

Fred and make them walk the plank. The trio's good fortunes fade in Your Mother Was a Neanderthal, which finds the boys transported back to the Stone Age. Once there, they discover that, not only are they naked, they also do not have their magic book. After Sam fashions suitable garments, the boys embark on a series of escapades as they try to flee cavegirls, ultimately escaping to a happy ending. In 2095 Joe, Fred, and Sam are launched into the future, courtesy of their magic book. Starting out in the 1920s room of the Natural History Museum, their move forward in time lands them in the equally dated 1990s exhibition room, where they meet their great-grandchildren and try to return to their own present. A 266-pound chicken presents a substantial threat to the trio in Summer Reading Is Killing Me!, after Joe thoughlessly puts his summer reading list in The Book and summons forth a host of famous picture-book characters.

The "Time Warp Trio" series received positive responses from reviewers who, like Smith-Scieszka fans, have looked forward to each new installment. In the New York Times Book Review Elizabeth-Ann Sachs dubbed Knights of the Kitchen Table a "rollicking good story," and a Publishers Weekly critic predicted that fans would "gobble up" The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy "as they eagerly await the next" "Time Warp Trio" adventure. In her Booklist review, Janice Del Negro praised Your Mother Was a Neanderthal, noting that Smith's illustrations "add a rollicking, somewhat riotous air to the proceedings." "This is the kind of book that kids tell one another to read," Gale W. Sherman noted of the same book in her review for School Library Journal. Julie Yates Walton, in a review of 2095 for Booklist, praised Smith's black-pencil illustrations, which are "brimming with zany, adolescent hyperbole." "The farce is as furious and silly as ever," announced Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman in a review of Scieszka and Smith's Summer Reading Is Killing Me!

In The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales Smith and Scieszka turn the tables on Mother Goose; with Squids Will Be Squids they take Aesop to task in eighteen contemporary wacky fables and tales. In another humorous collaboration, Math Curse, a girl wakes up one morning to find that every event during the day—from getting dressed to eating breakfast and going to school—transformed into a math problem that must be solved. She decides her teacher, Mrs. Fibonacci, has put a math curse on her, but that night she dreams of a way to get rid of the curse. Seen Art? takes readers to the halls of the newly (as of 2004) redesigned Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as the narrator recounts his search for his friend Art within its walls. With a story similar to that in Math Curse, Science Verse assembles what a Kirkus Reviews contributor described as a "madcap collection of science poetry that lampoons familiar songs" as technoterminology infiltrates a child's everyday world. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised Smith's illustrations for Squids Will Be Squids, writing that his artwork "ardently keeps pace with Sci- eszka's leaps of fancy." Reviewing Math Curse for Booklist, Carolyn Phelan wrote that, both "bold in design and often bizarre in expression, Smith's paintings clearly express the child's feelings of bemusement, frustration, and panic as well as her eventual joy when she overcomes the math curse." The "muted background tones" Smith incorporates into his images for Seen Art? serve as "an effective foil for the well-reproduced if sometimes diminutive artwork" the illustrator creates to reproduce MoMA's world-famous collection, Phelan added.

In addition to his work with Scieszka, Smith has also provided illustrations for Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, a book begun by Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) and completed following Geisel's death by poet Jack Prelutsky. Describing the artist's contribution to the work, Horn Book critic Joanna Rudge Long wrote that Smith's "satirical renditions, [rendered] in his own distinctive, sophisticated style," contain "such zany folk and weirdly expressive settings as" the late pseudonymous author "might have dreamed up" himself. Working with short-story writer George Saunders, Smith also provided illustrations for The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, "a delightful story, lavishly illustrated," as Susan Salpini commented in School Library Journal. Something of a departure for Smith, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is geared mainly for adult readers. Caitlin Dover, reviewing the book in Print magazine, applauded Smith's "perceptive, eclectic paintings" and concluded of the sophisticated offering: "This may be Smith's first foray into adult fiction, but we doubt it will be his last."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Cummings, Pat, compiler and editor, Talking with Artists, Bradbury Press (New York, NY), 1992, pp. 72-75.

Silvey, Anita, editor, Children's Books and Their Creators, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1995.


Booklist, October 1, 1993, Janice Del Negro, review of Your Mother Was a Neanderthal, p. 346; July 1 & 15, 1995, Julie Yates Walton, review of 2095, p. 1773; November 1, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Math Curse, p. 472; May 1, 1996, Ilene Cooper, reviews of Disney's James and the Giant Peach and James and the Giant Peach, p. 1511; October 1, 1997, p. 352; May 1, 1998, p. 1522; June 1, 1998, Hazel Rochman, review of Summer Reading Is Killing Me!, p. 1769; September 15, 1998, p. 232; January 1, 2000, p. 988; April 15, 2005, Gillian Engberg, review of Seen Art?, p. 1456; February 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of John, Paul, George, and Ben, p. 104.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of John, Paul, George, and Ben, p. 424.

Entertainment Weekly, November 19, 1999, p. 135.

Horn Book, November-December, 1992, Mary M. Burns, review of The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, p. 720; January-February, 1993, Lane Smith, "The Artist at Work," pp. 64-70; November-December, 1995, p. 738; July-August, 1998, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, pp. 479-481; May-June, 2001, p. 316.

New York, April 8, 1996, Barbara Ensor, "Mr. Smith Goes to Hollywood," pp. 50, 51-53; September-October, 2004, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Science Verse, p. 574; May-June, 2006, Betty Carter, review of John, Paul, George, and Ben, p. 349.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2004, review of Science Verse, p. 813; April 15, 2005, review of Seen Art?, p. 481; March 15, 2006, review of John, Paul, George, and Ben, p. 301.

New Yorker, December 25, 1995, pp. 45-46.

New York Times Book Review, October 6, 1991, Elizabeth-Ann Sachs, reviews of Knights of the Kitchen Table and The Not-So-Jolly Roger, p. 23; November 8, 1992, Signe Wilkinson, "No Princes, No White Horses, No Happy Endings," pp. 29, 59; November 14, 1993, Edward Koren, review of The Happy Hocky Family!, p. 44.

Print, November, 2000, Caitlin Dover, review of The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, p. 16.

Publishers Weekly, July 28, 1989, review of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, p. 218; December 21, 1990, review of The Big Pets, p. 55; July 26, 1991, Amanda Smith, "Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith," pp. 220-221; May 11, 1992, review of The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy, p. 72; February 9, 1998, p. 24; May 18, 1998, review of Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables, p. 78; May 25, 1998, p. 28; July 10, 2000, p. 45; April 30, 2001, p. 76; July 16, 2001, p. 84; May 2, 2005, review of Seen Art?, p. 198; January 23, 2006, review of John, Paul, George, and Ben, p. 207.

School Library Journal, October, 1993, Gale W. Sherman, review of Your Mother Was a Neanderthal, p. 130; September, 1995, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Math Curse, p. 215; June, 1998, pp. 121-122; August, 1998, p. 145; October, 1999, pp. 126-127; January, 2001, Susan Salpini, review of The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, p. 160; May, 2001, Mary Ann Carich, review of Baloney (Henry P.), p. 134; June, 2004, Steven Engelfried, review of Baloney (Henry P.), p. 58; May, 2005, Carol Ann Wilson, review of Seen Art?, p. 96; June, 2005, Steven Engelfried, review of Science Verse, p. 56; March, 2006, Marianne Saccardi, review of John, Paul, George, and Ben, p. 214; January, 2007, Alison Grant, review of You Can't but Ghengis Khan, p. 108.

Time, December 21, 1992, "Kid-Lit Capers," pp. 69-70.

Wilson Library Bulletin, June, 1992, Donnarae MacCann, and Olga Richard, review of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, p. 118.


Lane Smith Home Page, (June 21, 2007).

Smith, Lane 1936–

views updated May 14 2018

SMITH, Lane 1936


Born April 29, 1936, in Memphis, TN; married Debbie Benedict, September 24, 2000; children: Robertson. Education: Attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now CarnegieMellon University); trained for the stage with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, 1965.

Addresses: Agent Metropolitan Talent, 4526 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010; Paradigm, 10100 Santa Monica Blvd., 25th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

Career: Actor. Military service: U.S. Army.

Awards, Honors: Drama Desk Award, for Glengarry Glen Ross; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor, 1990, for The Final Days.


Film Appearances:

Maidstone, Supreme Mix, 1970.

Rick Penny, The Last American Hero (also known as Hard Driver ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 1973.

Perpetrator, Cops and Robbers, 1973.

Ted Ronan, Man on a Swing, Paramount, 1974.

Leroy, Rooster Cogburn (also known as Rooster Cogburn ... and the Lady ), Universal, 1975.

Voice of Stage 1, Everybody Rides the Carousel, 1975.

Robert McDonough, Network, United Artists, 1976.

Officer Mackie, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Paramount, 1977.

Roy Walsh, Between the Lines, Midwest, 1977.

Clarence Hill, Blue Collar, Universal, 1978.

Captain Blake, On the Yard, Midwest, 1978.

Sloan, Over the Edge, Orion/Warner Bros., 1979.

Brag, Honeysuckle Rose (also known as On the Road Again ), Warner Bros., 1980.

Preacher, On the Nickel, Rose's Park, 1980.

Don, Resurrection, Universal, 1980.

Smilin' Jack, Soggy Bottom, U.S.A. (also known as Swamp Rats ), Gaylord, 1980.

Tug Barnes, Prince of the City, Warner Bros., 1981.

Dr. Symington, Frances, Brooksfilm/Universal, 1982.

Albert Denby, Places in the Heart, TriStar, 1984.

Commander Markel, Purple Hearts, Warner Bros., 1984.

Mayor Bates, Red Dawn, United Artists, 1984.

Britton, Native Son, Cinecom, 1986.

Claude, Weeds, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, 1987.

Ethan Sharpe, Prison, Empire, 1988.

Witty, Night Game, Trans World, 1989.

Joe Gifford, Race for Glory, New Century/Vista, 1989.

Senator Davenport, Air America, TriStar, 1990.

Dick Dodge, The Distinguished Gentleman, Buena Vista, 1992.

Coach Reilly, The Mighty Ducks (also known as The Mighty Ducks Are the Champions and Champions ), Buena Vista, 1992.

District Attorney Jim Trotter III, My Cousin Vinny, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1992.

Walter Warner, SoninLaw, Buena Vista, 1993.

Ron Wilson, The Scout, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1994.

Stephen Hahn, The Spy Within (also known as The Flight of the Dove ), 1995.

(Uncredited) The War at Home, Buena Vista, 1996.

Ezra Grahme, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Warner Bros., 1998.

Steve Shaw, The HiLo Country (also known as HiLo CountryIm Land der letzten Cowboys ), Gramercy, 1998.

Dr. Maddie, Getting Personal (also known as The Mysterious Death of Kelly Lawman ), Lakeshore, 1999.

Grantland Rice, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Twentieth CenturyFox, 2000.

The Caprice, Thunderhead, 2000.

Also appeared in American Built.

Television Appearances; Series:

Nathan Bates, V: The Series, NBC, 19841985.

Dr. Robert Moffitt, Kay O'Brien, CBS, 1986.

Mr. Rappaport, Good Sports, CBS, 1991.

Harlan Shell, Good & Evil, 1991.

Perry White, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, ABC, 19931997.

Frank, Out of Order, Showtime, 2003.

Television Appearances; Movies:

The Displaced Person, 1976.

Crash (also known as Crash of Flight 401 ), ABC, 1978.

Bob Hartman, A Death in Canaan, CBS, 1978.

John Carlson, Disaster on the Coastliner, ABC, 1979.

Jack Collins, The Solitary Man, CBS, 1979.

Brian, City in Fear, ABC, 1980.

Fred Turner, Gideon's Trumpet, CBS, 1980.

Don Payer, Mark, I Love You, CBS, 1980.

Sergeant William Holgren, A Rumor of War, CBS, 1980.

Harless Hocker, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, CBS, 1981.

Clarence Blake, Thou Shalt Not Kill, NBC, 1982.

Tom Keating, Prime Suspect, CBS, 1982.

Morton Sanders, Special Bulletin, NBC, 1983.

Officer Dealy, Something about Amelia, ABC, 1984.

Anson Whitfield, Bridge across Time (also known as Arizona Ripper and Terror at London Bridge ), NBC, 1985.

Captain Max Rosenberg, Beverly Hills Cowgirl Blues, CBS, 1985.

Colonel King, Dress Gray, NBC, 1986.

Sam Gavin, A Place to Call Home, CBS, 1987.

Dr. Butler, Killer Instinct (also known as Over the Edge and Deadly Observation ), NBC, 1988.

Colonel Blanchard, Blind Vengeance, USA Network, 1990.

Fryman, Duplicates, USA Network, 1992.

Senator Silverthorne, Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy, Fox, 1997.

Reverend Jeremiah Brown, Inherit the Wind, Showtime, 1999.

WW3 (also known as WWIII and Winds of Terror ), Fox, 2001.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Hoss Spence, Chiefs, CBS, 1983.

Warden Brannigan, If Tomorrow Comes, CBS, 1986.

Martin Busey, False Arrest (also known as Reasonable Doubt and The Joyce Lukezic Story ), ABC, 1991.

Emmett Seaborn, From the Earth to the Moon, HBO, 1998.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Randolph Dukane, The Georgia Peaches (also known as Follow That Car ), CBS, 1980.

Lieutenant Frank Medley, The Big Easy, NBC, 1982.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Clyde Regan, "Queen of the Gypsies," Kojak, CBS, 1975.

Willet, "Claire," The Rockford Files, NBC, 1975.

Mr. Shortley, "The Displaced Person," The American Short Story, PBS, 1978.

CIA Agent Donnegan, "The Battle Ax and the Exploded Cigar," The Rockford Files, NBC, 1979.

Prosecutor, "Gone But Not Forgotten," Dallas, 1981.

Roy Hamlin, "Hart, Line and Sinker," Hart to Hart, 1981.

Dr. Lawrence, "Unthinkable," Lou Grant, CBS, 1982.

Chicago Story, NBC, 1982.

"Science for Sale," Quincy, M.E., NBC, 1982.

Mike, "El Captain," Hill Street Blues, 1985.

Captain Milton Treadwell, Hollywood Beat, ABC, 1985.

Dr. Joseph K. Fitzgerald, "Profile in Silver," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1986.

Robert Warren, "Happy Birthday," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, NBC, 1986.

Dr. Caruso, "Dorothy and Ben," Amazing Stories, NBC, 1986.

Sonny Mims, "Road Kill," In the Heat of the Night, NBC, 1988.

Richard M. Nixon, "The Final Days," AT&T Presents, ABC, 1989.

Police Chief Underwood, "The Search for Peter Kerry," Murder, She Wrote, 1989.

Larry Mulloy, "Challenger," ABC Theater, ABC, 1990.

Voice of Danger Duke, "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?," Murphy Brown, 1994.

"The Cyrano Show," Dweebs, CBS, 1995.

Dan Hafner, "Romeo and Cher," Clueless, ABC, 1996.

Dr. Malcolm Broussard, "Glyphic," The Outer Limits, Showtime and syndicated, 1998.

Reverend Thornton Powers, "Power Angels," Walker, Texas Ranger, CBS, 1999.

Russell Dantly, "Amen," Bull, TNT, 2000.

Voice, "Hanky Panky: Part 1," King of the Hill (animated), Fox, 2000.

Agent Baxter, "The Triangle Report," DAG, NBC, 2001.

Judge H. Finkel, "The Candidate: Parts 1 & 2," The Practice, ABC, 2001.

Mr. Radford, "People of the Lie," Judging Amy, CBS, 2002.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Mr. Addams, The Member of the Wedding, NBC, 1982.

Stage Appearances:

(OffBroadway debut) Leave It to Jane, Sheridan Square Playhouse, New York City, 1959.

Lieutenant Addy, Borak, Martinique Theatre, New York City, 1960.

Max, Children in the Rain, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1970.

Stephen, The Nest, Mercury Theatre, New York City, 1970.

The Captain, Pinkville, Theatre at St. Clement's Church, New York City, 1971.

Randle Patrick McMurphy, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, MercerHansbury Theatre, New York City, 1971.

Mr. Hum, A Break in the Skin, Actors Studio Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Lon Tanner, The Emperor of Late Night Radio, New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF), Public Theatre, New York City, 1974.

Leroy Hollingsworth, Barbary Shore, NYSF, Public Theatre, 1974.

P. Sigmund Furth, The Leaf People, Booth Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Joe, "Dialogue for Two Men," Harley Ffaulkes, "Midwestern Music," and Byron, "The Love Death," all in Love Death Plays of William Inge (Part One), Billy Rose Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Scott, Jack Gelber's New Play: Rehearsal, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1976.

Jack Kerouac, Visions of Kerouac, New Dramatists, then Lion Theatre, both New York City, 1976.

Billy Irish, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, 1977.

Harold, Orphans, Matrix Theatre, Los Angeles, 1984.

James Lingk, Glengarry Glen Ross, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1984.

Also appeared as Adolph Hitler, Brechtesgarten, New York City.