Whoosh! Issue 67 - April 2002

FAN TESTIMONIALS IN MEMORIAM
KEVIN SMITH
1963-2002


Page 2



Angel Rauch

[08]

Me and my disabled child were both shocked and saddened for the loss of such an uprising star. We have both enjoyed him as Aries, and will miss his talent much. My heart goes out to his beautiful wife and children. May God bless the Smith family.



Beboman

[09]

Right now, I am sitting here by my window, cup of coffee on hand, trying to put my thoughts together, but it is becoming really hard to do that. The news of the death of Kevin Smith really shocked me. I had hoped he would recover from his accident. I have never been good at expressing my feelings and this time is going to be harder than most.

The strange thing is that even though I never really knew the man, I felt in my heart that I had known him all my life. How do I put in words how I feel about the death of someone that gave so much to so many people? I have never done anything like this before. So, as I look out my window at a very beautiful Nevada sunset, I will try to put into words the thoughts and feelings that are having a hard time coming out into the light.

The first time I ever saw Kevin Smith was in THE XENA SCROLLS. You see, I had not seen any the first season of Xena. I got into Xena in reruns of the second season when I had my motorcycle accident. I found him so sexy and attractive, I just could not believe my eyes. He radiated this energy mixed with sexuality and sensually. I wanted to see more of him and to know more about him.

It was like the first time I saw Lucy Lawless in her role as Xena. There was freshness in both of them. It was like looking into this glowing mass of energy that gradually attracted you and pulled you in. Once you were in, you felt this warmth and softness within the core of this power of energy.

So, as time passed and I was able to see more of the episodes in which he participated, both in Xena and in Hercules, I came to realize how much talent emanated from this man. I was simply in awe.

But it wasn't until the San Francisco convention in 1999 that all this really did sink in. You see, this was my very first convention and it just happened it was the first time they had a Cabaret Night. Kevin, Danielle [Cormack], Joel [Tobeck], and Tim [Omundson] were going to do a type of musical for us. I looked forward to that moment more than any thing else in that convention. And by the Gods, they did not let me down.

The friendship that was obvious on that stage was just staggering, but more staggering was the talent. When Kevin took the stage, he took that stage. His presence was not only seen, but it was felt by all. And when he started to sing, he took me with his voice into another world. The man could really sing. I was completely mesmerized and that evening will stay with me forever.

Then, the following day this gentle and soft-spoken man captured my heart. He talked to the audience with an ease and softness that captured you for life. He was down to earth, secure and he talked so beautifully and lovingly about his family and his kids.

He talked about something that one of his kids had said. The story went something like this: one of his boys was with a group of friends and they were talking about whose father was stronger. His kid said that his father was the God of War and could take them all. Kevin went on to say that he tried to explained to his son that he played the character of the God of War, but that really he was not the God of War. In the end, it did not seem to work.

Hearing this man talking about his wife and kids with such love and caring warmed up my heart and made me feel closer to him. It was as if I was listening to an old friend talk about his family.

During that talk and his stage participation, Kevin Smith was completely genuine. There was none of that "star syndrome" that many actors have when they obtain a certain level of celebrity and fame. He was a man. A working man who loved his craft and loved his family. He was a father who loved his children. He was a genuinely caring man. He was down to earth, but knew how to take his audience all the way to heaven. He knew how to be simple, but never allowed the audience to get lost in his complexity. He gave us the best he had, both on the small screen and in his personal appearances.

For that, I am very grateful. I hope that wherever he is, he is looking down on us with that wicked smile of his and he is seeing how much love there is for him. And since I believe the dead can hear our thoughts, I know he is feeling and hearing all the love we all have for him.

Godspeed Kevin. We will miss you.



Jessica Edwards

[10]

In Loving Memory Of Kevin (Ares) Smith R.I.P.

I met Kevin at the Phoenix convention in October, 2001. Along with his extraordinary looks (which he was very modest about) he was a very, very funny man. After everything he said the word "mate" followed. When I went to get his autograph he talked to me like I was his best bud, he asked me "Where do you want me to sign mate?" and I replied in a nervous giggle "Anywhere you want"

Ares was one of the best characters on Xena: Warrior Princess and no one else could ever play Ares as well as Kevin did. He created trouble and romance for Xena and Gabrielle, he made us laugh and cry. He will be very missed.

I pray for his adoring fans, that they can still enjoy all his acting abilities and remain fans. For his co-workers who spent years working at his side, that they can continue their own acting in honor of Kevin and remember all the laughs they shared. And for his family, that they can find comfort and peace without their love one, That they can forget this tragic event and move on, but NEVER FORGET KEVIN. I know I won't.

We love you and miss you so much mate!!!

Love,
Jessica Edwards



Philippa

[11]

Kevin memories.....

Actually, the first time I saw Kev on screen was in Desperate Remedies. I remember thinking what a weird, wonderful and crazy movie it was and that the fella was rather nice looking, apart from that *dreadful* suit and that was that. Scroll on a couple of years or so to Xena. Ares materialised in a tent, early season 1 and my reaction was definitely most hormonal>. Let me say it now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, whereas Ares is sex on legs, Kev is just....sweet Kev.

Then I'm checking Kev's back catalogue of work one day and 'Good GRIEF!!! That was *him*!' The characters (and voices) of Ares and Lawrence are so different, I hadn't spotted the link myself.

I could see from pretty early on that the fella inside all that black leather was a great actor and a real life sweetheart. He has kind eyes and the right sort of laughter lines. The lines he made deliberately comic betrayed a lively sense of humour. I could seperate fact from fantasy pretty easily. I also correctly identified a pair of rugger players' shoulders. My dad was a (long) ex-rugger player - and though he wasn't built quite on the same lines - there's something in the way rugby redesigns your shoulders that is most distinctive, and in the way you move. Actualy, my son was *born* with the shoulders, so it was no surprise when he took to football and rugby as to the manner born.

I've been to most of the Xena cons in Britain - missed one for some reason which evades me at the moment. So, it was with great pleasure and anticipation that I and a friend prepared to finally meet Kev in person at 'Panathenaea'. (If you want a more-or-less complete transcipt, it's at http://www.philippa.org.uk/panathenaea.htm.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again; Kev was (IS!) a sweetheart. Riotously, breathtakingly funny; sang like an angel (I wish I could have had just one duet.....) and so generous to the fans. The 'bubble wrap' moment, the 'Sondheim' moment and the 'Aaaaaaargh! Celine Dion!!!' moment (which really only I witnessed, at close range!) will be imprinted in my brain until the day I die. He paid a beautiful tribute to us Brits on NZ television, 'they're more like us (Kiwis)....'. Thank-you, mate. I hope the beers I gave him survived transit and brought him a giggle or two when he'd recovered from the jet-lag. I've enjoyed all the work he's done since, and yes; he had the makings to be up there with the best. The subtlety and careful facial expression was there in Xena pretty often, along with the charm and physicality. More so in Channeling Baby, which has Oscar-quality performances from him and Danielle [Cormack].

I grieve for his loss, his real friends and family who must be prostrate with grief and what might have been in his professional career. Yet I am thankful that he arrived on the scene, shared himself and his talent with us and touched more lives than he perhaps realised with his smile, his humour, his beautiful singing voice and his just sheer Kev-ness. I wish I could have known him better.

May he rest in peace and rise in GLORY.

Gonna miss you, Kev. You touched my life and my heart. Cheers, mate.



Tina Dunckel

[12]

Though we never know where life will take us,
I know it's just a ride on the wheel,
and we never know when death will shake us
and we wonder how it will feel,
so goodbye my friend I know I'll never see you again,
but the time together through all the years
will take away these tears,
it's ok now, goodbye my friend.

---Goodbye My Friend by Linda Ronstadt

I may not have know Kevin Tod Smith in life, but he became a friend to me all the same. I was a fan of Xena from the beginning, and a fan of Kevin since he first materialized on the show as Ares God of War. What a magnificent choice was made when they chose him for that role. He was Ares. There is no way for me to picture that Greek deity any other way now. There is no other who could have portrayed Ares as effectively. And now that he is gone, there is no one who could possibly replace him, as Ares, as Kevin, as a father, as a husband, as a friend.

It is hard for all of his fans to accept what has happened. To understand why such a marvelous person was taken in such a way. I do not mean to trivialize what his fans, including myself, are feeling, but we cannot fathom what Kevin's family and close friends must be going through. They have lost an integral part of their lives, one that can never be brought back. While it hurts for us, it must hurt a thousand times more for them. My prayers have been with his family. His wife who has lost the love of her life, her childhood sweetheart, the father of her children. His children who have lost a father who has loved them and shown them the way. His parents who are going through what no parent ever wants to go through, losing a child. Where do we stand? As observers who came to know and love Kevin, and who are mourning the loss of a beautiful human being. One we were hoping to continue watching for a long time, but now will have to be content with rewatching all those touching, funny, and sometimes infuriating Ares moments.

What eases the loss I feel from Kevin's death is remembering how he lived. This man was not one to sit on the sidelines. He truly lived his life to the fullest. He did everything he wanted to do and probably more than he imagined he would. Thanks to his wife, Suzanne, who all those years ago got him an audition when he was sidelined from playing rugby due to an injury, we got to know Kevin. And Kevin got to know us, as well. From all accounts he was friendly, and would talk to anyone, no matter where he was or what he was doing or who wanted to talk to him. A truly unique soul in the world of entertainment.

Kevin was not only a very talented actor, but could sing like nobody's business, as well. That is what I imagine he is doing right now, singing with the angels. Perhaps, he and Elvis are singing a duet?" It is possible, anything is possible in Heaven, where Kevin is most assuredly spending his afterlife. Or maybe he is singing lullabyes to his children as they sleep at night, letting him know that he is still watching over them, even in death. Or crooning a love song to his wife, bringing some warmth to her at a time when all she must be feeling is cold and alone.

Remembering Kevin will not be as hard as living without him. Remembering is bittersweet. I was reliving all the classic Ares's moments in my head last night. Remembering his funny lines...he always had the best lines. One of my favorites was from THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER..., Aphrodite says "When pigs fly!" to which Ares replies "You fly." Another was AMPHIPOLIS UNDER SEIGE, when Athena says something along the lines of "Tomorrow we're going to begin catapulting dead cows into the town" Ares replies "And what a classic it is." There are so many more. Recalling these moments puts a smile on my face, and makes me remember why he was such an integral part of Xena.

So with all said and done, Kevin Tod Smith at least did what he was meant to do in this life, which was live. Live to the fullest he did. He touched those who were closed to him, and touched those who had never met him, and I imagine he will keep on touching us for a long time to come. Goodbye my friend.



Andrew Shaughnessy

[13]

I was shocked and saddened to learn of Kevin Smith's passing. The Fates can be cruel sometimes - Kevin had been working on a joint US/Chinese production but had finished filming early, as he wanted to spend some time with his wife and children prior to starting work on the latest Bruce Willis movie.

In another ironic twist, Kevin died on February 15th. This was the first day of the 2002 Pasadena Xena Convention, as well as being Renee O'Connor's birthday.

I'm sure I speak for Xena fans everywhere when I say that Kevin will be sorely missed, and that our thoughts and prayers are with his family.



Sherry Kilgore

[14]

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin at the San Francisco convention. He had the remarkable ability of making his fans feel like friends. Imagine the impact on his family. My heart felt sympathy to each of them. I will remember him always as someone who made me feel special...when all along it was him.

Sherry Kilgore
Kailua, Hawaii



Marsha

[15]

I would like to send my deepest, solemn, sympathy out to Suzanne, her three boys on the untimely passing of her husband, their loving father. I wish I knew him better. I only new him from the show. I would've liked to have met him at one of the conventions, discover for myself what others have said about him and his great, down to earth, personality. I was also very much intrigued by this young man's appearence on THE RECKONING, and how they got a really handsome, drop-dead gorgeous actor to play such a bad guy, but with tasteful intentions. It always amazed me that every episode he would be in. He'd seduce Xena to be his chosen, but as always there'd be Gabrielle to safely pull her back from whatever edge he was planning on to turn her back to an evil warload again.

I'd just like to think of him now as fighting a whole different kind of battle. I'll surely miss him. He'll be forever imprinted in our hearts, in the xenaverse for all time. We will truly, deeply, miss such a wonderful, lovely, human being.

From all xenites,
in loving memory,
Kevin Smith
R.I.P.



Rebecca Pienn

[16]

The first time I met Kev was at Orlando Con 1999. At the fan club breakfast, everyone lined up to take turns taking pictures of Kev. When my turn came, a friend snapped a picture of me & him. Later on at the convention, she gave me the picture. So when my turn came in the autograph line, I handed him that picture to sign. He looked at it, realized it was from that morning, and said, "You got that developed already???" just like a little boy who's never heard of 1-hour film processing. It was priceless!

G-dspeed, Kev! We all miss you!



J. Henry

[17]

Kevin - The Distinguished God of War

Characters are the creation of the writer placed into a scene for purpose. But it is the actor that gives life to that character and the New Zealander, Kevin Smith has to be credited and remembered for his exceptional performances he gave as Ares, God of War on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journey.

I can say I knew him beginning when he appeared in a black robe, first introducing himself to Xena in a magnificent sword battle between them in THE RECKONING (Xena episode # 6 of season one). His ploy to outwit the Warrior Princess back into his fold, back into the game of war began here but became his game throughout the series and the wonderful appearances of his character.

Kevin gave personal compliment to his character, Ares by the comfort in the acting between Kevin himself and Lucy Lawless (Xena) offering scenes of erotic desires, anger and a gentle side for the God of War. Ares continuous desires for Xena were performed with such skill and pleasure it was easy to accept that Ares love for Xena was as much a part of his character as the original ploy by the God of War for Xena's return to lead an army in battle.

Kevin gave the character not only the most handsome appearance both with long hair to short hair over the series but a equal balance of the evil God of War with a mortal like softness and heart truly caring for Xena, the person. His acting skills gave versatility to be portrayed as manipulative and selfish, a true inner desire to love Xena, a temper which he seldom let out of hand and a unique humor which served Ares well in his many failed attempts to make Xena his Warrior Queen. These were characteristics given Ares by Kevin and what plainly distinguished and made his character so successful throughout the series.

And who knew Kevin could sing? The fans of Xena: Warrior Princess were treated to his voice, another attribute he gave his character when in the episode THE BITTER SUITE (episode # 12 of Season 3) it was Kevin's real voice offering the songs of war and the ever memorable lyric, "come melt into me".

But Kevin wasn't done giving greater dimensions to his character when in the episode, SEEDS OF FAITH, he was called upon to carry a fallen Warrior Princess to her ice tomb (episode # 7 Season 5). It was Ares who bent over the ice casket speaking to a sleeping Xena but it was Kevin who put the heart into the script and the soul into Ares' emotions as he said, " You're with her now. I handled you-- all wrong. I know that. She knew what you needed-- unconditional-- and unselfish love-- and I couldn't give that to you. But I appreciated you in ways she never could-- your rage-- your violence-- your beauty. When you sacrificed yourself for others, you were hers-- but when you kicked *ss-- you were mine. I love you, Xena."

Glimpses of Kevin's ability to add humor to his character given in almost all of his appearances and in the final season, the show gave one episode allowing Kevin and his character to truly step away from his God of War image. In OLD ARES HAD A FARM (episode # 10 of Season 6), Ares shed his God of War persona for just a time and truly showed his human and mortal side while complimenting that a dog is man's best friend. Kevin took it all in stride, again using his natural comfort with his own acting talent to compliment the performance of his character.

Ares, the character might be remembered like the fisherman of who speaks of the big one that got away having lost his catch Xena, Warrior Princess but his mark in the memory of fans very much to the credit of Kevin Smith, the actor. From his expressions, his voice, his demeanor and his handsome appearances as the God of War, Kevin will be remembered with the highest respect of his acting and very warmly as an individual, always.

EpTalk
03/04/02



Sarah Inbody

[18]

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living"
--Cicero

Kevin Smith was a wonderfully talented actor who was known most widely for his portray of Ares, God of War on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. He won the hearts of thousands of female fans because of his dashing good looks but apart from his looks and his talent as an actor, he was a very kind, caring, funny, and charming man to be around, or at least that's what I've always heard.

I never met Kevin before; I never even had a chance to see him in person. The only way that I truly knew Kevin was through Ares because that's the only way I ever saw him. But according to people who've met him or people who knew him personally, they would say that he was possibly the nicest person that you could ever meet.

Kevin had a great impact on me through his role as Ares. I simply loved his character. He brought so much life to Ares and I truly think that if Kevin had not taken the role of Ares, then my love for the character would not be there. For me, I saw Kevin as Ares and he did such an awesome job of taking on that role. He was able to express every kind of emotion you could think of and he would do it with great enthusiasm and passion. I don't think that any other man could have played Ares as well as Kevin did. In my eyes, Kevin was the greatest actor that I have ever seen; so many other actors don't seem to have the impact on me that Kevin did. To me, no one else can even compare to the great man and actor that Kevin was.

I will miss Kevin greatly. He was a great man, a great actor, and to young to die. He was at the prime of his life--he had opportunities for a monumental carrier and he had a loving family--his life could have been considered almost perfect.

It's still hard to believe that he's really gone. I was devastated when I got the news that he had passed away and sometimes, it still feels like it is all just a bad dream. But it isn't and life goes on and I know that there are thousands of people out there, apart from his family and friends that miss him too.

Kevin Smith will never be forgotten. He will live on in my heart and in my thoughts forever. As long as Ares lives on, Kevin will never die. I know that Kevin is in a better place and that he will always be looking down on us, his fans, and he'll always be watching over his wife and his three young sons. In that way, he'll never be completely gone. He will live on in the memories of those who loved him most. Just remembering him is the greatest gift that I and everyone else can give him. As Gabrielle once said on Xena: Warrior Princess "when the living think of the dead, the dead can hear their thoughts" and I believe that this is true. Wherever Kevin is right now, he can hear us thinking of him and as long as we continue to think of him, his memory will never fade. He'll always be here in our hearts.




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