Smith was born Larchmont, NY in 1948. He began his makeup work on TV, and would go to pioneer the world of FX work with the use of small latex pieces on the actor's face, as opposed to one large mask. It gave the actor the ability to show more emotional range in their roles, under the makeup. His work would go on to be be influential. He became a hero to any and all interested in the world of makeup. While, he worked on many films, I'm gonna mention just some of my favorite work of his.
The movie he is most connected to, due to his exemplary work on it, is the film classic, The Exorcist. The fact that his work on this masterpiece still holds up all these years later, is proof that this man was a true master of his craft. The mechanical and makeup work are just extraordinary. This films is one of the reasons why I savagely worshiped what he did.
Having cut his teeth on both Godfather films for Francis Ford Coppola, Smith would work with another master of the crime film, Martin Scorsese in his finest masterpiece the dark and shocking, Taxi Driver. He did the bald cap, as well as the film's ultra-violent climax. His work was so graphic and realistic, that Scorsese had to darken the look of the film to avoid the X-rating.
Dick Smith, you were a maekup god and a hero to many, myself included. The world has lost a great artist and amazing talent. God bless, and may he RIP.