Tom Smothers, who rose to fame alongside brother Dick Smothers as one half of the comedy duo the Smothers Brothers, died at age 86 on December 26, 2023, at his residence in Santa Rosa, California. Tom’s demise got here after he introduced he’d been recognized with stage two lung most cancers.

His youthful brother and sidekick launched a household assertion via the Nationwide Comedy Heart. “Tom was not solely the loving older brother that everybody would need of their life, he was a one-of-a-kind artistic accomplice,” Dick, 85, mentioned. “I’m eternally grateful to have spent a lifetime along with him, on and off stage, for over 60 years. Our relationship was like marriage – the longer we have been collectively, the extra we beloved and revered each other. We have been actually blessed.”

The Nationwide Comedy Heart launched its personal assertion on the loss, as properly. “Tom was a real pioneer who modified the face of tv and reworked our tradition with The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which satirized politics, combated racism, protested the Vietnam Battle, and led the best way for Saturday Night time Stay, The Each day Present, at present’s community late evening exhibits, and a lot extra,” they mentioned.

Discover out all the things you should know in regards to the life and legacy of Tom Smothers, co-star of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, beneath. 

He Was From New York

Tom Smothers and Susanne Zenor
Tom Smothers and Susanne Zenor in ‘Get to Know your Rabbit’ in 1972. (Glasshouse Pictures/Shutterstock)

Thomas Bolyn Smothers III was born on February 2, 1937, in New York Metropolis. He was the son of homemaker Ruth Remick and Main Thomas B. Smothers, who as a military officer would finally die a prisoner of conflict of the Japanese in 1945. Tom and his household subsequently moved to Southern California, the place he graduated from Redondo Union Excessive Faculty in Redondo Seaside.

Tom Was Athletic

The younger Tom Smothers was exceptionally bodily lively. Based on his Wikipedia web page, Tom was a aggressive state champion in gymnastics, excelling on the parallel bars, and a aggressive unicyclist as a highschool pupil. He later attended San José State School, the place he pole vaulted for the observe group and competed in gymnastics.

He Was A part of a John Lennon Hit

Tom befriended John Lennon. In 1969, he performed acoustic guitars with the music legend whereas recording Lennon’s single with Yoko Ono, “Give Peace a Probability.”

Tom Confirmed Up in A number of Motion pictures

Smothers Brothers
The Smothers Brothers in 1981. (Bei/Shutterstock)

Comedy and music weren’t Tom’s solely skills — he additionally had roles in main studio movies, together with Get to Know Your Rabbit (1972), There Goes the Bride, (1980), Pandemonium, 1982, and Serial (1980.)

On TV, nonetheless, Tom and his brother have been lightning rods for controversy. The CBS boomer hit Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour pushed boundaries by sneaking in references to Vietnam and satirizing the institution, amongst different scorching button matters — a transfer that may land the present in scorching water. It was finally cancelled in 1970, regardless of its reputation and excessive scores.

Tom proved to be a vocal critic of censorship within the years to come back.

He Was a Father

Based on NPR, Tom was married 3 times and had three kids. He’s survived by kids Riley Rose and Bo, and his spouse, Marie Smothers. His son Thomas Bolyn Smothers IV (also called Tom Jr) died in April of 2023, based on a publicly accessible obituary.

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