In Remembrance: Bradford W. Smith ’87MFA Died on October 22 2021

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Bradford W. Smith, a Western Michigan University and Yale School of Drama alumnus, and former CAA agent and retired producer/production executive, passed away on Friday, October 22, 2021, at the Russiaville, Indiana, home of his sister and brother-in-law.

Bradford grew up in Adrian, Michigan, with his brother Kirk and sister Pamela, and earned a bachelor of arts from Western Michigan University before going on to Yale School of Drama to pursue and gain his MFA in theater administration/producing. Upon graduation, Bradford moved to Los Angeles where he joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Starting as an assistant to agent Jack Rapke, he soon moved up the ranks to represent such artists as John Singleton, Robert Townsend, and the Farrelly Brothers.

Bradford left CAA in late 1994 to partner with John Singleton in his company, New Deal Productions. Throughout his 30-plus-year career, Smith served as a production executive for John Hughes, Will Smith, and Mike Medavoy, and racked up producing credits on such films as Woo, starring Tommy Davidson and Jada Pinkett Smith, and New York, I Love You, featuring Natalie Portman, Shia LaBeouf, and Bradley Cooper, as well as the stage adaptations for A Christmas Story and Bonnie & Clyde.

Smith is survived by his children: sons Nicholas (26) and Brandon (25) and daughters Katharine (18), and Audrey (15); his sister, Pam Flores, brother-in-law, Carlos Flores, and brother, Kirk Smith; and nieces Trisha Everheart and Becky Meyers and nephew Cortland Reid. In lieu of flowers, Bradford’s family encourages those wanting to honor his memory to please consider donating to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance  online at or by mail (55 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 490, Chicago, IL  60604);and/or the American Diabetes Association online (, via phone (800.342.2387), or by mail (American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA, 22116-7023).

—Submitted by the family.

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