On the night of February 15th, 2002, our favorite God of War had passed away,

we shall always remember him for his great versatile acting

and how great he was with his fans. Rest In Peace,

for you shall always be in our hearts

Kevin Smith.

Press Releases

 

Kevin Smith had just scored a role in a Bruce Willis action film.

Kevin Smith's life hangs in balance

16.02.2002

The family of leading New Zealand actor Kevin Smith are by his hospital bedside in Beijing as his life hangs in the balance. Auckland-based Smith was critically injured in a fall in the Chinese capital 10 days ago and doctors treating him fear he may not recover from his head injuries.

The accident occurred on February 6, the day after the 38-year-old finished work on a joint US-Chinese production, and as he was preparing to return to NZ. The hunky local star was then to have headed to movie "boot camp" to prepare for what many believed would be his big break, a role in a Hollywood blockbuster starring Bruce Willis.

The doctor treating Smith told the Herald last night that staff from China's top movie production house, Beijing Film Studio, rushed him to the Beijing Union Hospital after the fall. He is believed to be on a life-support machine. The doctor, who did not wish to be named, said Smith had suffered a severe injury to his skull and was in a critical condition. He was at a "crucial" stage.

Acting sources have said he was injured when he fell from a great height, possibly six storeys. His agent, Robert Bruce, would give no details, except to say the fall did not occur on the set of the martial arts movie. Li Hao, a spokeswoman for one of the companies involved in Warriors of Virtue II, said Smith, who had completed his film contract the day before the fall, had made a big impression. "Kevin is a very good actor and liked by his colleagues in the film crew - he is very popular," she said.

Smith's wife, Suzanne, and his parents, Geoff and Yvonne, are understood to be with him. The couple have three children, Oscar, 11, Tyrone, 9, and Willard, 3. Mr Bruce said last night that the actor's family wanted to thank everyone who had sent messages of love and support. They were happy with the medical treatment he was receiving, although the language barrier was a problem.

Smith has starred in many New Zealand stage, television and feature films and is perhaps best known for his role as Ares in Xena: Warrior Princess.

His ambitions to break into the American movie market were realised when he scored a role in the $US70 million ($166 million) Bruce Willis action film Man of War, due to start filming in Hawaii next month. He had leaped at the chance to go to China because the role allowed him to learn from the stuntman who worked on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Comedian Mike King said he had heard that Smith was unconscious from a close friend who had talked to the actor's wife. Rumours have also been circulating that he had lost his eye, although his agent said he did not know.

King, who did stand-up comedy with Smith, said he had found out about the accident four days ago. "With him [the friend] not saying anything, that says it all. If he was going to be fine then we would all know about it right now." Smith, Auckland-born but Timaru-raised, got into acting when his wife and childhood sweetheart saw a casting call while he was sidelined by concussion during the rugby season. He was soon a leading man, happy to laugh at his beefcake image. "A nicer guy you wouldn't find anywhere," King said. "He's an amazing guy."

- STAFF REPORTERS (New Zealand Hearld)

Kevin Smith was on the brink of an acting career breakthrough before his death.

Actor Kevin Smith dies after fall in China

16.02.2002

Leading New Zealand actor Kevin Smith has died in a Beijing hospital after he was critically injured in a fall.

His agent, Robert Bruce, confirmed that the 38-year-old actor had died.

"I received a call from Kevin's family to say that he passed away in his sleep.

"It's a shock to us all, and a major shock to the family. They're just trying to come to terms with it all."

Mr Bruce could provide no further details.

Auckland-based Smith was injured in the Chinese capital 10 days ago and doctors treating him were concerned that he would not recover from serious injuries.

The accident occurred on February 6, the day after the actor finished work on a joint US-Chinese production, and as he was preparing to return to NZ.

The hunky local star was then to have headed to movie "boot camp" to prepare for what many believed would be his big break, a role in a Hollywood blockbuster starring Bruce Willis.

The doctor treating Smith told the Herald last night that staff from China's top movie production house, Beijing Film Studio, rushed him to the Beijing Union Hospital after the fall. Smith was believed to have been on a life-support machine before his death.

The doctor, who did not wish to be named, said Smith had suffered a severe injury to his skull and had been in a critical condition.

Acting sources have said he was injured when he fell from a great height, possibly six storeys.

Li Hao, a spokeswoman for one of the companies involved in Warriors of Virtue II, said Smith, who had completed his film contract the day before the fall, had made a big impression.

Smith's wife, Suzanne, and his parents, Geoff and Yvonne, are understood to have been with him.

In addition to his wife, Mr Smith leaves his three children, Oscar, 11, Tyrone, 9, and Willard, 3.

Mr Bruce said last night that the actor's family wanted to thank everyone who had sent messages of love and support.

Smith starred in many New Zealand stage, television and feature films and is perhaps best known for his role as Ares in Xena: Warrior Princess.

His ambitions to break into the American movie market were realised when he scored a role in the $US70 million ($166 million) Bruce Willis action film Man of War, due to start filming in Hawaii next month.

He had leaped at the chance to go to China because the role allowed him to learn from the stuntman who worked on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Smith, Auckland-born but Timaru-raised, got into acting when his wife and childhood sweetheart saw a casting call while he was sidelined by concussion during the rugby season.

He was soon a leading man, happy to laugh at his beefcake image.

"A nicer guy you wouldn't find anywhere," said friend and Comedian Mike King.

- STAFF REPORTERS (New Zealand Hearld)

Kevin Smith's body coming home

Arrangements being made to bring home body of Kiwi actor Kevin Smith ; died of serious injuries sustained in fall

Actor Kevin Smith
16 February 2002

Arrangements are being made to bring home the body of actor Kevin Smith.

The 37-year-old died in Beijing overnight, after suffering head injuries in a fall.

Embassy staff in Beijing are helping the Smith family to coordinate his return to New Zealand.

Friends, like fellow entertainer Andrew Clay, believe the actor was on the verge of an international breakthrough.

His agent Robert Bruce says Smith's ambition to break into the American market was about to be realised, in a co-starring role with Bruce Willis.

He was to play the good guy on Willis' team in the movie Man of War.

Kevin Smith leaves a wife and three sons.

2002 NZCity, IRN

Wall of silence frustrates Kevin Smith fans

19.02.2002

By LOUISA CLEAVE

Shocked fans of actor Kevin Smith are clamouring to learn more about his fatal fall, but his family are keeping the details firmly under wraps. "Although I now know it is true, I still know nothing of what happened to him," said one fan on an internet site where tributes to Smith are being posted. "If someone could fill me in I would be most grateful."

"How did he fall?" asked another fan from Indiana, whose ill son had received Xena memorabilia, including pictures of Smith, which were hanging on her living room wall. Smith died on Saturday from head injuries sustained in the fall from a building several storeys high. The 38-year-old had been in China filming a martial arts movie and was due to act in another film, A Man of War, starring Bruce Willis. The accident happened up to two weeks ago but was publicly revealed just last week in a statement released by his agent, Robert Bruce. Confusion surrounds the events leading up to the fall. Mr Bruce said it did not happen during filming but has given no other details.

It is thought Smith had been celebrating with staff from Beijing Film Studio. They rushed him to hospital. The New Zealand Embassy in Beijing could not shed any light. A spokesman said Smith's family had asked them not to release any information, including discussing arrangements to bring the actor's body home, although that is thought to be happening later this week. TVNZ has rescheduled a series Smith narrated and pulled ads featuring the actor. A TVNZ spokeswoman said they would talk to Smith's family in due time and if they supported the idea, the ads would return.

Two Slightly different articles on kevin

Delays to return of Kevin Smith's body


Return of actor Kevin Smith's body from Beijing delayed because of Chinese New Year; died of head injuries


18 February 2002

The return of actor Kevin Smith's body is being delayed because of the Chinese New Year.

The 38-year-old Kiwi died Saturday morning in a Beijing hospital, after sustaining head injuries in a fall.

Mr Smith's agent, Robert Bruce, says it will probably take at least another two or three days before the body arrives back in New Zealand.

He says a death certificate must be issued before Mr Smith's body can leave China.

Robert Bruce says funeral arrangements will not be finalised until family members return to New Zealand from Beijing.

He says Kevin Smith's family is still in shock over the death.

Delay in releasing actor's body


Actor Kevin Smith's funeral arrangements won't be made until his body returns from Beijing in 2 or 3 days


18 February 2002 Funeral arrangements for actor Kevin Smith will not be finalised until his body returns to New Zealand.

The 38-year-old died on Saturday morning in a Beijing hospital after sustaining head injuries in a fall.

Mr Smith's agent, Robert Bruce, says Chinese New Year celebrations have delayed the issuing of a death certificate.

He says the body can't leave China until the death certificate has been signed.

Robert Bruce expects it to be probably another two or three days before Kevin Smith's body returns to New Zealand.

Arts and Culture Minister Judith Tizard says the Government is doing all it can to help the family who are in China.

2002 NZCity, IRN

More details surrounding actor's death


Agent of actor Kevin Smith says 38-year-old was checking out sets at film studio when fell to his death in China

 

19 February 2002

 

More details have been released about the circumstances leading to the death of actor Kevin Smith.

His agent Robert Bruce says the 38-year-old was checking out sets at a film studio in Hebie province in China, when he fell from a tower.

Smith dropped several metres onto a stone base, apparently hitting his head several times on the way down.

The actor was semi-conscious when he was taken to a local hospital.

From there he was transferred to a hospital in Beijing, where he fell into a deep coma.

Robert Bruce says Smith was showing signs of recovery, but four days after the accident his body went into shock and he died.

Smith was in China filming an American movie, Warriors of Virtue Two.

Tampa Tribune

Xena's Ares Dies After Fall


2.17.2002

 

  A New Zealand actor who played the leather-clad, bicep-bulging God of War, Ares, in "Xena: Warrior Princess" has died after taking a tumble in china.

  Kevin Smith, 38, died in a hospital late last week from head injuries he suffered in Beijing, where he had been working on a film.

  Smith played the Warrior Princess's love interest in the fantasy drama starring Lucy Lawless

Showbiz friends invite fans to Smith's farewell



23.02.2002

Auckland's acting community is planning a special farewell for colleague Kevin Smith, who died in China last week.

Details are still being decided, but Smith's friend, actor and director Michael Hurst, said fans would be welcome at the memorial at the Aotea Centre on Thursday.

Smith, 38, known worldwide for his roles in Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules, died of head injuries in a Chinese hospital last Saturday, 10 days after a fall from a film-set castle.

His family are understood to be bringing his body home this weekend.

They plan a private funeral in his home town of Timaru.

Hurst, Auckland Theatre Company head Simon Prast and Xena star Lucy Lawless are among those organising the memorial. They are also discussing setting up a trust fund in the actor's name. The trust may benefit the family - wife Suzanne and three young sons - or his profession.

Hurst, who was at a Xena convention in the United States when news of Smith's death came through, said the 4000 to 5000 fans there began a collection that raised about $US25,000 ($60,000) for his family. That money has been placed in a trust account until a decision is made about how it may be used.

Smith was a favourite at conventions overseas and also supported charitable work, including encouraging education among sick teenagers.



http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=940811&

thesection=entertainment&subsection=general

here's Kevin's obit in the New York Times.

KEVIN SMITH, 38, ACTOR IN 'XENA' TV SERIES

Beijing, Feb. 21, 02 (AP)

Kevin Smith, who played the god of war in the "Xena" television series, died of head injuries last Friday in a hospital here, said a doctor. He was 38.

The New Zealand Herald reported that Mr. Smith fell from a great height, possibly six stories. He was in China to film a martial arts film, but the newspaper said that he was not on the set when he fell.

Mr. Smith, who was from New Zealand, worked mostly in his native country, but was preparing for his first Hollywood role in the action film, "Man of War," starring Bruce Willis. Filming was to start next month in Hawaii.

He was hospitalized after a fall on Feb. 6 while here to shoot the American-Chinese martial arts film "Warriors of Virtue II." Mr. Smith had reportedly wanted to do the Beijing movie so he could work with the stuntman from the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." He starred in several plays, television shows and movies. His biggest role was Ares in the New Zealand-made "Xena: Warrior Princess." He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Smith, and sons Oscar, Tyrone and Willard.

2.26.2002 - Sci-Fi Channel's News of the week

Xena Actor Smith Dies

New Zealand actor Kevin Smith, best known for his role as Ares in Xena: Warrior Princess, died from jnjuries sustained in a fall on Feb. 6 in Beijing, the New Zealand Herald reported. He was 38.

Smith, who also worked on the SCI FI Channel's upcoming original television film Riverworld, was injured the day after he finished work on Warriors of Virtue II, a joint U.S.-Chinese film production, the newspaper reported. Smith was headed to a movie boot camp to prepare for a big role in Man of War, a Hollywood film starring Bruce Willis. Acting sources told the Herald that Smith was injured when he fell from a great height, possibly six stories. The actor was then taken to a hospital, where he was placed on life support before succumbing to his injuries, the newspaper reported.

Smith's wife, Suzanne, and his parents, Geoff and Yvonne, were reportedly at his side at the time of his death. In addition to his wife, Smith leaves his three children, Oscar, 11, Tyrone, 9, and Willard, 3, the newspaper reported.


Kevin Smith. Picture / Kenny Rodger

Kevin Smith fell from film set tower, agent reveals



19.02.2002
By LOUISA CLEAVE

Kevin Smith was climbing a film prop designed like a castle when he fell on to a stone base, causing the head injuries that led to his death.

The actor had been drinking but was not intoxicated, his agent said yesterday.

Robert Bruce gave details of the New Zealand actor's death in China on behalf of Smith's wife, Suzanne, and family.

He said the accident happened on Smith's last day on the set of the movie Warriors of Virtue II, and no one saw it.

Smith had arranged to finish filming early so he could return to New Zealand and spend time with his family before heading to the United States. He was to enter a Navy SEALS "boot camp" to prepare for his next role, acting alongside Bruce Willis in Hawaii.

Mr Bruce said he understood Smith drank a couple of beers, ate dinner and took a walk around the Central China Television film studios while he waited for a ride to his hotel.

The studios are in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of the Hebei Province, 250km southwest of Beijing.

"He went for a wander around the film set and there was this castle-type film set structure which he climbed and fell," Mr Bruce said. "We don't know why but he was found at the base of that with head injuries.

"On film sets there are no bars or anything like that. If you have a couple of beers it's because someone brings in a six-pack at the end of the night."

He did not know how much time elapsed before Smith was discovered, semi-conscious. Mr Bruce said Smith's family had visited the film set where he died and had told him the structure was about three storeys high.

Smith was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to Beijing in the early hours of February 6.

At the Beijing hospital he fell into a coma and did not regain consciousness.

After several days, Smith showed signs of recovery, but his body went into shock, said Mr Bruce who had told Friday night's Holmes television show that the injuries were not life-threatening. He learned early on Saturday that Smith had died.

Mr Bruce said there were no suspicious circumstances and police were not investigating the accident. An autopsy was not carried out.

Asked if climbing a film prop was something Smith would normally do, Mr Bruce said: "This was one which must have taken his fancy as a lookout.

"I guess if you put yourself in the same position, you've finished filming, you're in the studio, some people have gone home, you're waiting for a lift and wandering around. Some of these sets I've been on are absolute works of art.

"So yeah, there'd be a certain amount of interest [in this prop] I'm sure."

Snip of an email witht he address for the Kevin Smith Fund

 

The address is:

 

The Kevin Smith Trust
c/o Auckland Theatre Company
P. O. Box 6513
Wellesley Street
Auckland
New Zealand

 

American check and money orders are accepted.


Quotes

"When the living think of the dead....the dead can hear our thoughts...."


	From Xena: Warrior Princess
	repeated by a loyal fan of Kevin Smith

                    A Special Person

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them,

a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.


POEMS

If there wre dreams to sell,
What would you buy?
Some cost a passing bell;
Some a light sigh,
That shakes from Life's fresh crown
Only a rose-leaf down.
If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rang the bell,
What you buy?
A cottage lone and still,
With bowers nigh,
Shadowy, my woes to still,
Until, I die.
Such a pearl from Life's fresh crown
Fain would I shake down.
Were dreams to have at will,
This would best heal my ill,
This I would buy. T.L. Beddoes "Dream-Pedlary"

Sent to me by Charles Lang

LINKS

Creation Entertainment's Tribute to Kevin Smith

My Copy of Creation's site (in case it is shutdown for some reason)