Jack Ward Smith, known as Smilin’ Jack Smith, was a crooner, radio host and actor.
Having been in a singing trio – “The Three Ambassadors” – from age 15, Jack became a solo crooner in 1939, with a voice described as a “strong baritone with a tenor lilt”.
Establishing a radio show in 1945, he went on to host such guests as Dinah Shore, Margaret Whiting, John Serry, Sr. and Ginny Simms. Following a guest appearance in the musical film Make Believe Ballroom, Jack was offered the second lead in Warner Bros.’ On Moonlight Bay opposite Doris Day.
With the television’s arrival, radio saw a decline in audiences, and Jack lost his show in 1952. He adapted however, and became the host of You Asked For It in 1958, staying with it in various roles until 1991. He also appeared as himself in the “Fearless Fonzarelli” episode of Happy Days, aired in 1975; Smith hosts the thinly-veiled You Wanted To See It, bearing witness to Fonzie’s feat of leaping fourteen garbage cans on his motorcycle.