A student of art with a history in television, film, and Broadway, Burr Smidt maintained a colorful and eclectic career that stretched beyond the boundaries of any single media. Leaving school at 17 to join the Navy, Smidt later studied art in Sarasota and Key West, where he earned a scholarship to the University of Movalia in Mexico to study mural painting. After traveling to New York in 1949, where he had his first experience with the performing arts, Smidt got a job at NBC in 1951. He became the network's youngest vice-president, as well as a key component in its conversion from black-and-white to color broadcasting. Working as art director for a number of NBC specials, including Miracle on 34th Street, Smidt went on to direct numerous episodes of ABC's American Sportsman, and also served as art director for the 1961 John Frankenheimer film The Young Savages. In 1962 Smidt was nominated for an Emmy for his work on The Power and the Glory, starring Lawrence Olivier. Smidt's Broadway experience included lighting and set design for Infidel Caesar. On November 14, 2000, Burr Smidt died of unreported causes in Florida. He was 73.