Dick Smothers is a renowned American actor, composer, musician, and comedian, who accumulated a net worth of $2 million. Widely recognized as one half of the famous comedic duo, The Smothers Brothers, Dick and his brother Tom gained fame with their musical act in the 1950s. This article delves into Dick Smothers’ career highlights, financial challenges, and a surprisingly serious role in Martin Scorsese’s “Casino.”
|Date of Birth
|Nov 20, 1939 (84 years old)
|Place of Birth
|Comedian, Actor, Musician, Composer
|United States of America
Dick Smothers’ Net Worth
Dick Smothers’ net worth is estimated at $2 million, reflecting his success in the entertainment industry. Despite financial challenges, his contributions to comedy and entertainment have left an indelible mark.
Comedy Duo Success
Dick and Tom Smothers formed The Smothers Brothers, a comedic musical act that captivated audiences in the 50s. Although they eventually retired from regular performances, the duo made a noteworthy comeback in 2019 for a charity event in Florida, showcasing their enduring popularity.
Dick Smothers’ Individual Projects
Apart from his collaboration with Tom, Dick Smothers has ventured into individual projects, notably securing a role in Martin Scorsese’s “Casino.” In this film, Smothers took on the character of a corrupt Nevada senator, showcasing his versatility in rare serious roles.
Dick Smothers faced significant financial struggles, particularly in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. In February 2010, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to the downturn in the housing market. The bankruptcy filing revealed a debt totaling $2.8 million against assets valued at just $2 million.
Coping with Debt
In the wake of financial turmoil, Dick Smothers experienced harassment from creditors. Garnished wages and intrusive calls impersonating him to access his bank account added to the challenges. In an effort to alleviate his financial situation, he sought to sell off various properties in Florida.
Early Life of Dick Smothers
Birth and Childhood
Richard Remick Smothers, born on November 20, 1938, in New York City, faced early adversity with the untimely death of his father during World War II. His father, an Army officer, tragically became a prisoner of war, and his passing in 1945 left Dick and his older brother Tom under the care of their mother.
Transition to California
Following these challenging circumstances, the Smothers family relocated to California. It was in this new environment that Dick Smothers began to navigate his formative years, shaped by the absence of his father and the resilience instilled by his mother.
Education and Athletics
Dick’s educational journey led him to high school in California, where he continued to build the foundation for his future. After graduating from high school, he pursued higher education at San Jose State University. Notably, Smothers joined the university’s track team, showcasing his athleticism and determination.
Track Team Participation
Engaging in collegiate athletics at San Jose State University provided Smothers with a platform to channel his energy and focus. His involvement in the track team not only highlighted his physical prowess but also hinted at the discipline that would become integral to his future endeavors.
Dick Smothers’ early life narrative is one of resilience in the face of adversity, marked by the loss of a father and the strength of a single mother. These early experiences would go on to shape the character and determination that defined his later accomplishments in the world of entertainment.
Early Ventures and Musical Triumphs
In 1959, Dick and his brother Tom Smothers stepped into the spotlight at The Purple Onion in San Francisco, marking the genesis of their comedic journey. The duo swiftly gained popularity as a nightclub act and secured a deal with Mercury Records, releasing successful albums like “Curb Your Tongue, Knave!” that climbed the top 40 charts.
Television Debut and Setbacks
Their foray into television began with an appearance on “The Jack Paar Show” in 1961, leading to subsequent spots on shows like “The Judy Garland Show” and “Burke’s Law.” In 1965, the Smothers Brothers launched their first sitcom, “The Smothers Brothers Show,” but unfortunately, it faced cancellation after just one year due to poor ratings.
The Comedy Hour Triumph
Undeterred by the setback, the Smothers Brothers returned in 1966 with “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” This groundbreaking show defied conventions, embracing a wild and unconventional format. With a stellar team of writers and a lineup that included notable figures like presidential candidates and hippies, the show gained immense popularity over the next few years before concluding in 1969.
Controversy and Anti-Vietnam War Stance
The show courted controversy early on, notably with the performance of Pete Seeger, who had faced blacklisting in the 1950s for his political views. This set a tone of anti-Vietnam War sentiment that would become a defining aspect of the Smothers Brothers’ legacy.
Musical Extravaganzas and Notable Guests
“The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” featured an array of musical guests, ranging from George Harrison and Ringo Starr to Buffalo Springfield, Cream, The Doors, and The Who. The show’s eclectic musical lineup further contributed to its cultural impact.
Post-Cancellation Ventures and Reunion
After the cancellation of their show, the Smothers Brothers continued to make appearances in various projects, maintaining a notable presence in the entertainment landscape. In the late ’60s, they reunited for a special performance with CBS, commemorating the 20-year anniversary of their show.
Slowdown and Martin Scorsese’s “Casino”
While the 1990s saw a slowdown in their activities, Dick Smothers secured a supporting role in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film, “Casino,” showcasing his versatility in the entertainment industry.
Retirement and Philanthropy
In 2010, the duo announced their retirement after an extensive touring career, culminating in a final performance in Las Vegas. However, they later reunited for a special appearance in Florida, where they engaged in a dialogue about their careers, with proceeds from the event benefiting the National Comedy Center.
The Smothers Brothers’ journey from humble nightclub beginnings to television stardom and their enduring impact on the cultural landscape solidify their place in the annals of entertainment history.
The Who’s Explosive Controversy
In 1967, The Who’s appearance on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” became infamous for an unexpected turn of events. After their rendition of “My Generation,” the band opted to destroy their instruments with explosives. However, a miscalculation led to a much larger explosion than intended. Three explosive charges, instead of one, were somehow added to the drum set, resulting in shrapnel flying across the stage. Drummer Keith Moon suffered a lacerated arm from a piece of the drum set, while guitarist Pete Townshend’s hair caught fire, contributing to his later hearing loss.
The Show’s Evolution and Controversies
As “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” gained popularity, it embraced controversial content, delving into issues such as the President, racism, and the Vietnam War. This shift placed the Smothers Brothers in direct conflict with CBS, which sought heavy censorship of their shows. CBS went as far as deleting entire segments, sparking increasingly hostile conflicts between the comedians and the network producers.
Conflicts with CBS
The Smothers Brothers’ commitment to addressing societal issues clashed with CBS’s desire for a more controlled and sanitized program. This discord led to protracted conflicts, with the network actively censoring content deemed too provocative or politically charged.
Show Cancellation and Legal Battles
The escalating tensions between the Smothers Brothers and CBS eventually led to the cancellation of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in 1969. Undeterred, the duo took legal action, suing the network for breach of contract. Despite their efforts, the legal battles yielded limited success.
Emmy Award Recognition
Amidst the challenges and controversies, the Smothers Brothers found recognition in the form of an Emmy Award in 1969. The accolade served as a testament to their impact on the television landscape, even as they faced setbacks in their battle against network censorship.
The Smothers Brothers’ journey, marked by artistic expression, political commentary, and clashes with network executives, remains a notable chapter in the history of television. Their willingness to address contentious issues, even at the cost of show cancellation, reflects a commitment to using comedy as a platform for societal discourse.
Marital History and Family
Dick Smothers has experienced various chapters in his personal life, marked by multiple marriages and the joy of fatherhood with six children. His journey through relationships has added layers of complexity to the comedian’s life.
Real Estate Transactions
In 2006, during his third marriage, Dick and his then-wife decided to list their Sarasota, Florida home for $2.5 million. However, the couple faced a significant financial transition with their divorce, ultimately selling the property in April 2010 for $1.1 million. This real estate transaction reflected the challenges and changes in Dick Smothers’ personal life during that period.
In 2005, Dick made a real estate investment by purchasing a condo in Longboat Key for $1.55 million. However, in October 2018, he decided to list the unit for sale at the same price. Interestingly, the condo did not change ownership, highlighting the dynamic nature of real estate decisions and market fluctuations.
Financial Transitions and Life Changes
The real estate dealings align with a broader narrative of financial transitions and life changes for Dick Smothers. While his professional career has been marked by success and recognition, these personal aspects shed light on the complexities that individuals, even those in the public eye, navigate throughout their lives.
Dick Smothers’ personal journey, encompassing marriages, real estate transactions, and financial transitions, adds a human touch to the well-known comedian’s life story. Beyond the laughter he brings to audiences, these personal facets reveal the multifaceted nature of a man who has experienced both the highs and lows that come with a life in the public eye.
Death of Tom Smothers
Tom Smothers, Half of Iconic Comedy Duo, Dies at 86
Tom Smothers, the elder half of the legendary comic duo, the Smothers Brothers, passed away at his residence in Santa Rosa, Calif., following a recent battle with cancer. He was 86 years old. The announcement of his death was made by a spokesman for the National Comedy Center on behalf of the family.
The Smothers Brothers, known for their unique blend of music, comedy, and political satire, left an indelible mark on network television in the late 1960s. Their groundbreaking show, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” paved the way for future comedic endeavors like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show.”
The duo, with Tom on guitar and Dick on stand-up bass, brought a distinctive style to their performances, characterized by both musical talents and humorous banter. Their on-screen bickering became as iconic as their musical numbers.
Tom Smothers’ legacy extends beyond the entertainment world, leaving an enduring impact on the landscape of American comedy. His contributions, along with those of his brother Dick, will be remembered for generations to come.
Dick Smothers’ journey, from the heights of comedic success with The Smothers Brothers to facing financial difficulties, highlights the unpredictable nature of fame and fortune. His enduring legacy in the entertainment industry, coupled with his ability to navigate challenges, underscores the resilience of a true artist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dick Smothers
As of the latest available information, Dick Smothers has an estimated net worth of $2 million.
Dick Smothers has been married several times, although specific details about the number of marriages may vary.
Dick Smothers has six children from various marriages.
In 1969, despite the cancellation of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” Dick Smothers and his brother Tom won an Emmy Award.
In 2010, Dick Smothers announced his retirement after an extensive touring career, culminating in a final performance in Las Vegas.
The cancellation of the show in 1969 was primarily due to conflicts between the Smothers Brothers and CBS over the content, which included political commentary on issues like the Vietnam War.
The Smothers Brothers sued CBS for breach of contract following the cancellation of their show. However, the legal battles had limited success.