Farewell to a friend - The New Zealand Herald - 2002 (February 23)

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This article is from the newspaper The New Zealand Herald, dated February 23, 2002, featuring Kevin Smith and Michael Hurst.

The high-res newspaper scans are from Bryn. Article text from The New Zealand Herald.

Final Curtain for Smith

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Showbiz friends invite fans to Smith's farewell

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Farewell to a friend

Actor/director Michael Hurst remembers a colleague and a chum.

      I was in Pasadena attending a Xena Convention when I received the news that my friend and colleague Kevin Smith had passed away.

      In the subsequently surreal environment of the Ritz Hotel, waiting for my turn to go and address the fans, I was struck by waves of grief and disbelief. He was such a constant force in lives of all of us who worked with him and who were his friends.

      Kevin was loved. He threw himself into everything he did with extraordinary vigour and reaped the rewards of affection and respect.

      His life was a "larger than life" kind of life. Of all the actors in Hercules and Xena, he was the only one who resembled his action figure.

      He was one of the funniest men I ever met, and one of the wittiest. Kevin was clever. Boy, he was clever. He was generous and possessed of great humility. He was one of us, a good man, a bloke, a mate.

      I worked with Kevin many times in different ways - directing him, acting with him, singing or debating with him - and I know in my heart that we had only just begun to see the depth of his talent. He was poised to fly, and fly he would have.

      This is the hardest thing, the fact that we want more of him. We want the fulfilment of all that promise but must be content with only the idea.

      He was a family man, a sporting man, a playful man and a thinking man. His smile was, and will always be, a beacon in the dark because I think he knew instinctively that heart was the first thing and that everything else followed.

      I, like many others, will carry his memory with me undimmed, and it will give me both joy and sadness for the rest of my life.

      We have lost a favourite son.

      Safe journey, Kevin. We love you.

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