About a half hour ago Deadline‘s Mike Fleming reported that veteran publicist Lois Smith, 85, died today at 2 pm in Hebron, Maine, where she had gone to honor her husband, Gene, who was being honored by his alma mater, Hebron University. She fell and hit her head and suffered a brain hemmorhage, Fleming reports. Hugs and condolences to friends, family, colleagues and former clients. I’m very sorry.
Lois was one of the co-founders of Pickwick p.r., which began in 1969 and later merged with Maslansky/Konigsberg to become PMK, which was the big high-powered agency in the ’80s and ’90s with all kinds of hotshot clients. The big PMK triumvirate was Smith, Pat Kingsley and Leslee Dart (who now runs 42West). It was always more pleasant to deal with Lois on stories than Kingsley, who was PMK’s bad cop to Lois’s good cop. But Smith really wasn’t a “cop” at all — she was too alpha-minded and compassionate for that. And she was always calm and collected whatever the story was, and she never barked at me or threatened and she always took time to talk to me as a human being and not as an enemy reporter.
Lois was always fair and honest with me. She sometimes told me stuff I didn’t want to hear, but she was a good person. I liked her. I’m sorry she’s gone.
Lois Smityh (r.), daughter Brooke Smith.
Incidentally: Joe Leydon has pointed out that in their story/obit, TheWrap initially ran a pic of actress Lois Smith (East of Eden, etc.) instead of the publicist. TheWrap currently has a correct photo running.