Lois Smith was a publicist from the old school, one who believed that Hollywood stars should still carry a little bit of mystery and glamour.
Smith — one of the founders of what became the powerhouse PR firm PMK*BMC, and whose famous clients included Robert Redford and Marilyn Monroe — died Sunday, after a brain hemorrhage suffered in a fall on a trip to Maine with her husband. She was 84.
As Redford’s rep for many years, Smith was a regular fixture at the Sundance Film Festival, often accompanying the Sundance Institute’s founder to press conferences and other events.
Smith’s other famous clients included Martin Scorsese, Gina Lollobrigida, Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty, Liza Minnelli, Whitney Houston and Rosie O’Donnell.
In retirement, Smith said she believed the publicity game had changed too much with wall-to-wall celebrity coverage.
“Between celebrity magazines and Web sites, there’s so much out there to be filled up, so much information that has to be put out there simply because those publications exist.” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter in 2010. “First of all, whatever you’re pushing, it becomes a story 30 seconds after you put it out there. I don’t care about hearing so much information minute by minute. People are desperate to fill the space they’ve got; they’ll print anything, go with anything, pursue rumors, and even create them. It’s not what I call publicity.”