A tribute to Kevin Smith - Stuff.co.nz - 2009 (March 17)

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This article is from the site Stuff.co.nz, dated March 17, 2009, featuring Kevin Smith.

Text for this article is from Stuff.co.nz.

A tribute to Kevin Smith

By Margaret Agnew

A tribute to Kevin Smith.jpg

      You know those annoying people who claim they were into bands first? Back when they were playing gigs at school dances and stuff like that.

      Well, I was into actor Kevin Smith way back in the '80s, when he was a jobbing actor at Christchurch's Court Theatre - I was a schoolgirl, discovering the thrill of live theatre for the first time.

      An accomplished actor, singer, and comedian, Smith starred in many New Zealand productions, including Xena, Hercules, Lawless, Shortland Street, Gloss and City Life. Kevin Smith died in February 2002, at the age of 38, after an accident on a film set in China.

      Now, the NZ on Screen website has compiled an exclusive collection of his television and film titles to mark the late actor’s birthday on March 16.

      Scriptwriter James Griffin says of Kevin – “First impressions were unavoidable when it came to Kevin. I have seen grown women go weak at the knees and leave the room when they caught sight of him. But first impressions, as usual, never tell anything near the full story. They don’t tell the story of what a wonderfully down-to-earth guy he was – modest beyond belief and simply about the politest human being I have ever met. And then there was the talent. By crikey there was talent in that boy.”

      “He was an actor who could do it all, from the melodrama of a Tennessee Williams play, through the swords and sandals of a Xena: Warrior Princess, to the gentle, romantic lead of something like Double Booking.”

      His close friend and fellow actor Geoff Dolan describes him as the most approachable, friendly guy: "to his and our cost sometimes. We apparently weren't suitably humble enough for one crowd of young guys one night and Kevin and myself got king hit from behind because 'you think you're tough TV star'. Lots of blood and bruises and Teresa Healey screaming made for quite a night. But those occasions were rare."

      Television titles in the NZ on Screen Kevin Smith Collection include: the tele-features Lawless, with Kevin in the lead role; Marlin Bay, for which he won the 1995 New Zealand Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actor; the one-off TV dramas Love Mussel and Double Booking; Kevin’s gay kiss in the controversial City Life series; and an excerpt from his first appearance in the legendary 1980s series Gloss. The tribute also has excerpts from the feature films Desperate Remedies, Channelling Baby and Jubilee.

      The Kevin Smith Tribute Collection is available now on www.nzonscreen.com and can be viewed there for the next six weeks.

      (NZ on Screen is a free online showcase of New Zealand screen culture.)