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NOT FORGOTTEN: Kevin Smith's Lasting Legacy

New Zealand Woman's Weekly

25 June 2007

Article Contributed by Calli

Scans of the article

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Celebrity friends of the late actor Kevin Smith rally to assist his family

When actor Kevin Smith fell to his death on a Beijing movie set in 2002, it was a cruel blow to his many fans, who were just starting to see the star of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess fulfil his Hollywood potential. But it was an even bigger tragedy for Kevin's childhood sweetheart and wife of 18 years, Suzanne, and their three young sons Oscar, Tyrone and Willard. The family has never spoken publicly about the freak accident nor asked for help but now, five years on, Kevin's friends are joining together to support his family through the Kevin Smith Family Trust.

Stunt performers Craig Dunn and Shaughan Campbell, close friends of Kevin and creators of clothing line Onset Industries, were reminiscing one night about the many good times they had working with Kevin and came up with the idea of a T-shirt to honour him. Craig explains, "The lion motif represents Kevin and the presence he had among his work colleagues. It also represents the old Lion Safari Park, a former wildlife park now used as a training ground for actors, stunt performers and filmmakers, which was the last place we all worked together." Many people from the film industry have donated time from their busy schedules to make this tribute possible.

These include Kevin's good friends Xena star Lucy Lawless, Hercules star Kevin Sorbo, stunt-woman and Death Proof actress ZoeBell, plus actors Joel Tobeck, Oliver Driver and Michael Hurst. Proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will go to the Kevin Smith Family Trust and all those who buy one from www.onset.co.nz will go into a draw to win a half-day on the set of Outrageous Fortune, where they'll hang out and have lunch with the popular TV3 show's \ actors, crew and stunt team.

Entries close Friday 31 August.

 
OLIVER DRIVER
"Kev should be remembered, talked
about, laughed at and loved for as long as any of us that knew him still have breath in our bodies. He was, and still is, a dear friend and a source of constant humour for me. I love him and miss him and think of him often. Please buy a T-shirt to support his-family or, as Kev would say, I'll smash you in the neck!"

LUCY LAWLESS
"I think of Kev often. He never took himself seriously, though deep down he knew he was
capable of far greater achievements than those publicly known. His friends and colleagues knew it and we were shocked when his life was cut short. I feel he was recalled from active duty somehow. I hope his sons will always feel their dad's presence in their lives and Sue will always feel his support Boy, it can't be easy. The Kevin Smith Trust is a way Kevin's friends and fans
can express to his family how much he gave them. We're really grateful to those who have contributed over the years."

KEVIN SORBO
"I have fond, wonderful memories of Kevin. I always enjoyed working with him but I had a better time on our golfing adventures - he always cracked me up. I still find it all hard to believe he's gone. Last time I came back to Auckland, I went to Kevin's grave, where a group of us drank beer and talked about memories. It helped bring me closer to a reality I didn't want to face. Kev had a long career in the profession he loved-then it was all taken away from him. But more tragic is the fact that his three small boys will grow up without him."

ZOE BELL
"I met Kevin working on Xena. I never had dinner with his family or had a pint at the pub with him, but I wish I'd done both. The beautiful thing about Kev was that it didn't matter. I loved him anyway - I couldn't help it. His laughter, his sense of humour, his spirit. There was something fresh and comforting about him. People spoke about Kevin when he was alive the way most people don't get spoken about until after they pass away. It seems to me it didn't matter how well or long you'd known Kevin -the effect was the same. Kevin, you are a gem. I think about you and your family often."

MICHAEL HURST

"Kevin was a great actor and a great friend-a man who somehow managed to combine audacity with humility. We all loved Kevin and still miss him greatly. So often I'm casting a show and suddenly think, 'Where is Kev when you need him?' 'Unavailable' is the answer and I mourn his loss once more, while celebrating his talent and his friendship. I'll have one for you tonight, Kevin. You deserve it, mate."