The story of Constance Smith is explored in the documentary ‘Constance Smith – Tradoid Hollywood’ which airs on TG4 on Wednesday, 30th May


Constance Smith, was born in 46 Wolfe Tone Street, Limerick on 7 February 1929 to Sylvester Smith, a native of Dublin and Mary Biggane. Her father was a native of Dublin and was working in Limerick as a soldier when he met and married Constance’s mother. The family moved to Dublin in the 1930s where her father passed away when Constance was only a teenager.

In 1946, Constance won a look-alike competition where she looked like Hedy Lamarr. From this she was signed with the Ranks movie studio. Although this seemed like a golden opportunity to escape the Dublin tenements it was a series of misfortune for the young Irish girl as film executives tried to change everything about Constance. They began with training to change her accents and even wanted to change her name but she refused.

She was later picked up by Twentieth Century Fox where she had no luck at all. Her first marriage broke up and she suffered terribly from homesickness. Still in her twenties, this was only the start of her tragic life that seemed to never ease.