Hollywood Mourns Alan Smithee — Dead at Age 102
He was perhaps the most reclusive man in Hollywood. Only one picture of Alan Smithee was ever made public, and it was taken when he was a 22 year old extra at RKO Studios. that's him front and center from an old RKO still picture.
The famed director of such films as "Framed" and "Dreams of Silverman" was found dead in his Bel-Air home this morning.
Smithee's career began in almost complete obscurity. His mother took him to a casting call hoping that he would be cast as Little Georgie in the well known film series by the same name. Instead, Alan was rejected but cast instead as the son of Western film star Artis Moore in the Buckskin Bobby series that was popular in the early 1940s.
Stars like Brenda Vee and the old silent screen star Bermuda Schwartz owe their incredible careers to Smithee, as do many stars who never knew the man but were inspired by his unique style.
At the age of 17, while filming "Red River Sal" with director Hudson Faire, Smithee began making directing suggestions that at first irritated Faire, but as filming progressed, the elder director began to follow the 17-year-old's advice. It was only a few months later that Smithee, now 18, directed "Saraha Crossing". Smithee never looked back and went on to direct 85 motions pictures starring such greats as: Walter Brennan, Alain DeLane and Hawk Garrison.
Smithee was married 6 times, the last to Donna Raye Ellis. Smithee's son, Tad, announced that Smithee's ashes were scattered over the old RKO studios location.
And here's the most important part: There was no Alan Smithee. The name does appear on several movies such as the ones listed above, but the name was used as a pseudonym by many directors who did not want their real names to appear on movies that they felt would damage their reputations. You'll find a list of real movies that were credited to Alan Smithee HERE.
I have no idea who the people in the picture are.
Happy April Fools Day!