Lois Smith, the New York-based publicist who helped promote the careers of Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese among many others, died early Sunday of a brain hemorrhage after an accidental fall. Smith, along with Pat Kingsley, Gerry Johnson and Pat Newcomb, formed Pickwick Public Relations in 1969, a company that would later become PMK/HBH.
Smith and her husband Eugene Smith were visiting Hebron Academy, where they were being honored for their fund-raising efforts. Smith’s clients also included Gina Lollobrigida, Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty, Liza Minnelli and Whitney Houston.
Smith won the Publicist Guild’s Life Achievement Award in 2003. her friend Scorsese testified, “Lois stands out as a beacon in the industry,” Scorsese said at the time. Smith, who was retired at the time, expressed her disdain for the modern world of social media in a 2010 interview with BU Today.
“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.”