Lois Smith Biography


Birthday: November 3, 1930 (Scorpio)

Born In: Topeka, Kansas, United States

Lois Smith is an American character actress best known for her role in the science-fiction drama film ‘Marjorie Prime.’ In her career spanning nearly seven decades, she has acted in around 50 films, 12 plays, and numerous daytime and prime time operas. She is, however, best known for her leading performance in the movie ‘Marjorie Prime,’ for which she earned various awards and nominations, including an Independent Spirit Award. She was 87 when she acted in the film! Born as the youngest of six children to a middle-class family in Kansas, Smith studied theatre at the University of Washington. However, she did not graduate and went on to marry her colleague at the age of 18. Four years after her marriage, she began her acting career on stage and eventually landed roles on the big screen. In 2007, the talented actress was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame for her contributions to the theatre. She has a daughter with her ex-husband.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Lois Arlene Smith, Lois Arlene Humbert

Age: 93 Years, 93 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Wesley Dale Smith (m. 1948–1970)

father: William Humbert (1895-1950)

mother: Carrie (née Gottshalk

children: Moon Elizabeth Smith

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Height: 5'2" (157 cm), 5'2" Females

U.S. State: Kansas

City: Topeka, Kansas

More Facts

education: University Of Washington

awards: 1971 · Five Easy Pieces - National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
2018 · Marjorie Prime - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2006 · The Trip to Bountiful - Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play

2011 · Please Give - Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award
2013 - Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement
2006 · The Trip to Bountiful - Obie Award for Performance
2006 · The Trip to Bountiful - Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress
2006 · The Trip to Bountiful - Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
2016 - New York Drama Critics' Circle Special Citation

Childhood & Early Life
Lois Smith was born as Lois Arlene Humbert on November 3, 1930 in Topeka, Kansas. Her father, William Humbert, who worked in a telephone company, died in 1950. Her mother was Carrie Davis. She had three brothers, Phillip, Dilman and William and two sisters, Marvelle and Alice.
She moved to Seattle with her family at the age of 11. She attended the University of Washington for a while but couldn’t graduate.
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Lois Smith made her Broadway debut in 1952 when she appeared as Joan in the play ‘Time Out for Ginger’. A year later, she had her television debut on the show ‘Kraft Television Theatre.’
The year 1955 saw her in her first ever film performance in ‘East of Eden’ alongside Jo Van Flee, Julie Harris, and James Dean. That year, the actress also had a lead role in ‘The Young and Beautiful’, a play that ran at the Longacre Theatre.
In 1956, she starred in the teleplay ‘Bring Me a Dream’ and also performed in the stage production of ‘The Glass Menagerie’. Three years later, she played the lead role in a modernized version of Cinderella in a teleplay titled ‘Cindy's Fella’.
Smith began the 1960s with roles in the public television specials ‘The Master Builder’ and ‘Miss Julie’. From 1965 to 1967, she starred in numerous plays as a member of the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia.
The year 1970 further boosted the actress’ career when she played Partita Dupea in Bob Rafelson’s ‘Five Easy Pieces’. The film garnered four Academy Award nominations while Smith won a National Society of Film Critics Award.
From 1972 to 1974, she starred as a psychotic wife on the series ‘Somerset’. During this period, she also returned to Broadway to act in ‘The Iceman Cometh’. She followed it with the role of Eleanor Conrad on the sitcom ‘The Doctors’ from 1975 to 1977.
During the 1980s, Smith had supporting roles in several films, including ‘Foxes’, ‘Resurrection’, ‘Four Friends’, and ‘Black Widow’ to name a few. She commenced the new decade with the role of Ma Joad in the stage production of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ at Broadway. Her performance earned her two Tony Award nominations.
In 1991, she portrayed the mother of Thelma Todd in the TV movie ‘White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd’. Four years later, the actress starred as Sophia in ‘How to Make an American Quilt’, a drama film based on Whitney Otto’s 1991 novel of the same name.
In the 1990s, she featured in a revival of ‘Buried Child’ at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The play moved to Broadway a year later and garnered her a Tony Award nomination.
During the 2000s, Smith had roles in many films, including ‘The Pledge’, ‘Minority Report’, and ‘A Foreign Affair’. From 2003 to 2004, she also played an imperious aunt on the series ‘One Life to Live’.
In 2015, she earned a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for her guest performance in an episode of ‘The Americans’.
In 2017, the actress played the role of Sister Sarah Joan in Greta Gerwig's solo directional debut ‘Lady Bird’. The comedy-drama follows a high school student and her strained relationship with her mother.
Major Works
In 2005, Lois Smith starred as Carrie Watts in the off-Broadway play ‘The Trip to Bountiful’ that ran at the Signature Theatre Company. She won an Obie Award for Best Actress along with a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award.
In 2017, she played the lead role in Michael Almereyda’s sci-fi flick ‘Marjorie Prime’. Adapted from Jordan Harrison's play of the same name, the film received critical acclaim. The actress’ performance brought her a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress along with various other award nominations.
Family & Personal Life
At the age of 18, Lois Smith married her collegemate Wesley Dale Smith. The couple had a daughter named Moon Elizabeth Smith. They divorced in 1970.

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