Redford wasn’t the only celebrity to credit Smith with their success. She accompanied director Robert Altman when he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences in 2006. In 2003, when Smith won the Publicist Guild’s Life Achievement Award, her friend Scorsese testified, “Lois stands out as a beacon in the industry. What matters to her is the art as it should be.”
In a poem posted online yesterday, Rosie O’Donnell wrote, “ ... she loved her clients, with a fierce loyalty, and a huge open heart that went way beyond show biz; never without her bright red coat, she could be easily spotted in any star-studded crowd; she was by my side as i rode the fame roller coaster, holding my hand thru the scary parts.”
“She loved it,” Gene Smith said of his wife and her career.
That genuine person, full of comfort, compassion and caring are what friends said they will most remember,
Dullea said when her brother died, Smith wasn’t afraid to share herself, opening up about her own loss, that of her youngest son, Scott, who was just shy of 16 when he was killed while surfing on Plum Island. Smith’s family is also requesting memorial contributions be made to the Scott Smith Scholarship Fund at Hebron Academy, where the teen was enrolled before his death.
“There was nothing off-putting about her,” Dullea said. “She was just open and generous and real. I told her she was my role model for how to age gracefully. It’s very fortunate when you can find yourself in life and do what you do best. Lois certainly did.”