Lois Smith, born November 3, 1930 in Topeka, Kansas, is an American actress who plays the role of Adele Stackhouse on the HBO original series True Blood. Making her debut in the series' premiere episode, "Strange Love", in the series' first season, Louis plays the role of Sookie and Jason Stackhouse's grandmother. The oldest Stackhouse living in the Stackhouse hometown of Bon Temps, Louisiana, Lois plays a recurring role through the series' first, fourth and seventh seasons. Meeting an untimely demise in the series' fifth episode, "Sparks Fly Out", Lois is a co-starring actress who reappears in flashbacks, or as a ghost, and was last seen in the series' finale episode, "Thank You", in the series' seventh, and final, season.
Lois Smith's career in theater, film, and TV has spanned five decades.
Smith was born Lois Arlene Humbert in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Carrie Davis (née Gottshalk) and William Oren Humbert, who was a telephone company employee. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. She studied acting in New York City at Lee Strasburg's Actor's Studio, famous for producing many "method" actors.
After two TV appearances, Smith made her film debut in East of Eden in 1955. Additional film credits include Five Easy Pieces, Up the Sandbox, Four Friends, Fatal Attraction, Fried Green Tomatoes, How to Make an American Quilt, Hard Promises, Dead Man Walking, Twister, Minority Report, Tumbleweeds, Hollywoodland and Sweet Land.
Much of Smith's career has been spent in TV, appearing in early anthology series (Studio One, Robert Montgomery Presents), soap operas (Another World, Somerset, The Edge of Night, All My Children, One Life to Live) and numerous primetime dramas, including The Defenders, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, thirtysomething, The Practice, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Grey's Anatomy, Cold Case and True Blood.
Smith made her Broadway debut in the 1952 comedy Time Out for Ginger. A member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, she appeared as Ma Joad in their production of The Grapes of Wrath in Chicago, San Diego, and London before bringing it to New York City, where her performance earned her a Tony Award nomination.
- 1970 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (Five Easy Pieces, winner)
- 1990 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (The Grapes of Wrath, nominee)
- 1996 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Buried Child, nominee)
- 2006 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play (The Trip to Bountiful, winner)
|Season one appearances|
|"Strange Love"||"The First Taste"||"Mine"||"Escape from Dragon House"|
|"Sparks Fly Out"||"Cold Ground"||"Burning House of Love"||"Fourth Man in the Fire"|
|"Plaisir D'Amour"||"I Don't Wanna Know"||"To Love Is to Bury"||"You'll Be the Death of Me"|
|Season four appearances|
|"She's Not There"||"You Smell Like Dinner"||"If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?"||"I'm Alive and on Fire"|
|"Me and the Devil"||"I Wish I Was the Moon"||"Cold Grey Light of Dawn"||"Spellbound"|
|"Let's Get Out of Here"||"Burning Down the House"||"Soul of Fire"||"And When I Die"|
|Season seven appearances|
|"Jesus Gonna Be Here"||"I Found You"||"Fire in the Hole"||"Death Not the End"|
|"Lost Cause"||"Karma"||"May be the Last Time"||"Almost home"|
|"Love is to Die"||"Thank You"|
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