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Paul L. Smith (born February 5, 1939) is an American character actor. Burly, bearded, and imposing, he has appeared in films and occasionally on TV since the 1970s, generally playing "heavies" and bad guys. His most notable roles include Hamidou, the vicious prison warden in Midnight Express (1978), Bluto in Robert Altman's Popeye (1980) and the Beast Rabban in David Lynch's Dune (1984). He is sometimes credited as Paul Smith or Paul Lawrence Smith.

Personal life

Paul L. Smith attended Miami Senior High School, Miami, FL, graduating in 1954. He later attended Florida State University on a football scholarship leaving before completing his four years.

Paul L. Smith's first acting role was in the 1960 film Exodus which was filmed in Israelmarker. This was his first visit to the country. He returned to Israel in 1967 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. He also met Eve, and the two lived in Tel Avivmarker. They later moved to Italy, and then to Hollywoodmarker in 1977.

They emigrated to Israel in February 2006, adopting Ra'ananamarker as their home. Since taking Israeli citizenship the couple adopted Hebrew names: Adam and Aviva Eden.

Selected filmography

  • Hamidou in Midnight Express (1978)
  • Jim Waterman in Disaster on the Coastliner (1979)
  • Bluto in Popeye (1980)
  • Willard in Pieces (1983)
  • Paul (Mob Boss) in Return Of The Tiger (1984)
  • Rabban in Dune (1984)
  • Falkon in Red Sonja (1985)
  • Faron Crush in Crimewave (1985)
  • Dr. Paul Abbot in Haunted Honeymoon (1986)
  • Surbus in Gor (1988)
  • Head guard in Caged Fury (1989)
  • The Archduke in Maverick (1994).
  • As himself in Paul Smith: The Reddest Herring (directed by Alma Har'el), an extended interview with star Paul L. Smith featured on the North American DVD release of the film, Pieces, where he discusses the film, his life and career.


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