There are some people who don’t get to die even after they are dead, and that is not just because of the type of work they do, but rather because of the way they did it. One of such people is John Smith. He is an American actor who was famous from the 1940s to the 1970s. He has acted in many movies and TV shows including Cimarron City and Laramie for which he got very famous. Here is all to know about him.

John Smith’s Biography

The actor was born on 6 March 1931 in Los Angeles, California as Robert Errol Van Orden and raised by his parents, Errol and Margaret Van Orden. Of German and Dutch descent, he was a descendant of the last Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant. For his education, John Smith attended the Susan Miller Dorsey High School in his hometown before proceeding to the University of California.

While growing up, he was a rather talented individual who was into both sports and music, as well as acting. Nevertheless, he had wanted to become an engineer, before finally returning to what he had always loved, acting. Even though he didn’t pursue music in his later life, he started out at the age of 13 as a singer and was later a part of The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir. As a member of the group, he got to play some uncredited roles in a number of movies including The Bells of St. Mary’s.

A blue-eyed, blond actor, John Smith first worked as a mail boy for MGM, before heading the department and finally switching to what he knew best. Professionally, he began acting in 1943, and that would see him appearing in many movies including Going My Way which was one of his earliest works, Seven Angry Men, Frontier, Quincannon, Frontier Scout, and Hot Rod Girl.

Although he died in 1995, he stopped acting professionally towards the end of the 1970s, and his final performances were in the TV series Marcus Welby, M.D., Police Woman, Emergency!, and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. More so, he was in the movies, Justin Morgan Had a Horse and Will to Die.

The actor who was known for his very smooth voice was also referred to as Smitty in the acting circle.


Through the years of his acting career which spanned roughly over 70 years, John Smith has appeared in over 60 movies, TV shows, as well as other productions.

Net Worth

Before his passing, John Smith (Robert Errol Van Orden) had left Hollywood years before then, even as he still got some voice over jobs. As a result of his time away from the spotlight, his actual net worth at the time of his death still remains unknown.

Wife and Daughter

John Smith
Luana Patten

The actor got married to American actress, Luana Patten in 1960. Prior to the marriage, Luana Patten who began as a child model and later child actress was married to Ronny Huntley when she was just 15. The marriage to Huntley only lasted from 1954 to 1959, and it was after this marriage that she decided to settle down with John Smith.

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Unfortunately for the two, their marriage did not last more than 4 years as it ended in a divorce in 1964. While Smith would remain single choosing not to get married again for the rest of his life, Luana Pattern went on and got married again in 1970 to Jerry D. Mays. Just as her two previous marriages, the third did not last as it ended in 1973.

The So Dear to My Heart actress died in 1996, just a year after her ex-husband at the age of 57.

Although the union between the two did not produce any child, there have been a number of reports indicating that Smith had had a daughter from another relationship, even though there is no record of the daughter, and her name is not in the public domain.

Smith’s Death and Cause of Death

John Smith passed away in 1995 at the age of 63 and the cause of his death was given as Cirrhosis of the liver and heart problems. He died at his Los Angeles home and was cremated. The ash of the talented Cimarron City actor was spread on the sea.

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