Shelley Smith, Model & ‘The Associates’ Actress, Dies @ 70

August 12, 2023

Shelley Smith, an accomplished model turned actress who later became a marriage-and-fertility specialist, died August 8 at 70.

Smith was a bombshell with brains on The Associates. (Image via ABC)

Her death was reported by her husband of 18 years, Michael Maguire, who posted an emotional video on Facebook in the wake of her passing.

Maguire wrote, "My dear, sweet angel Shelley Smith passed peacefully yesterday [August 8] at 2:20 PM. Her children, Nicky and Miranda Nathan and I were at her side and holding her hand and kissing her head and singing to her and telling her how much we loved her. Also, with us was Grant Stevens, my great great friend, who gave up himself to help us, understand the process of dying, and guided us through it with so much class and dignity! We owe him a tremendous debt! Shelley lived an incredible life! We are all heartbroken, but we are also so fortunate to have been touched by this beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and incredible soul. Life is so short. Make every second count and fill every second with love."

Smith was born October 25, 1952, in Princeton, New Jersey. In the 1970s, she was an in-demand model, appearing in all the major fashion magazines and in commercials and ad campaigns.

A face of the '70s (Image via Bazaar)

By 1979, she had decided to move into acting, making her TV debut in the movie Mirror, Mirror, about three women seeking to change their lives through cosmetic surgery (co-starring Janet Leigh, Lee Meriwether and Loretta Swit).

Other TV movies included Swan Song (1980) with David Soul, The Night the City Screamed (1980) with a cast that included Raymond Burr and David Cassidy, the horror film This House Possessed (1981) with Parker Stevenson and the major telefilm Scruples (1981).

A big break, though, was the series The Associates (1979-1980). A sharp workplace comedy starring Wilfrid Hyde-White and a very young Martin Short, the series only lasted a single season.

Playing Capt. Carolyn Engel in the 1983 TV movie For Love and Honor led to a gig as a series regular when it was turned into a series, albeit one that lasted just 12 episodes (1983-1984).

Smith made a number of appearances on series of the era, including Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (1980), The Stockard Channing Show (1980), Angie (1980), Hart to Hart (1980 & 1983), Tales of the Gold Monkey (1983), Fantasy Island (1981-1984), Cover Up (1984), Hotel (1984), Hunter (1987), Magnum, P.I. (1986 & 1988), Dragnet (1989) and her final work as an actress, on Murder, She Wrote (1987 & 1991).

Before retiring, Smith made a name for herself as one of the most gifted celebrity competitors on TV game shows, and was especially adept at Pyramid, coolly winning contestants tens of thousands of dollars.


Shelley Smith (RIP) — 1 of the BEST "Pyramid" Players EVER! #shelleysmith #gameshow

♬ original sound - Matthew Rettenmund/BoyCulture

Leaving acting, she earned her master's in psychology and specialized in marital and fertility counseling. Founding Egg Donor Program (now Hatch), she devoted her professional life to aiding families seeking to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization, which she used to give birth to her twins, Nicky and Miranda.

A recent photo of the eternally lovely Smith (Image via Facebook)

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