Actress Mildred Joanne Smith, who played Sidney Poitier’s wife in her lone movie outing “Non Way Out”, has passed away. She was 94.
Smith died on July 19, her family announced.
She is survived by daughter Vanessa, son David, stepdaughter Valerie and grandchildren Brandon, Chelsea, Cole, Kaleo, Sage and Koa, said The Hollywood Reporter.
She starred on many Broadway productions like “Men to the Seas”, “Mamba’s Daughters”, “Beggar’s Holiday” (as the love interest of Alfred Drake), “Forward the Heart” and “A Long Way From Home”.
All were short-lived, but she received great reviews.
In writer-director Joseph L Mankiewicz’s “No Way Out”, Smith appeared as stoic young wife Cora Brooks but her career was curtailed when she was injured in a plane crash 91952) that killed 25 people.
The injuries included a broken back and ribs.
Her story was told that month in Jet magazine, with cover lines that described her as “The Magnificent Failure: She Won Fame but Never Quite Could Attain Stardom”.
After recovering, Smith concentrated on a singing career and starred with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in a musical revue, “Cockles and Champagne”, created for the London stage.
Later, she worked as women’s editor for the black lifestyle publication Our World magazine and as a teacher at Eastview Junior High School in White Plains, NY.
Smith was married to David A Hepburn, a journalist and vice president for WNEW-TV in New York. He died in 1985.