Character actor Lionel Mark Smith, who appeared in several films and plays by David Mamet, died of cancer Feb. 13 in Inglewood, Calf. He was 62.
Born in Chicago, Smith studied at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago and served in the U.S. Army.
He appeared in Mamet films including “The Spanish Prisoner,” “Homicide,” “Edmond,” “Things Change” and “State and Main.”
When he was cast in the Los Angeles legit version of Mamet’s “Oleanna,” Mark Taper Forum officials caused controversy by reportedly refusing to stage the play, contending that casting a black actor would be confusing for the audience. The play was later stated at the small Tiffany Theater in West Hollywood.
Smith met Mamet while working in Chicago theaters, and he also toured in the Athol Fugard play “Sizwe Banzi is Dead.”
He appeared on numerous TV shows including “Hill Street Blues, “Lou Grant,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Seinfeld,” “Days of Our Lives” and “L.A. Law.”