Thank you for everything, Kevin - TV Guide (New Zealand) - 2002 (March 2-8)

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This article is from the New Zealand magazine TV Guide, dated March 2-8, 2002, featuring Kevin Smith.

The high-res magazine scans are from Bryn.

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Thank you for everything, Kevin

TV Guide pays tribute to New Zealand actor Kevin Smith who died tragically in China last week.

      In an industry famous for egos it would be hard to find a more universally-loved and admired performer than Kevin Smith.

      Kevin, whose tragic death in China last weekend stunned the New Zealand acting industry, had a career stretching over 15 years.

      His death came just as he was on the verge of his big Hollywood break - he was about to start preparing for a starring role opposite Bruce Willis in Man of War.

      "That's the heartbreaking thing: that he was on the eve of establishing himself in Hollywood," says friend and colleague Mark Ferguson who first worked with Kevin on the 80s soap Gloss. "Everyone was cheering for him - everybody wanted that to happen for him."

      Mark paid tribute to Kevin's lightning wit and instinct for self-deprecating humour - a talent that stood out in their theatresports work.

      "There were some nights when we were almost speechless at how quickly his mind worked," Mark said.

      "In our industry there's a lot of envy, and normally with somebody who looked like that and also had genuine comic talent and could act and sing like an angel, there would be jealousy. But there never was with Kevin. You couldn't hate him. That was because he never flaunted it."

      We don't pretend to have known Kevin well but his numerous interviews with TV Guide were always a pleasure. He was always accommodating, good-natured and seemingly bemused by his celebrity status.

      But one thing that did rile him in his early days was the difficulty he had in breaking out of the macho guy stereotype - a hard call when even last year he was voted New Zealand's Sexiest Man in the TV Guide Best on the Box survey. But by the time the TV cop drama Lawless came along in 1999, he believed he was breaking the mould.

      "I'm finally getting close to an age where I feel I've got the gravitas - the weight - to carry these sort of things," he said. "As I'm getting older, suddenly it's like people start to take notice of the work I do rather than anything else."

      Kevin, 38, is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and three children.

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