Actor Pete Smith has been confirmed dead.
The M?ori actor who starred in Lord of the Rings, Once Were Warriors and The Piano died on Saturday January 29, at the age of 63.
The film star from New Zealand, died after a long battle with kidney disease and dementia, according to local reports. Smith’s son Poumau Papali’i-Smith told Stuff he had been “sick for a long time” and so his family are “happy he didn’t have to suffer any longer”.
“So it’s kind of bittersweet.
“For the last seven years, he’d been on dialysis which took its toll on him over the years. Within the last two years he was also diagnosed with dementia.
“We started doing dialysis at home but over the last few weeks he suffered an infection which he fought for the last four weeks.”
Smith made his screen debut the 1985 science fiction film The Quiet Earth before going on to win best supporting actor in New Zealand drama feature film Flight of the Albatross in 1987.
His film credits also include What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, The Boys and Flight of the Albatross. He also starred in a number of TV shows, invluding Plainclothes, Shortland Street, Greenstone and Mataku.
In 2006, Smith picked up Best Performance by a Supporting Actor at the Air New Zealand Screen Awards for his role in drama series The Market.
Pete is survived by his six children and wife Mona Papali’i.