The Oscars official YouTube channel has uploaded Linda Blair‘s heartwarming tribute speech to make-up artist Dick Smith at the 2011 Governors Awards.

Dick Smith received an honorary Oscar on the night for his illustrious career and groundbreaking achievements in make-up special effects. The award was presented to him by Rick Baker, who got his first break by assisting Dick Smith on The Exorcist before going on to have an amazing career of his own.

With tears welling in her eyes, Linda spoke from the heart to close her speech, saying, “It is truly my honor and my privilege to have been one of the many actors that you transformed, and made movie magic that, I think, forever change the way we look at film.”

Dick Smith first invented rubber prosthetic make-ups on The Exorcist, transforming Linda Blair’s apple-cheeked face into a ghastly demon. The technique would become an industry standard. Just one of the many groundbreaking things he has achieved in a truly spectacular, innovative career.

Pictured in a rare photo below is Dick Smith helping Linda Blair apply her contacts on the set of The Exorcist. They are wearing heavy jackets because the set was refrigerated in order to create the breathy mist.


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