Charles Martin Smith is an American actor who is iconically remembered for his role in the star-studded film “The Untouchables”. However, in recent years, the 66-year-old veteran actor has turned his attention to writing and directing films. Despite having played in a long list of filming credits, Charles’ talents clearly lie in directing, since plenty of his work afforded him numerous BAFTA and other award nominations. Charles is a talented person and has more interests than films. Feel free to read more about his life and success as we discuss his career and interests.
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Early life and family
Charles was born on 30 October 1953 in Van Nuys, California USA. There is no public information about his mother, but his father, Frank Smith, was a famous cartoonist and animator, as was his uncle Paul J. Smith, who worked for Walter Lantz Productions Studios. His cousin Sheryl Ann Smith also pursued a career in animation, like her father Paul.
During his childhood years, Charles spent four years in Paris, France, where his father was the manager of the English branch of a French animation studio. Charles later returned to the States to finish his high school career and attend university.
Charles attended the Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, California, from which he matriculated. While there, Charles participated in several school plays, and it was while performing in one such school play that a talent scout noticed his acting skills.
Following high school, Charles attended the California State University in Northridge, graduating with a BA degree in Theatre.
Charles’ career as an actor began at the age of eighteen in 1971, when he was cast in a guest role in the popular TV series “The Brady Bunch”.
His career took off, and the following year he gained several more roles, including in the films “The Culpepper Cattle Co” and “Fuzz”, and starred in the television show “Room 222”.
He continued his success throughout the seventies, starring in several films that included “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”, the George Lucas classic “American Graffiti”, through which Charles acquired considerable fame, “The Buddy Holly Story” and others.
He later reprised the role of Terry the Toad Fields for the sequel film, “More American Graffiti”. During this time, he also made appearances in numerous television shows, including “Chase”, “The Rookies” and “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams”.
His career progressed through the eighties, during which time he landed several more prominent roles, such as in “Never Cry Wolf”, and one of his most iconic films which starred several familiar names, including Shaun Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia and Kevin Costner, “The Untouchables”. His television repertoire for the eighties includes “The Twilight Zone” and “When the Whistle Blows”.
In the nineties, Charles began to focus more on a career behind the camera, but nonetheless continued to act in films. His debut directorial was in the 1986 film “Trick or Treat”, in which he also had a role.
Despite debuting this early, his career as a writer/director only took off in the nineties, including “Air Budd” which Charles only directed. He starred in several films in the same era, including “Perfect Alibi” and “Deep Impact”. He also appeared in the popular television series “The X-files”.
Some other movies that Charles directed and wrote include “The Snow Walker” and “Stone of Destiny”, and he was also responsible for giving the world “Dolphin Tale” and its sequel.
His most recent work is “A Dog’s Way Home” in 2019, based W. Bruce Cameron’s novel of the same name.
Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts
As much as Charles is in love with filmmaking and acting, he is also a capable musician. He plays the piano and guitar and also composes music. In an interview, Charles stated that he had been familiar with playing the bass guitar before the filming of “The Buddy Holly Story”, in which he portrayed the Crickets’ band bass player. He began learning to play the piano at the age of eight, and fell in love right then. Charles also fell in love with Canadian landscapes while filming “Never Cry Wolf”, and has since relocated to live in Canada.
Charles was reportedly married to actress Ursula Martin, but it is said that the relationship had ended in divorce – no record of any dates exist, so it is not widely known when they married and divorced. It can be suggested that the two possibly met on the set of “Air Bud”, but may require confirmation.
They do have a child together, a daughter by the name Anna, who has accompanied her father to several gala events and film premieres.
- Date of Birth: 30 October 1953
- Hair colour: Bald
- Eye colour: Blue
- Height: 5ft 5ins (1.65m)
- Weight: 171lbs (78kgs)
- Shoe Size: 8 (US)
- Star Sign: Scorpio
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
Charles’ net worth accumulated as both an actor and director is estimated at $1.5 million as of 2020