AceShowbiz - Action movie veteran William Smith has died, aged 88.
The "Any Which Way You Can" and "Hawaii Five-O" actor passed away on 5 July (21) at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, according to his wife.
Born to cattle ranchers in Missouri, Smith and his family moved to Hollywood when he was a kid and he became a child star, appearing in "The Ghost of Frankenstein", "Meet Me in St. Louis", and "The Song of Bernadette".
After serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he signed a contract with MGM and appeared in a string of films and TV shows like "Gunsmoke", "The Virginian", "Perry Mason", "Batman", "Lassie", and "The Mod Squad".
He starred as Texas Ranger Joe Riley in NBC show "Laredo" in the mid-1960s and went on to play a string of villains on the big and small screen throughout the 1970s. Smith famously brawled with Clint Eastwood in 1980 film "Any Which Way You Can".
"It has to be one of the longest two-man fights ever done on film without doubles," Smith once said of the scene in an interview for Louis Paul's 2014 book "Tales From the Cult Film Trenches". "We shot it in Jackson, Wyoming, which is about 8,000 feet high in altitude, and I was smoking so hard at the time."
His other memorable fight scene was with Rod Taylor in "Darker Than Amber".
"Fight choreography and staging went out the window when Rod decided to really hit me," he recalled in a 2010 interview. "And so the fight was on. That was a real fight with real blood and real broken bones. Rod is a skilled fighter and at the same time a real scrapper. Now that was a good fight!"