According to a friend, Clay Smith, who had worked for many years as the executive producer at Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight, died Friday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
Smith grew up in Kansas City as one of three children. He worked for Arista Records in the late 1970s and was briefly an artist manager and music supervisor.
Smith joined Entertainment Tonight in 1983 and in 1997, after 14 years, moved to Access Hollywood as senior producer, responsible for music reporting and segment producers, among other things.
He became the show’s film critic in 2002 and was the main critic in the Critic’s Picks segment. Smith appeared as a critic on KNBC and other NBC operated and operated stations across the country, as well as MSNBC.
In 2005, he returned to Entertainment Tonight as executive producer where he continued his on-air film reviews for ET’s companion show The Insider.
In 2014, he received an Emmy Award for Executive Producer when Entertainment Tonight won Outstanding Entertainment News Program. That year he retired.
Survivors include a sister and life partner, Ralph Dailey. No information was immediately available on memorial plans.