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Lois Smith (born November 3, 1930) is an American actress whose career in theater, film, and television has spanned five decades.

Smith was born Lois Arlene Humbert in Topeka, Kansasmarker, the daughter of Carrie Davis (née Gottshalk) and William Oren Humbert, who was a telephone company employee. She is a graduate of the University of Washingtonmarker.

After two TV appearances, Smith made her film debut in East of Eden in 1955. Additional film credits include Five Easy Pieces, Up the Sandbox, Four Friends, Fatal Attraction, Fried Green Tomatoes, How to Make an American Quilt, Dead Man Walking, Twister, Minority Report, Tumbleweeds, Hollywoodland and Sweet Land. Much of Smith's career has been spent in television, appearing in early anthology series (Studio One, Robert Montgomery Presents), soap operas (Another World,Somerset, The Edge of Night, All My Children, One Life to Live), and numerous primetime dramas, including The Defenders, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, thirtysomething, The Practice, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent Grey's Anatomy, Cold Case (1 episode, 2004) and True Blood.

Smith made her Broadwaymarker debut in the 1952 comedy Time Out for Ginger. A member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Companymarker, she appeared as Ma Joad in their production of The Grapes of Wrath in Chicagomarker, San Diegomarker, and Londonmarker before bringing it to New York Citymarker, where her performance earned her a Tony Award nomination.

Smith lives on the Upper West Sidemarker of Manhattanmarker.

Awards and nominations


  1. Lois Smith at

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