Lois Smith biography

The Pledge

Lois Smith

Date of Birth: November 3, 1930

Lois Smith is an American actress whose career has spanned over five decades in theater, television, and film. Born in Topeka, Kansas, she moved to Seattle at the age of 11 with her family. Smith went to school there before attending over two years at the University of Washington’s School of Drama.

Smith’s first professional role was on Broadway in Time Out for Ginger, playing Melvyn Douglas’ teenage daughter. This was followed by stage productions of The Young and Beautiful and Blues for Mr. Charlie. In 1988, Smith worked with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre on The Grapes of Wrath and later became a member of the Steppenwolf Ensemble in 1993. Smith has also appeared in many on and off Broadway plays, as well as in regional theatres. Some of these plays include The Front Page directed by Harris Yulin, Defying Gravity directed by Michael Wilson, and Uncle Vanya directed by Harold Clurman.

Smith also performed in television plays, which led to her appearances in many TV films and miniseries. Her earliest television appearance was on the series Kraft Television Theatre in 1953 and in the series Studio One in 1954. From her introduction in television, Smith has had the opportunity to perform all kinds of television genres from soap operas to primetime dramas to sitcoms. Notable roles Smith has played on television Have been on ER as Gracie; Desperate Housewives as Allison Scavo and on True Blood as Adele Stackhouse. Smith has also appeared in guest roles on shows such as Frasier, Just Shoot Me!, Touched by an Angel, Cold Case, Law and Order, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Having appeared in only two television roles, Smith had the opportunity to make her film debut in East of Eden (1955), starring James Dean. Smith’s success continued as she landed roles in films such as Fatal Attraction (1987) with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, Twister (1996) with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, Minority Report (2002) with Tom Cruise, Hollywoodland (2006) with Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck, and Roadie (2011) with Ron Eldard. Smith then had a role as Aunt Mel in Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012). She can most recently be seen in Lady Bird (2017).

Smith has been nominated for two Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play in both 1990 and 1996. She is the winner of the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1970 and has also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play in 2006.

In 1970, after 22 years of marriage, Smith divorced her husband Wesley Dale Smith. They have one daughter together.

Lois Smith Filmography


  • Lady Bird (2017)
  • Marjorie Prime (2017)
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)
  • Roadie (2011)
  • Please Give (2010)
  • A Dog Year (2009)
  • Diminished Capacity (2008)
  • Killshot (2008)
  • Turn the River (2007)
  • Griffin & Phoenix (2006)
  • Hollywoodland (2006)
  • Little Fugitive (2006)
  • Sweet Land (2005)
  • p.s. (2004)
  • The Best Thief in the World (2004)
  • A Foreign Affair (2003)
  • Red Betsy (2003)
  • Minority Report (2002)
  • The Pledge (2000)
  • Tumbleweeds (1999)
  • Trance (1998)
  • Hudson River Blues (1997)
  • Larger than Life (1996)
  • Twister (1996)
  • Dead Man Walking (1995)
  • How to Make an American Quilt (1995)
  • Holy Matrimony (1994)
  • Falling Down (1993)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
  • Hard Promises (1991)
  • Midnight Run (1988)
  • Black Widow (1987)
  • Fatal Attraction (1987)
  • Twisted (1986)
  • Reckless (1984)
  • Reuben, Reuben (1983)
  • Four Friends (1981)
  • Foxes (1980)
  • Resurrection (1980)
  • Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976)
  • Up the Sandbox (1972)
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  • The Way We Live Now (1970)
  • East of Eden (1955)
  • Strange Lady in Town (1955)

The Pledge

Genre:  Drama, Thriller
Running Time:  124 min.
Release Date: January 19, 2001

Current rating: Rating: 4.59
based on 195 votes and 2 reviews
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Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Benicio Del Toro, Jack Nicholson, Aaron Eckhart, Mickey Rourke, Helen Mirren, Harry Dean Stanton, Robin Wright, Sam Shepard, Chris Penn, Costas Mandylor, Michael O'Keefe, Eileen Ryan, Lois Smith, Patricia Clarkson