Steve Smith

Steve Smith, actor, writer, producer, comic (b at Toronto 24 Dec 1945). Blessed with a quick wit, a creative mind and an optimistic determination, the irrepressible Steve Smith is a journeyman entertainer who created one of the most enduring characters in Canadian television history. He is best known as the pleasantly crotchety handyman Red Green on the unabashedly hokey The Red Green Show.

Steve Smith studied engineering at the University of Waterloo and earned a teachers' certificate at Lakeshore College in Toronto. He taught elementary school and worked at a variety of other jobs before he and his wife Morag formed the comedy duo Smith and Smith, which was soon opening for such performers as Ricky Nelson and Roy Orbison. In 1979, the Smiths created the sketch comedy series Smith & Smith for CHCH Hamilton. Not only did Steve write, produce and star in all 195 episodes, but it was here that he introduced the character of Red Green.

Smith & Smith eventually evolved into the ambitious sitcom Me and Max. Written and produced by Smith, the show - which ran for 26 episodes - starred his two sons, Max and Dave, and featured occasional appearances from Red Green as the boys' eccentric Uncle Red. When production on Me and Max ended in 1988, Smith went on to write and produce 60 episodes of Smith and Smith's Comedy Mill. He served as head writer on the short-lived series Laughing Matters, wrote three scripts for the CBS series Top Cops and a pilot called Out Of Our Minds.

In 1990 Smith made the Red Green character a star in his own right with a new series for CHCH called The Red Green Show, a cross between a sitcom and a sketch comedy series that lampooned do-it-yourself, home improvement series and fishing and outdoors shows. When budgetary problems forced the cancellation of the show in 1993, Smith bought all the rights, found a new partner in YTV and three months later began production on the show's third season. In the fall of 1994, production returned to CHCH and the title became The New Red Green Show.

Steve Smith, through his umbrella company S & S Productions, bought Ontario air time on Global and syndicated the series throughout the rest of the country. So successful was the series that by 1997 Smith had been wooed by the CBC, where more than 300 episodes of the no longer "new" The Red Green Show were eventually produced. Smith retired at the age of 60 and the show's last episode aired in April 2006. At the time, the series was being broadcast nationally on CBC as well as on nearly 90 PBS stations in the United States.

In addition to putting Red Green and the gang from Possum Lodge on the big screen in the 2002 movie Red Green's Duct Tape Forever, Smith's S & S Productions serves as executive-producer on the comedy series History Bites and the mock game show Supertown Challenge, as well as the magazine show The Gardener's Journal, the panel-discussion show Men On Women, a how-to show for women called Anything I Can Do and the financial show MoneySense Television.

In 2008 Steve Smith and Mag Ruffman published We're All In This Together - Red Green, the Man Behind the Character and Vice Versa, an insightful collection of conversations between the 2 longtime friends. Smith's book How To Do Everything-From the Man who Should Know - Red Green followed in 2010. Steve Smith took Red Green on the road live in the Wit & Wisdom Tour in 2010 and 2011.

Steve Smith has earned an astounding 27 Gemini nominations; he won for best variety series in 1989 for Smith and Smith's Comedy Mill and again for best performance in a comedy program in 1998 for The Red Green Show. In 2005 he received the Earle Grey Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and was named a member of the Order of Canada.