Auntie Mame Star Roger Smith Dead At The Age Of 84! Survived By Wife
Actor Roger Smith, who gained fame as a detective in the 1950s-'60s ABC private eye series "77 Sunset Strip," dies at the age of eighty-four. The news about Roger Smith’s death was first confirmed by his wife of 50 years Ann-Margret’s agent Jack Gilardi.
According to Gilardi, Smith died at Los Angeles hospital Sunday morning after battling a terminal illness. The actor who survived two serious illness was fighting the nerve disease myasthenia gravis for many years.
Popular for portraying the character of Jeff Spencer on 136 episodes of 77 Sunset Strip, Smith was previously married to Victoria Shaw, a glamorous Australian actress, in 1956.
The couple shares three children together; daughter Tracey Smith (born in 1957), and sons Jordan Smith (born in 1958) and Dallas Smith (born in 1961). Smith got divorced with Victoria in 1965.
Caption: Roger Smith with his ex-wife Victoria Shaw at the Foreign Press Awards in LA on February 1956.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Later, when Smith was getting popular for his portrayals, he was found dating the dynamic singer, dancer and actress Ann-Margret, who is popular for appearing in the films like "Bye Bye Birdie" and ''Viva Las Vegas." Smith and Ann got married in the year 1967 in a very private wedding ceremony in Las Vegas.
Caption: Roger Smith with his wife Ann- Margret, at the Press Room of the 2010 Creative Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, CA.
Photo Credit: People
After getting married to Ann, Smith ended his acting career to manage his wife’s career. In an interview with Rex Reed in 1972, Ann said-
"Now in Roger I've found all the men I need rolled into one — a father, a friend, a lover, a manager, a businessman. It's perfect for me. I couldn't exist without a strong man."
Roger Smith began his career on the 1950s after he was spotted and recommended by James Cagney for numerous films. In the year 1958, he joined 77 Sunset Strip and left after five seasons in 1963 when a blood clot was diagnosed in his brain.
Though the surgery was successful, Smith was later diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in 1965.
Even though Roger Smith is now dead, he is survived by his wife Ann-Margret and his children.
We provide our thoughts and prayers for the grieving family.
Rest in Peace Roger!