Ralph Smart (Ralph Foster Smart)
BiographyChingford, Greater London, England, UK
Ralph Smart was born to Australian parents in the London suburb of Chingford, some ten miles northeast of Charing Cross. He began his professional career in films as an editor, writer and director of documentary shorts in 1927. Smart collaborated on the screenplays of some of Michael Balcon's early films at Gaumont-British, before moving 'down under' to make propaganda films and documentaries for the Australian government during the Second World War. After the war, he worked as producer or producer/director on two seminal films shot by Ealing in Australia: The Overlanders (1946) and Bush Christmas (1947). Read more... again in Britain, affiliated with ITC as writer/producer/director of several popular TV period adventures, notably The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955), The Buccaneers (1956) and William Tell (1958). His best known contribution came about in the 1960's, when he created the action series Danger Man (1960) and its incorruptible lone wolf protagonist John Drake, played brilliantly by Patrick McGoohan. After the show was cancelled in 1966, Smart returned to working as a freelance screenwriter on the short-lived Australian-based series Riptide (1969), starring American actor Ty Hardin. Smart settled down in Bowen, Queensland, where the show was filmed and died there in February 2001 at the venerable age of 92.