Publicist Lois Smith, one of the founding members of Hollywood publicity firm PMK and mother to former Grey’s Anatomy star Brooke Smith, died Sunday of an apparent brain hemorrhage.
The 85-year-old was in Maine with her husband Saturday to celebrate his philanthropic contributions, when an accidental fall down the stairs caused a bump to her head that set off a brain hemorrhage. She died Sunday afternoon in an area hospital.
Smith, alongside Patricia Newcombe and Pat Kingsley, established what is now PMK (Pickwick, Maslansky/Koenigsberg) as a leader in the publicity industry. Not only was she involved in promoting films, but worked closely with and was beloved by actors and actresses whose images she helped to shape. She will be sorely missed by not only her family, but those whose lives she touched in her long career.
Amongst those who images she helped to shape were Robert Redford, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon and Whitney Houston! Clearly Smith was not only a pioneer in the publicity industry, but in helping to carve out history with some of the biggest in Hollywood and recording industry legends!
Though Smith retired in 2010, she remained aware of industry trends and the increased demands of publicity as the blogosphere explodes.
“I’m so glad I’m not doing publicity now,” she said in an interview at the time. “Between celebrity magazines and websites, there’s so much out there to be filled up, so much information that has to be put out there simply because those publications exist.”
Rest in peace, Lois Smith, and know that you truly left an unforgettable mark on the industry!