As a partner in the television production company Smith-Hemion, Gary Smith created many of the most distinguished specials and events. The team has won an unprecedented 24 Emmy Awards. From the celebration of Liberty Weekend, featuring performers at the unveiling of a newly restored Statue of Liberty, to a one-woman show for Barbra Streisand, Mr. Smith has been responsible for putting the “special” in television special. He produced Paul McCartney’s first and only television special, Elvis Presley’s last, Bette Middler’s first and Bing Crosby’s last. He was Executive Producer of six Tony Awards telecasts 1993 through 1997, as well as the 55th and 56th Annual Tony Awards; and of the two most recent Emmy Awards.
Mr. Smith was responsible for the production of the Democratic National Convention in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000; Baryshnikov on Broadway; an adaptation of Peter Pan that starred Mia Farrow and Danny Kaye; four years of the Emmy Awards; three years of the People’s Choice Awards; five years of AFI “100 years” specials; ABC’s 24-Hour Millennium coverage; Command Performances specials for the Queen of England; as well as productions for Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, The Apollo Theatre, Woody Allen, and Radio City Music Hall, among others. He produced President Reagan’s Inaugural Gala in 1985 and President Clinton’s in 1993 and 1997. He has been Executive Producer for most of Barbra Streisand’s specials including the May 2, 2001 telecast of her AFI Life Achievement Award. He also Executive-Produced the AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Tom Hanks, I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show Reunion. So far, the year 2003 has been a busy one. Under his Executive Producer Banner is 100 Years of Hope and Humor (honoring Bob Hope on his 100th Birthday,) another in the AFI 100 series, 100 Heroes and Villains, and the 57th Annual Tony Awards.
A graduate of Carnegie Tech’s Theatre Department with a degree in Scenic Design, he became the producer of the Judy Garland series in 1963. It was two years later on the series he created, “Hullabaloo,” that he met and later married Maxine Smith, who was cited in Architectural Digest AD 100 issue of the leading interior designers of the world. In October of 2002, Gary was the recipient of his alma mater’s prestigious Annual Life Achievement Award. He is only the 4th drama alum in the 52 year history of the award to be so honored. They have two sons, Jake and Zack, both working in the business, and Gary has three children from a previous marriage, Daisy, Doug, and Sam.
His proudest achievement is as starring catcher for twelve years in the Hollywood Celebrity Baseball Game held annually at Dodger Stadium.