John J. Smith, who worked as a unit production manager and line producer on films including “To Live and Die in L.A.,” “Sister Act,” “Waterworld” and “Windtalkers,” died of pulmonary fibrosis on Sept. 10 in Northridge, Calif. He was 69.
During a film-industry career that spanned more than 20 years, his credits also included “Mannequin” (1987), “Gleaming the Cube,” “Tap,” “Come See the Paradise,” “Dutch,” “The Thing Called Love,” “Greedy,” “Grumpier Old Men” (on which he was both UPM and co-producer) and “Red Corner.”
Born in Fremont, Ohio, Smith received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English and literature from Xavier U. He had his first exposure to the entertainment industry as a young boy during a family trip to Los Angeles in the 1950s during which he met Groucho Marx and Jack Warner at the Brown Derby.
Prior to entering the film industry, Smith was a high school and college teacher.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Jo Ann, a studio teacher; four sons, John (who works in the awards office at Walt Disney Studios), Mark, Stephen and Paul; six grandchildren; a brother and three sisters.