Paul L. Smith

Paul Lawrence Smith (June 24, 1936 – April 25, 2012), most frequently credited as Paul Smith or Paul L. Smith, was an American actor. Burly, bearded and imposing, he appeared in feature films and occasionally on television since the 1970s, generally playing "heavies" and bad guys. His most notable roles include Hamidou, the vicious prison guard in Midnight Express (1978), Bluto in Robert Altman's Popeye (1980), Gideon in the ABC miniseries Masada (1981) and Glossu Rabban in David Lynch's Dune (1984).

Paul L. Smith
Smith in 1973
Paul Lawrence Smith

(1936-06-24)June 24, 1936
DiedApril 25, 2012(2012-04-25) (aged 75)
Other namesPaul Smith
Paul Lawrence Smith
Bob Spencer
Adam Eden
Alma materBrandeis University, Florida State University
Years active1963–1999
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Spouse(s)Norma Kalman
(m. ?–1960; divorced)
Eve Smith
(m. ?–2012; his death)

Early life

Born in Everett, Massachusetts into a Jewish family, Smith was raised in Miami, Florida, graduating in 1954 from Miami Senior High School where he played football and became a High School All American.

He attended Brandeis University but transferred to Florida State University on a football scholarship and graduated in 1959 with a B.S. degree in Philosophy.


Smith's first acting role was in Exodus, which was filmed in Israel. This was his first visit to the country. In 1967, Smith returned to Israel as a Mahal volunteer in the Six-Day War and stayed there until 1973. In that time, he participated in five productions filmed in Israel.

Afterwards, he moved to Italy where, due to his resemblance to Bud Spencer, he made a series of films with Michael Coby (pseudonym of Antonio Cantafora), a Terence Hill lookalike. One of these films Convoy Buddies was selected for American release by Film Ventures International, and producer Edward L. Montoro changed Smith's name to Bob Spencer and Cantafora's name to Terrance Hall. Smith sued,[1] successfully arguing that an actor's name recognition is vital to his career. The judicial system agreed and ruled against FVI, which paid Smith damages and court costs.[2]

In 1977, Smith moved to Hollywood, making appearances in such films as 21 Hours at Munich (1976), Midnight Express (1978), as Bluto in Popeye (1980), and as Glossu Rabban in Dune (1984). On television he appeared in such established series as Emergency!, CHiPS, Wonder Woman, Barney Miller and Hawaii Five-O.

Personal life and death

Smith was Jewish. He briefly attended Brandeis University, where he met and married his first wife, Norma Kalman. They had one son, Elliot. Paul and Norma were divorced in 1960.

He subsequently married Eve Smith. In February 2006, they emigrated to Israel, adopting Ra'anana as their new home. After taking Israeli citizenship, the couple adopted Hebrew names: Adam and Aviva Eden.

On April 25, 2012, Smith died in Ra'anana.[3] The cause of death is unconfirmed.


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Exodus Jewish Prisoner Peretz Geffner Uncredited
1970 Madron Gabe Price Uncredited
1971 Fishke Bemilu'im Shmil
1972 Nahtche V'Hageneral
Jacko Vehayatzaniot
1973 Koreyim Li Shmil Shmiel
Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus Peter
1974 Moses the Lawgiver Rebel TV miniseries
Carambola! Clem Rodovam
1975 Carambola's Philosophy: In the Right Pocket Len
Convoy Buddies Butch
We Are No Angels Raphael McDonald
1976 The Diamond Peddlers Simone / Toby
21 Hours at Munich Gutfreund TV movie
1978 Return of the Tiger Paul the Westerner
Midnight Express Hamidou
1979 The In-Laws Mo
The Frisco Kid Person on Philadelphia dock Uncredited
Disaster on the Coastliner Jim Waterman TV movie
Going in Style Radio Announcer
1980 Popeye Bluto
1981 Masada Gideon TV miniseries
The Salamander The Surgeon
When I Am King Sir Blackstone Hardtack
1982 Pieces Willard
1983 Sadat King Farouk TV miniseries
Raiders in Action Saul the Priest
1984 Mivtza Shtreimel
Jungle Warriors Cesar Santiago
Dune Glossu Rabban
1985 Crimewave Faron Crush
The Protector Mr. Booar Uncredited
Red Sonja Falkon
1986 Sno-Line Duval
Haunted Honeymoon Dr. Paul Abbot
1987 Gor Surbus
Terminal Entry Stewart
1988 Outlaw Force Inspector Wainright
Death Chase Steele
1989 Ochlim Lokshim
Sonny Boy Slue
Ten Little Indians Elmo Rodgers
Nipagesh Basafari Paul
The Hired Gun Wounded Man
1990 Crossing the Line Joe Kapinski
Caged Fury Head Guard
1991 Eye of the Widow Elko
1992 Desert Kickboxer Santos
1994 Maverick Archduke
2008 Paul Smith: The Reddest Herring Himself Extended interview with star Paul L. Smith featured on the North American DVD release of Pieces, where he discusses the film, his life, and career


  • I'm Mean (1980)


  1. "648 F2d 602, Smith v. L Montoro". Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  2. GreyWizard. "FVI: What You Didn't Know". The Unknown Movies. Bad Movie Planet. Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  3. Tom B. (2013-02-13). "Boot Hill: RIP Paul Smith". Retrieved 2013-02-21.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.