Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born Frank Kent Smith in New York, New York, Smith made his acting debut on Broadway in 1932 in Men Must Fight and after spending a few years there, moved to Hollywood, California where he made his film debut in The Garden Murder Case . Initially he was groomed to play leading roles in "B" pictures, usually as solid and dependable types, or as the friend or rival for the heroines affections in more prestigious films. As he aged quickly, turning grey quite young, he moved into character roles.
His biggest successes occurred during the 1940s in films such as Cat People (1942), Hitler's Children (1943), This Land is Mine (1943), Youth Runs Wild (1944), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Spiral Staircase, (1946), Nora Prentiss (1947), Magic Town (1947), The Fountainhead (1949), My Foolish Heart (1949) and The Damned Don't Cry (1950). He continued acting in supporting roles from the 1950s and made his final film appearance in Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977).
His numerous television credits include a continuing role in the soap opera Peyton Place as well as featured roles in the made for television movies The Night Stalker and The Snoop Sisters (both 1972). He began guest starring in television series in 1949 in The Philco 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 and Barnaby Jones. His last appearance was in a 1977 episode of Wonder Woman.
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