William Smith dies at 88: Veteran Hollywood actor who played Clint Eastwood’s nemesis in Any Which Way You Can dies in hospital
Famous actor and athlete William Smith, star of titles such as Laredo and Rich Man, Poor Man, has died aged 88.
Smith died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif., Monday, his wife, Joanne Cervelli Smith, confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter.
The cause of death has not been revealed.
RIP: Famous actor and athlete William Smith, star of titles such as Laredo and Rich Man, Poor Man, has died aged 88; seen here circa 1975
Standing 6ft 2in tall, the muscular Smith has cultivated a popular Hollywood badass image, appearing in some of the most famous fight scenes in movie history.
One was in the 1970s, Darker Than Amber, in which William’s villainous bodybuilder took on Rod Taylor in one of the most violent and realistic brawl scenes of all time.
And ten years later, he appears in Any Which Way You Can alongside Clint Eastwood, in which they take part in a cinematic brawl in the streets and restaurants of Wyoming.
Smith, who was a martial arts discus, arm wrestling and black belt champion, had an incredible 274 screen credits on his IMDb, spanning 1942 until last year, in the Steve movie. Carell Irresistible.
Hollywood hard guy: At 6ft 2in, the muscular Smith has cultivated a popular badass image in Hollywood, appearing in titles ranging from Laredo to Any Which Way You Can
Other highlights of the veteran actor’s illustrious career include Conan the Barbarian in 1982 with fellow bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Red Dawn two years later with Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen. and Jennifer Gray.
In this film, William was fluent in Russian as General Strelnikov.
He also faced none other than Yul Brynner in The Ultimate Warrior in 1975, in which he played a menacing gang leader named Carrot.
Other highlights of the veteran actor’s illustrious career include: Hawaii Five-O, pictured here in 1968
TV credits include Hawaii Five-O, The Virginian, and Laredo, along with countless appearances in everything from I Dream Of Jeannie to Walker, Texas Ranger.
He has also appeared twice on Fantasy Island – first as Wyatt Earp, then later as Frankenstein …
Smith is survived by his 32-year-old makeup artist wife Joanne, as well as his children William E. Smith III and Sherri Anne Cervelli.
Longtime couple: Smith is survived by his wife, makeup artist Joanne, 32, as well as his children William E. Smith III and Sherri Anne Cervelli; pictured here in 2004