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Lane Smith

Born: 1936-04-29 - Died: 2005-06-13
Cause of Death:
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)

Death Summary: Smith died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) at his home in California on June 13, 2005, having been diagnosed with the disease in April.

Who was Lane Smith : Smith (born William Lane Smith III) was an American actor, known for his role as newspaper editor Perry White in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Richard Nixon in The Final Days.

Smith was born in Memphis, Tennessee and long had an interest in acting. He studied drama, before joining the army for two years and then going on to study at the Actors Studio in New York.

Smith had a lengthy career, appearing in numerous film, television and theatrical productions. Beginning largely in theatre with roles such as Randle Patrick McMurphy in 650 off-Broadway performances of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Smith went on to have a number of small roles in films such as Maidstone, Rooster Cogburn and Network while made numerous guest appearances on TV in shows like The Rockford Files, Kojak, Dallas and Lou Grant, as well as many TV movies.

Larger roles came in the form of his portrayal of the Mayor in the film Red Dawn and industrialist Nathan Bates in the 1984-1985 ABC series V; he also played James Lingk in the first Broadway production of Glengarry Glen Ross in 1984. Then, in 1989, Smith got his biggest break yet as he starred as disgraced President Richard Nixon in the docudrama The Final Days, earning critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination. Newsweek said that Smith was “such a good Nixon that his despair and sorrow at his predicament become simply overwhelming."

Roles in the films My Cousin Vinny and as Coach Jack Reilly in The Mighty Ducks followed, as did parts in the short lived series Good Sports and Good & Evil. But, it was disgruntled Daily Planet newspaper editor Perry White on ABC’s Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman for which he was best remembered. Smith starred in the series for four seasons, from 1993-1997. Subsequently he appeared in From the Earth to the Moon, King of the Hill and The Practice. His final screen appearance came in 2003 in Showtime’s Out of Order.
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11 Signatures in Lane Smith's guestbook

  1. david stroud Says:


  2. John Says:

    So sad…

  3. scott fout Says:

    rip friend

  4. linda cooper Says:

    lane you were one of my favorite actors and u will be missed.rip my friend

  5. lisa Says:

    i thought you were a great actor and great as perry on new adventures of superman that is my favourite show of all time! r.i.p hope you are at peace.

  6. Lois Jeater Says:

    R.I.P There will never be another perry white as good as you made that charecter in Lois and clark the new adventures of superman. You had such great spirit and love in your heart. You are sadly Missed and always will be. But know that you live on in your work and that you will never be forgotten xxxx

  7. Mary Jeffers Says:

    Sorry I missed yours. Just saw you in a rerun of In The Heat of the Night. Loved you in The Distinguished Gentlemen with E. Murphy. RIP

  8. Mary Jeffers Says:

    Wow, this is a shock. I don’t know how I missed yours. Loved you in “In The Heat of the Night with Carroll O’Conner and “The Distinguished Gentlemen with Eddie Murphy. Your acting is timeless. Will miss you!

  9. mike Says:

    Lane, its so hard to loose a person like you. I use to Watch your movies, and t.v shows. Hope heaven has a theater up there cause you definitely can show god how good you act. You will be missed, along with your southern style accent. God bless your soul, and your family rip Mr.lane smith.

  10. Martin Says:

    Oh Rach, what can I say to that! You are truly amazing! You carutped a moment in my life that I want to hold onto forever . My babies! They are growing up so fast! To compare Adelines first photoshoot for her 1st birthday photos to now Is crazy to think that was 2 years ago! You are so wonderful to me! God put us together for a reason! You inspire and encourage me everyday! Your drive is beyond selfless! Everyday you go above and beyond to make other people happy! The way you take so much time out of your life, just to see the joy that comes from what you can do with music and photos must an amazing feeling! I can only hope you know how blessed and happy I feel I am to have you as my best friend! I can always count on you for anything! You have been right by my side, holding me up when I am down and literally running right beside me though the good times! I can’t wait to share my bingo winnings with you! And go late night shopping every Christmas! You mean the world to me and my family! We love you, Rumph family

  11. p57hoodia Says:

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