Denzil Smith is a filmmaker and an actor. He was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India on November 6, 1960, into a family of Anglo-Indians. His family consisted of his parents named Kathleen (Katsy) Maude Shepherd and Benjamin John Smith, and two siblings Cheryl Roy-Smith and Lionel Smith.
Benjamin worked with the Indian government as a civil servant. In spite of a desk job, he harbored immense love and respect for art and music. He could play instruments like ukulele, accordion, violin, piano and was a singer too.
In fact, Benjamin represented India in Paranjoti Academy Choir, Europe. Denzil got interested in arts because of his father. Unfortunately, Benjamin died when Denzil was just eleven. He studied at St. Andrews, Bandra, and the University of Mumbai.
After graduating from the University of Mumbai, he kick-started his career by working for Alyque Padamsee's Lintas, an advertising agency. However, he realized that he wasn't cut out for the corporate world and quit the job to devote all his time for acting.
Under the guidance of Pratap Sharma and Dr. Ashok Ranade, he took training in voice modulation from National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai. His first theatre role was in Les Liaisons Dangereuse, where
Ratna Pathak and
Naseeruddin Shah were his co stars.
Soon, Denzil became a part of Motley Productions, which was a theatre group.
Benjamin Gilani, Naseeruddin Shah, and
Tom Alter were its founder, and they would perform several plays on stage. He has performed all over the world.
Denzil has acted in Indian as well as international films and TV shows as well. His work profile includes Woh Aadmi Bahut Kuch Janta Tha, Waiting for Godot, Black Widow: A Land Bleeds, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Samvidhaan: The Making of the Constitution of India, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and much more.
Denzil has also lent his voice to several documentaries, feature film characters, animated motion pictures, commercials, and radio dramas. In his entire career, Denzil has enacted optimistic, villainous, comic, action, as well as grey roles.
Besides acting, he religiously organizes theatre progress and voice workshops at Celebrate Bandra and educational institutions respectively. Denzil loves listening to jazz music and is the host of jazz concerts at Blue Frog and National Centre for the Performing Arts.
In 2006, he established Stagesmith Productions to increase the production of English Indian plays. Under it, Denzil has financed Jazz. He regularly donates to a charity named Avehi Abacus.