Hillary B. Smith 411
BIRTHDATE: May 25
HAILS FROM: Born in Massachusetts and raised in Palm Beach, FL MARITAL STATUS: Married to Phillip "Nip" Smith since 1983
CHILDREN: Daughter Courtney, born in 1986, and son Phillip "Phips," born in 1988
YEARS ON SHOW: 1992-present
AWARDS: Smith won an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy for her portrayal of Nora in 1994 and was nominated again in 2000.
Hillary B. Smith caught the acting bug at age 5, but she got her "big break" while attending Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, where a school production of Song Night in the City made it to off-Broadway. After several theater roles and prime-time TV gigs like NO SOAP, RADIO with Steve Guttenberg, Smith entered the daytime world. Her first soap role was Nurse Kit McCormick on THE DOCTORS in 1982. The following year, she replaced Margaret Colin as Margo on AS THE WORLD TURNS, but after six years in the popular role, she left the show to explore other opportunities. With the frenzied pace of shooting pilots on both coasts, however, the time away from her family eventually inspired a return to daytime.
When she won the role of Nora on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, producers were impressed with her hard-nosed approach to the character, but wanted Smith to become a redhead and show Nora's soft side. Her first front-burner storyline was a six-week trial in which she defended Todd Manning and his fraternity brothers, who were accused of gang-raping Marty. "When [then-Executive Producer] Linda Gottlieb told me [Nora] would be representing the rapists and would get them off, I was nauseated," Smith told Digest. "To let the rapists get off — I thought that was a really bad message." But Smith persuaded the writers to change the outcome and a mistrial was declared. Smith also became part of a daytime supercouple, playing opposite Robert S. Woods (Bo). In 1995, Nora and Bo tied the knot in one of daytime's quirkiest and most memorable weddings — a rock 'n' roll ceremony officiated by none other than Little Richard.
After a few strong years as Nora, Smith became antsy. Tired of being back-burnered, she took a role in the short-lived Gene Wilder sitcom SOMETHING WILDER. Since then, she has struggled with her ever-changing amount of story, and considered leaving the show on several occasions. When her contract was set to expire at the end of 2005, Nora was put into a coma that lasted a whopping six months, but much to the fans' delight, Smith signed on for another four years in December 2006.
In 2010, Bo and Nora remarried much to the delight of their family, friends and fans. Her official Web site is www.hillarybsmith.com.