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Lois Smith made her film debut in East of Eden, based on the John Steinbeck novel, where she shared the screen with James DeanWarner Brothers released the movie in April 1955, about six months before Dean’s death in a car crash.

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More than a half century later, in 2012, Lois Smith starred on Broadway in Heartless, the Sam Shepard-penned drama, where she played Mable, a woman partially paralyzed because she fell out of a tree while watching East of Eden on a drive-in movie screen.