Lois Smith was many things to many people. She was beloved by many. And while she was known for being a sweetheart, she was also known for being tough when she had to be.
Unfortunately, after an accidental fall on Sunday, October 7th, Smith’s life was cut short as she suffered a brain hemorrhage. The incident occurred when Smith and her husband, Eugene Smith, were visiting Hebron Academy in Maine, where they were being honored during homecoming weekend. The couple stayed at a nearby hotel when Lois fell and was rushed to a local hospital.
Early in Smith’s career, she declined a journalism job when she was warned that there wasn’t much room for advancement of women in the industry. She then took a job with Ted Saucier’s PR film, and eventually got into show business when she worked for Arthur Jacobs. Lois ended up heading Jacob’s office before she branched out on her own.
Forming Her Own PR Firm
Along with Pat Kingsley, Gerry Johnson, and Pat Newcomb, Smith formed Pickwick Public Relations in 1969. The firm eventually merged with agency Maslansky/Koeningsberg in 1980, renaming themselves PMK. PMK was acquired by the Interpublic Group in 1999 and then merged with agency HBH to become PMK/HBH. In 2009, another merger renamed the firm PMK/BNC.
The New York based publicist helped promote the career of many like Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Cher, Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty, Liza Minnelli, Whitney Houston, O’Donnell, and William Hurt. In 2003, Smith won the Publicist Guild’s Life Achievement Award.
For over 30 years, the great Lois Smith was a mentor to so many who loved and adored her wise words. In addition to her husband Eugene, Lois is survived by her three children, Erin, Luke and Brooke, as well as four grand-children. But as I mention every time someone in the industry passes away, it is never about living forever, it’s about creating a legacy that does, and Lois Smith has certainly accomplished that.