He was born in Auckland, New Zealand and spent his early childhood there. His family moved to the small rural town of Timaru in New Zealand’s South Island when he was 11. During high school, he began playing in rock-and-roll bands, but never aspired to a career as an actor. He had a passion for rugby and his dream was to play for the All Blacks, New Zealand’s world-famous rugby team. At 17, Smith moved to Christchurch and worked at various jobs before enrolling in Canterbury University at the age of 20. He married his childhood sweetheart, Sue, and stumbled into acting literally by accident when he suffered a concussion playing college rugby in 1987. He was forced to sit on the sidelines for nearly three weeks and during that period, Sue saw a casting call ad for the touring company of Are You Lonesome Tonight, the musical tribute to Elvis Presley, and signed Kevin up for an audition. He landed the part of one of the bodyguards and was understudy to the lead. He played in a number of alternative rock bands in New Zealand, including being one of the lead singers of The Wide Lapels, a local band which inspired rave reviews and a devoted following for its camp renderings of the worst songs of the ’70s — songs like Take a Letter, Maria, Tell Laura I Love Her and Billy, Don’t be a Hero — which qualify for the group’s repertoire on the basis of having bad lyrics that don’t get better with time. Kevin and his wife Sue resided in Auckland. They had three sons together: Oscar, Tyrone and Willard.
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