Oscar Smith

born: 28 October 1885
Topeka, Kansas,
United States of America
died: 18 March 1956
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(brinchopneumonia and cerebral atrophy/arteriosclerosis, age 70)

Short Black American actor of the 1920s and 1930s. Oscar himself gives a birth year of 1884 on both draft cards (WWI & WWII); 1900 Census gives a birth date of "Feb 1884." 1885 is what his wife Nora gave on his death certificate.
He was previously a valet for actor Wallace Reid (Oscar's wife Nora [née LeVertt] also worked as a maid for Reid and his wife, actress Dorothy Davenport). When Reid died in 1923, he left Smith "a heritage of garments, house furnishings, a little money and a life-time job. Reid also saw to it that Oscar should have the shoe shining and cigar stand concessions on the Paramount lot as long as he might live." It was here that Smith began appearing in movies in porter and servile roles, since he was nearby.

Height: 5'3½"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


High C's
Negro soldier

Acknowledgements & sources:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9VC-XJ5 (1900 Census)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZVF-X1M (WWI draft reg. card)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHQF-XF3 (1920 Census - with Reids)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH7Q-J26 (1920 Census - with Nora)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K88M-RSP (1921 marriage)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCVF-35Z (1930 Census)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9C1-6DR (1940 Census)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V4D7-CSP (WWII draft reg. card)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPWM-77YD (death certificate)
https://archive.org/stream/motionpicturenew1929moti#page/199/mode/1up/search/%22smith+oscar%22 (1929 Motion Picture News Blue Book)
https://archive.org/stream/motionpicturenew1930moti#page/246/mode/1up/search/%22smith+oscar%22 (1930 Motion Picture News Blue Book)
https://archive.org/stream/motionpicturealm00quig_0#page/n201/mode/1up/search/%22smith+oscar%22 (1931 Motion Picture Almanac)
https://archive.org/stream/motionpicturealm00quig#page/n186/mode/1up/search/%22smith+oscar%22 (1932 Motion Picture Almanac)
Jesse Brisson (research and information)

This page was last updated on: 18 February 2019