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Press Release

Contact:
Teresa S. Thomas
412-268-3580

For immediate release:
September 27, 2002

Multi Emmy Award-Winning Producer-Director Gary Smith to Speak with Carnegie Mellon Drama Students and Receive Alumni Award,
Oct. 4

EVENT: Multi Emmy Award-winning producer-director Gary Smith will return to Carnegie Mellon University to discuss techniques for television production success with drama students on October 4. A 1956 graduate, Smith will receive the university's Distinguished Achievement Award that evening as part of Homecoming weekend on campus.

As a partner in the production company Smith-Hemion, Smith defined the word "special" for variety television. The team has won an unprecedented 24 Emmy Awards. Their achievements range from the celebration of Liberty Weekend, featuring performances at the unveiling of the restored Statue of Liberty, to a one-woman show with Barbra Streisand. Smith produced Paul McCartney's first and only television special and Elvis Presley's last. He has been executive producer of more than six Tony Award telecasts and was responsible for the production of the Democratic National Convention in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000.

WHEN: Smith will present a guest seminar to drama students from 3 - 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 4. He will then be presented with the Distinguished Achievement Award at a private alumni reception and dinner that begins at 7 p.m.

WHERE: The drama seminar, open only to Carnegie Mellon students, will take place in the Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theatre in Room 118 in the Purnell Center for the Arts. Press will be admitted only with prior arrangements.

CONTACT: Carnegie Mellon's Teresa Thomas at 412-268-3580 to make arrangements to observe the seminar and/or to interview Gary Smith.

BIOGRAPHY: Gary Smith is one of Hollywood's most accomplished and respected producer-directors. With his longtime (and recently retired) collaborator Dwight Hemion, Smith defined the term "special" for variety television. Creator of many of television's most memorable and successful specials, the team has won an unprecedented 24 Emmy Awards. These range from the celebration of Liberty Weekend, featuring thousands of performers at the unveiling of the restored Statue of Liberty, to the acclaimed one-woman show, "Barbra Streisand: the Concert" in 1994.

Smith produced Paul McCartney's first and only television special, Elvis Presley's last, Bette Midler's first and Bing Crosby's last. He was executive producer of more than six Tony Award telecasts, including the 2001 and 2002 Tonys, and the "I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special." Smith was responsible for the production of the Democratic National Convention in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000, Baryshnikov on Broadway, an adaptation of Peter Pan that starred Mia Farrow and Danny Kaye, four years of Emmys, three years of People's Choice Awards, four years of AFI "100 Years" specials, ABC's 24-hour millennium celebration, Command Performances specials for the Queen of England, as well as productions for Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, The Apollo, Woody Allen and Radio City Music Hall, among others. Smith produced President Reagan's Inaugural Gala in 1985 and President Clinton's in 1993 and 1997.

Smith graduated from Carnegie Mellon University's Drama Department with a degree in scenic design in 1956 and became the producer of the Judy Garland series in 1963. Two years later, on his series "Hullabaloo," he met and later married Maxine Smith (who was cited in the Architectural Digest AD 100 issue as one of the leading interior designers of the world). They have two sons, Jake and Zack, who both work in the business, and (Gary) Smith has three children from a previous marriage, Daisy, Doug and Sam. His proudest achievement is his position as starting catcher (for the past 12+ years) for the Hollywood celebrity baseball game at Dodger Stadium.

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