Memorials Planned for Lois Smith in L.A. and New York

Lois Smith - PMK*BNC

The pioneering “publicist to the stars” handled top talent from Marilyn Monroe to Meryl Streep, and helped re-invent modern public relations along the way.

Memorials are planned in Los Angeles and New York City for Lois Smith, the pioneering New York-based “publicist to the stars” whose clients included Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, director Martin Scorsese and Marilyn Monroe during a career that lasted nearly half a century.

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Smith, who passed away Oct. 7 at age 84, will be remembered on Nov. 13 at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Los Angeles; and on Dec. 4 in New York at the 92nd Street YMCA. For the event in Los Angeles, RSVP by email to

Smith started her career in the 1950s and then in 1969 was a founding partner in PMK along with Pat Kingsley, Gerry Johnson and Patricia Newcomb.

PMK rose by the 1980s to be one of the most important public relations firms in show business, representing a stable of top talent by doing the opposite of what old time publicists had done. Instead of seeking as much publicity as possible, PMK limited the availability of the stars, usually to period around the opening of their movie, TV show or Broadway show, and even limited what kind of questions could be asked.

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Even as PMK became the model for the modern high powered Hollywood talent publicist, Smith was also known for cultivating relationships with top journalists and writers. She would then pair her clients with those she felt would understand the star and do the best by them in print or on TV.

Smith would attend premieres wearing a red coat so her clients could find her in the crowd. It became one of her trademarks.

Smith retired in 2001 and PMK was merged into other larger companies.