Smilin' Jack Smith

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Jack Smith
Jack Smith 1958.JPG
Smith in 1958.
Born Jack Ward Smith
(1913-11-16)November 16, 1913
Bainbridge Island, Washington, U.S.
Died July 3, 2006(2006-07-03) (aged 92)
Westlake Village, California, U.S.
Cause of death Leukemia
Other names 'Smilin' Jack Smith
Years active 1933-1984
Victoria Stuart (m. 1936–2002)
(her death)
Relatives Walter Reed (brother)

Jack Ward Smith (November 16, 1913 in Seattle, Washington – July 3, 2006), known as Smilin' Jack Smith, was a crooner, radio host and actor.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Smith was in a singing trio, The Three Ambassadors, from age 15. In 1939, he became a solo crooner with a voice described as a "strong baritone with a tenor lilt"; he was billed as "The Singer with a Smile in His Voice."[1] He also sang with the Phil Harris Orchestra in 1932, recording "Here It is Only Monday".

Establishing a radio program, The Jack Smith Show, in 1945, he went on to host such guests as Dinah Shore, Margaret Whiting, John Serry Sr. and Ginny Simms. In a 1945 poll of radio critics by Motion Picture Daily, Smith was voted radio's "most promising star of tomorrow."[2]

Following a guest appearance in the musical film Make Believe Ballroom (1949), Smith was offered the second lead in Warner Bros.' On Moonlight Bay (1951) opposite Doris Day.

With the television's arrival, radio saw a decline in audiences, and Smith lost his show in 1952. In 1953, Smith briefly hosted the NBC game show Place the Face,[3] only to be replaced by Jack Bailey, who in turn was followed by Bill Cullen. Smith became the host of You Asked For It in 1958,[3] staying with it in various roles until 1991. He also appeared as himself in the "Fearless Fonzarelli" episode of Happy Days, aired in 1975; in that episode, Smith hosted You Wanted To See It, a fictionalized version of his real show, bearing witness to Fonzie's feat of leaping 14 garbage cans on his motorcycle.[citation needed]

Jack Smith died in 2006 in Westlake Village, California of leukemia, aged 92.



  1. ^ Reinehr, Robert C. and Swartz, Jon D. (2008). The A to Z of Old-Time Radio. Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-7616-3. P. 138.
  2. ^ "Riding the Airwaves with BCL". The Milwaukee Journal. December 12, 1945. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television. Penguin Books USA, Inc. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8.

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