Gary Smith

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In the three-hour long, solo portion of his Archive interview, Gary Smith talks about his early years and his college career in set designing. He describes his professional set designing and the stars of the television series The Kraft Music Hall and The Judy Garland Show. He touches on producing Hullabaloo and talks in detail about collaborating with director/producer Dwight Hemion. Smith recalls their producing of many television specials starring Ann-Margret, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Herb Alpert, and Shirley MacLaine (among others), and he outlines his projects without Hemion, such as The Tony Awards and the AFI series of 100 Years shows. In the joint portion of their Archive interview, Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion recall their long-running partnership and the founding of their production company. They discuss their working relationship, and how they complimented each other as producing and directing partners. They conclude by mentioning some of their proudest company achievements and stars they've enjoyed working with over the years. The interviews were conducted on July 9, 2001 with Karen Herman conducting Smith's solo portion and Michael Rosen doing the joint Smith and Hemion portion, all in Hollywood, CA.

"If you want to be a creative producer in television, first learn about life, learn about business, learn about art, learn about music, and just absorb as much material that will then be able to be used for the things that you decide that you want to produce."

Highlights
Gary Smith on how doing scenic design was different on television than it was for theater and designing a promo for The Jackie Gleason Show
03:32
Gary Smith on working with Barbra Streisand on her various specials
02:39
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the highlights of their partnership, including the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
04:25
Gary Smith on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show and on Garland's friendship with then-President John F. Kennedy
03:07
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on their proudest company achievements, including Rockette: A Holiday Tribute to Radio City Music Hall
04:06
Gary Smith on producing Liberty Weekend
02:24
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on the first time he saw television and shows he watched as a child; on majoring in theater arts at Carnegie Mellon (then Carnegie Tech)
09:40
On going to work doing scenic design for CBS; on how doing scenic design was different for television than for theater and designing a promo for The Jackie Gleason Show; on doing scenic design for The Andy Williams Show, and on producing Baryshnikov on Broadway and The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots
15:10
On working with Andy Williams on The Andy Williams Show; on working on Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
03:05

Chapter 2

On working with his partner Dwight Hemion on Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall; on his duties as a set designer, and on working with Harry Belafonte on "Tonight with Belafonte" on The Revlon Revue
12:30
On working with Sammy Davis, Jr. and on working with African-American performers; on working with Perry Como on The Kraft Music Hall; on going to do art direction for The Judy Garland Show
15:58

Chapter 3

On the challenges of acting as art director for The Judy Garland Show, and on becoming the producer of the show; on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show, and on Garland's friendship with then-President John F. Kennedy; on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing the show
11:06
On the art direction of The Judy Garland Show, and on Jerry Van Dyke leaving the show; on favorite moments of The Judy Garland Show and on being fired from the show; on how people dealt with Judy Garland's volatility on the set of The Judy Garland Show, and on working with Mel Tormé on the show
10:11
On producing The Bell Telephone Hour and Ford Presents the New Christy Minstrels, and on how he came to produce Hullabaloo; on the state of rock and roll on television when Hullabaloo came along
07:22

Chapter 4

On memorable moments of Hullabaloo; on dealing with musical performers' agents and managers as producer of Hullabaloo, and on the dancers of the show; on starting his production company with Dwight Hemion, and on Yorkshire Productions producing the later years of The Kraft Music Hall with stars like Alan King
15:59
On producing the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and on working with Frank Sinatra; on producing various shows in London for Lew Grade, including James Paul McCartney and Peter Pan, starring Mia Farrow; on the differences between producing in the United Kingdom and producing in the United States and on working with Jim Henson
12:37

Chapter 5

On producing Singer Presents Tony Bennett, directed by Dwight Hemion, and on producing Sammy for Sammy Davis, Jr.; on how he comes to produce projects, including tributes and awards shows; on producing Burt Bacharach: Opus No. 3 and Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back
14:37
On working with Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and Lew Grade on various projects; on returning to the United States in 1976 with Dwight Hemion after several years in the United Kingdom and focusing on producing specials; on then-current solo projects and on producing the Democratic National Convention
13:35

Chapter 6

On producing the Tony Awards; on producing Liberty Weekend; on career highlights
08:16
On the end of the variety format; on advice to aspiring producers; on his mentors; on the importance of continuing to work, and on how he would like to be remembered
07:40

Chapter 7

START OF JOINT INTERVIEW WITH DWIGHT HEMION AND GARY SMITH: On forming their partnership at Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall; on the importance of Gary's art design background and on their communication with each other; on choosing projects to work on, and on their production company
11:01
On the highlights of their partnership, including the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass; on working together as producing partners and on coming up with ideas; on dealing with pressure and working with luminaries like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
17:54

Chapter 8

On how performers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand regarded the medium of television; on the atmosphere on the set of their productions and how they collaborate on set; on the elements of a successful producing and directing partnership and on why theirs worked
14:13
On staffing their projects and keeping their collaborations fresh; on their proudest company achievements, including Rockette: A Holiday Tribute to Radio City Music Hall; on performers they enjoyed working with over the years, including Bette Davis
14:41
Shows

Andy Williams Show, The

View Show Page
Gary Smith on doing scenic design for The Andy Williams Show
02:37
Gary Smith on the white sets of The Andy Williams Show and on producing Baryshnikov on Broadway and The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots
06:32
Gary Smith on working with Andy Williams on The Andy Williams Show
01:21

Baryshnikov on Broadway

View Show Page
Gary Smith on the white sets of The Andy Williams Show and on producing Baryshnikov on Broadway and The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots
06:33

Bell Telephone Hour, The

View Show Page
Gary Smith on producing The Bell Telephone Hour and Ford Presents the New Christy Minstrels, and on how he came to produce Hullabaloo
03:31

Democratic National Convention

View Show Page
Gary Smith on then-current solo projects and on producing the Democratic National Convention
02:43

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. and on winning Emmy Awards
05:39

Frank Sinatra Specials

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. and on winning Emmy Awards
05:39

Hullabaloo

View Show Page
Gary Smith on producing The Bell Telephone Hour and Ford Presents the New Christy Minstrels, and on how he came to produce Hullabaloo
03:32
Gary Smith on the state of rock and roll on television when Hullabaloo came along
03:50
Gary Smith on memorable moments of Hullabaloo, including the performance of Shirley Ellis' "The Name Game"
03:28
Gary Smith on dealing with musical performers' agents and managers as producer of Hullabaloo, and on the dancers of the show
02:31

Jackie Gleason Show, The

View Show Page
Gary Smith on how doing scenic design was different for television than for theater and designing a promo for The Jackie Gleason Show
03:33

Judy Garland Show, The

View Show Page
Gary Smith on going to do art direction for The Judy Garland Show
01:31
Gary Smith on the challenges of acting as art director for The Judy Garland Show, and on becoming the producer of the show
04:21
Gary Smith on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show, and on Garland's friendship with then-President John F. Kennedy
03:07
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38
Gary Smith on the art direction of The Judy Garland Show and on Jerry Van Dyke leaving the show
02:48
Gary Smith on favorite moments of The Judy Garland Show, and on being fired from the show
04:51
Gary Smith on how people dealt with Judy Garland's volatility on the set of The Judy Garland Show and on working with Mel Tormé on the show
02:32

Kraft Music Hall, The

View Show Page
Gary Smith on working on Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
01:43
Gary Smith on working with his partner Dwight Hemion on Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
05:51
Gary Smith on working with Perry Como on The Kraft Music Hall
04:11
Gary Smith on starting his production company with Dwight Hemion, and on Yorkshire Productions producing the later years of The Kraft Music Hall with stars like Alan King
06:18
Gary Smith on his duties as producer of The Kraft Music Hall, and on his working relationship with partner Dwight Hemion
03:42
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on forming their partnership at Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
05:20

Tony Awards

View Show Page
Gary Smith on producing the Tony Awards
02:18
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Gary Smith on advice to aspiring producers
02:24

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Gary Smith on his mentors and people who he has mentored
02:18

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Gary Smith on working with Sammy Davis, Jr. and on working with African-American performers
10:14

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. and on winning Emmy Awards
05:39

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Gary Smith on working with Sammy Davis, Jr. and on working with African-American performers
10:14
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38

John F. Kennedy

View Topic
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38
Gary Smith on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show and on Garland's friendship with then-President John F. Kennedy
03:06

Minorities

View Topic
Gary Smith on working with Sammy Davis, Jr. and on working with African-American performers
10:14

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Gary Smith on his mentors and people who he has mentored
02:18

Pop Culture

View Topic
Gary Smith on the state of rock and roll on television when Hullabaloo came along
03:50

Rock 'n' Roll on TV (1950s & '60s)

View Topic
Gary Smith on the state of rock and roll on television when Hullabaloo came along
03:50

Television Industry

View Topic
Gary Smith on advice to aspiring producers
02:24

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38
Gary Smith on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show and on Garland's friendship with then-President John F. Kennedy
03:06
Professions

Designers

View Profession
Gary Smith on his duties as a set designer and on working with Harry Belafonte on "Tonight with Belafonte" on The Revlon Revue
06:37

Directors

View Profession
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the importance of Gary's art design background, and on their communication with each other
02:24
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on choosing projects to work on, and on their production company
03:17
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with pressure when working on a project
02:33
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on working together as producing partners and on coming up with ideas
05:16
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the atmosphere on the set of their productions and how they collaborate on set
07:01
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the elements of a successful producing and directing partnership and on why theirs worked
03:16
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on staffing their projects
02:56
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on keeping their collaborations fresh
04:12

Performers

View Profession
Gary Smith on the differences between producing in the United Kingdom and producing in the United States, and on working with Jim Henson
04:19

Producers

View Profession
Gary Smith on how he comes to produce projects, including tributes and awards shows
06:29
Gary Smith on advice to aspiring producers
02:23
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on working together as producing partners and on coming up with ideas
05:16
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with pressure when working on a project
02:33
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on choosing projects to work on and on their production company
03:17
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the importance of Gary's art design background, and on their communication with each other
02:24
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the atmosphere on the set of their productions and how they collaborate on set
07:01
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the elements of a successful producing and directing partnership and on why theirs worked
03:16
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on staffing their projects
02:56
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on keeping their collaborations fresh
04:12

Set Designer

View Profession
Gary Smith on his duties as a set designer and on working with Harry Belafonte on "Tonight with Belafonte" on The Revlon Revue
06:37
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Gary Smith on doing art direction for Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
05:51
Gary Smith on his duties as a set designer and on working with Harry Belafonte on "Tonight with Belafonte" on The Revlon Revue
06:37
Gary Smith on working with Perry Como on The Kraft Music Hall
04:11
Gary Smith on producing The Judy Garland Show
21:17
Gary Smith on producing The Bell Telephone Hour and Ford Presents the New Christy Minstrels, and on how he came to produce Hullabaloo
07:22
Gary Smith on producing the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
02:07
Gary Smith producing Hullabaloo
05:59
Gary Smith producing The Kraft Music Hall
10:00
Gary Smith on producing various shows in London for Lew Grade including James Paul McCartney and Peter Pan, starring Mia Farrow
05:00
Gary Smith on producing Singer Presents Tony Bennett, directed by Dwight Hemion, and on producing Sammy for Sammy Davis, Jr.
04:36
Gary Smith on producing Burt Bacharach: Opus No. 3 and Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back
03:28
Gary Smith on working with Barbra Streisand on her various specials
02:40
Gary Smith on working with Neil Diamond
01:45
Gary Smith on the end of the variety format
01:02
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the highlights of their partnership, including the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
04:25
People

Burt Bacharach

View Person Page
Gary Smith on producing Burt Bacharach: Opus No. 3 and Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back
03:30

Harry Belafonte

View Person Page
Gary Smith on his duties as a set designer and on working with Harry Belafonte on "Tonight with Belafonte" on The Revlon Revue
06:37

Tony Bennett

View Person Page
Gary Smith on producing Singer Presents Tony Bennett, directed by Dwight Hemion, and on producing Sammy for Sammy Davis, Jr.
04:36

Perry Como

View Person Page
Gary Smith on working with Perry Como on The Kraft Music Hall
04:11

Bette Davis

View Person Page
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on performers they enjoyed working with over the years, including Bette Davis
03:25

Sammy Davis, Jr.

View Person Page
Gary Smith on working with Sammy Davis, Jr. and on working with African-American performers
10:14
Gary Smith on producing Singer Presents Tony Bennett, directed by Dwight Hemion, and on producing Sammy for Sammy Davis, Jr.
04:36
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39

Neil Diamond

View Person Page
Gary Smith on working with Neil Diamond
01:45

Jerry Van Dyke

View Person Page
Gary Smith on the art direction of The Judy Garland Show and on Jerry Van Dyke leaving the show
02:47

Mia Farrow

View Person Page
Gary Smith on producing various shows in London for Lew Grade including James Paul McCartney and Peter Pan, starring Mia Farrow
05:00

Judy Garland

View Person Page
Gary Smith on the challenges of acting as art director for The Judy Garland Show, and on becoming the producer of the show
04:20
Gary Smith on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show
03:06
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38
Gary Smith on favorite moments of The Judy Garland Show and on being fired from the show
04:50
Gary Smith on how people dealt with Judy Garland's volatility on the set of The Judy Garland Show and on working with Mel Tormé on the show
02:31

Lew Grade

View Person Page
Gary Smith on producing various shows in London for Lew Grade including James Paul McCartney and Peter Pan, starring Mia Farrow
05:00
Gary Smith on working with Lew Grade on various projects
04:06

Dwight Hemion

View Interview Page
Gary Smith on working with his partner Dwight Hemion on Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
05:51
Gary Smith on starting his production company with Dwight Hemion, and on Yorkshire Productions producing the later years of The Kraft Music Hall
06:18
Gary Smith on his duties as producer of Kraft Music Hall, and on his working relationship with partner Dwight Hemion
03:42
Gary Smith on producing Singer Presents Tony Bennett, directed by Dwight Hemion, and on producing Sammy for Sammy Davis, Jr.
04:36
Gary Smith on returning to the United States in 1976 with Dwight Hemion after several years in the United Kingdom and focusing on producing specials
02:22

Jim Henson

View Person Page
Gary Smith on working with Jim Henson
01:01

John F. Kennedy

View Person Page
Gary Smith on Judy Garland's personal struggles during the run of The Judy Garland Show, and on Garland's friendship with then-President John F. Kennedy
03:06
Gary Smith on dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy while producing The Judy Garland Show
03:38

Alan King

View Person Page
Gary Smith on starting his production company with Dwight Hemion, and on Yorkshire Productions producing the later years of The Kraft Music Hall with stars like Alan King
06:18

Paul McCartney

View Person Page
Gary Smith on producing various shows in London for Lew Grade including James Paul McCartney and Peter Pan, starring Mia Farrow
05:00

Bette Midler

View Person Page
Gary Smith on producing Burt Bacharach: Opus No. 3 and Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back
03:30

Frank Sinatra

View Person Page
Gary Smith on working with Frank Sinatra
01:11
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on how performers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand regarded the medium of television
03:56

Barbra Streisand

View Person Page
Gary Smith on working with Barbra Streisand on her various specials
02:39
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on how performers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand regarded the medium of television
03:56

Andy Williams

View Interview Page
Gary Smith on working with Andy Williams on The Andy Williams Show
01:21

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