Denzil Smith is an Indian Actor and Producer.
Denzil Smith was born on 6 November 1960 (58 years; age in 2018) in Mumbai. Denzil has acted in more 50 films. Before making his entry into the glamour world, Smith was working in the corporate sector. He made his debut as a film executive under Alyque Padamsee. He has received voice training from the National Centre for the Performing Arts. His appearance in the play “Les Liaisons Dangereuse” was pivotal in establishing his career as a theatre artist. Denzil Smith has also worked in a number of Bollywood, Hollywood, and regional language films. Besides being an actor, Denzil is also a host and producer.
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 81 Kg
- Eye Colour: Black
- Hair Colour: Salt and pepper
- Hair Length: Short
- Voice Character: Assured/ Strong/Serious
- Voice Quality: Bass
Family & Religion
Denzil Smith was born into an Anglo-Indian Family to Benjamin John Smith, a civil servant, and Kathleen Maude Shepherd. He has two siblings; an older sister, Cheryl Roy Smith, and a younger brother Lionel Smith. Lionel Smith lives in Dubai. His father died when he was eleven years old.
Denzil Smith is married to Carissa Hickling who works at Seimens.
Denzil Smith did his schooling from St. Andrews High School, Bandra. He is a post-graduate in English Literature from RD National College, Bandra. He received vocal training from the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai. Before he became an actor, Smith worked in an advertising company. He started acting play when he was still in school. He acted in his first play, “Son of Man” by Dennis Potter, was when was 15-year-old. To establish himself as an actor, he quit his job and started working as a film executive under actor, Alyque Padamsee.
He made his debut in theatre with the play “Man Friday” by Adrian Mitchell. Smith came into the spotlight with Pearl Padamsee’s play “Les Liaisons Dangereuse” where he worked with Ratna Pathak and Naseeruddin Shah. After his appearance in the aforesaid play, he joined Naseeruddin Shah’s theatre group. He was also a part of Lilette Dubey’s theatre group. Smith has also appeared in the musical production “The Merchants of Bollywood” and the dance musical “Taj Express.” Apart from acting in theatre plays, Denzil has organized plays at “Celebrate Bandra.” Denzil was also a part of “Joseph & The Technicolor Dreamcoat,” directed by Carl Mendes which was a huge hit in Bombay in 1977-78.
One of the films which helped shape his acting career was the 2002-release “Mango Souffle.” However, his debut was in the year 2001 with the film “Pyaar, Ishq Aur Mohabbat.” Smith also appeared in Paap (2003) and Frozen (2007).
Denzil Smith has also worked in a number of independent films like Shobhayatra (2004), The Memsahib (2006), Mumbai Salsa (2007), The Lunchbox (2013), etc. In 2019, he appeared in “Photograph” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Besides appearing in a number of Bollywood projects, Smith has also worked in many Hollywood Films like “One Night With The King” (2007), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015), and “Brahman Naman” (2016). One of his most critical Hollywood performances has been the 2017-release “Viceroy’s House” in which he played the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Denzil has appeared in many Indian as well as International TV Serials. He acted in “The Sword Of Tipu Sultan” (1990), “Time Bomb 9/11” (2005), “Hansa: A Love Story,” “Rishtey,” “CID,” Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin” among others. He has appeared in web-series as well like “Made in Heaven” (2019), “Delhi Crime” (2019), & “Mind The Malhotras” (2019).
Denzil often lends his voice for documentaries, radio shows, and advertisements. He has usually been roped in for dubbing various English movies in the Hindi Language. In addition, he has also done quite a few voiceovers.
It is only because of Denzil Smith’s love for Jazz Music that he is seen as a host of various music festivals and other events. Smith is credited to hosting jazz tribute concerts on the occasion of International Jazz Day. He is also associated with various charities.
Besides being a full-time theatre, voice-over artist, and a film-actor, Denzil also manages his production house- “Stagesmith Productions,” which he founded in the year 2006.
Denzil Smith won the Indian Television Academy Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role (2017) for his role in “P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke” (2016-17).
- Actor: Naseeruddin Shah, Pearl Padamsee, The Late Pandit Satyadev Dubey, Carl Mendes
- Book: The Book of Chocolate Saints by Jeet Thayil, “City Adrift” by Naresh Fernandes
- Quote: “We are all born mad. Some remain so!” S.Becket
- Director: John Madden
- He smokes and also drinks alcohol.
- Denzil Smith’s father was quite passionate about music. His father was not only a singer but also played various instruments like accordion, violin, piano and ukelele. Denzil inherited the love for art, music, and theatre from his father. His father sang with Paranjyoti Chorus and was also an amateur theatre artist. Denzil often used to accompany his father to his music and play rehearsals; and was fascinated when his father performed in a play called “The Monkeys Paw.”
- Hollywood actor Ben Kingsley congratulated him for his acting in the play “Letters to A Daughter from Prison.”
- Smith’s character of ‘Lucky’ in Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot” is his most memorable character.
- He considers actor Naseeruddin Shah his guru and mentor.
- For his role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in “Viceroy’s House,” he shed 14 and a half Kg in 40 days.
- His plays are not only staged in India but also in North America, UK and Europe, South-East Asia, and Australia.
- He is quite good friends with theatre personality- Arif Zakaria.
- Because of his name and looks, he has often been offered the role of an English person in Hindi Films but he turns them down.
- He considers theatre therapeutic for him.
- When Smith was in college, he used to watch 28 Hollywood Films in a month.
- He is inspired by Jack Nicholson, Lawrence Olivier, Woody Allen, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino.
- In his free time, he likes doing art and craft.
- Denzil is also well-versed in Urdu, Konkani, and Marathi.
- Besides acting, he can also play guitar, sing, and dance (ballroom & jive).