A legendary Hollywood makeup artist of film and TV since the 1940s, Smith is considered a pioneer in the design of aging makeup and an innovator in the field of special makeup effects. He utilized layers of latex called "old age stipple" to age Dustin Hoffman for "Little Big Man" (1970), Marlon Brando for "The Godfather" (1972), David Bowie for "The Hunger" (1983) and F Murray Abraham for "Amadeus" (1984). The latter won Smith a long overdue Oscar. He transformed Hal Holbrook into Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln for TV and reached new heights in on-screen goo with his work on Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" (1973). Smith also pushed the limits of the young art of special makeup effects with his work on the de-evolving form of William Hurt in Ken Russell's "Altered States" (1980).