JJ Abrams on special make-up fx artist Dick Smith: "He was the Beatles to me."


From JJ Abrams's fantastic tribute to Dick Smith, the pioneering SFX make-up artist behind The Exorcist, Scanners, Little Big Man, and so many more:

It was in 1981 as a 9th grader and, how do I say this, an insanely rabid Dick Smith fan after admiring his work from The Exorcist to Scanners, The Godfather and Altered States, I wrote the man a fan letter — never expecting to hear back.

I came home from school one day and found a cardboard box addressed to me. The return address was Dick Smith, Larchmont, New York.

My heart pounded as I opened the box.

The enclosed note read, "Dear J.J., Here's an old, but clean, tongue from The Exorcist. Put peanut butter inside it, to stick it on. Or moisten inside and put dental-plated adhesive powder inside it. Yours, Dick."

My mother was very concerned.

"He was the Beatles to me." (Medium)