He was so much more than a Camera Man.

You’ve probably seen more of Bradshaw Smith’s work than any other actor, director or producer in town.  But you also probably didn’t know his name.

He was just “Bradshaw” to most and after a very successful career as a cabaret artist in the 80s, he retired to the other side of the biz and picked up a video camera.  And for the next 30 years, he never put it down.

Bradshaw was responsible for shooting and editing more B-Roll and commercials than almost anyone else in town, and he also gave birth to Broadway Beat, the first cable television program all about Broadway.

And this past Saturday afternoon, at the age of 57 (!), Bradshaw passed away.

Bradshaw worked on a bunch of my shows and literally lived and breathed his work.  His midtown apartment was also his editing studio.  Every time I visited to finalize an edit, I was always overwhelmed by the stacks and stacks of tapes of some of the greatest shows in Broadway history that lined his walls.  Yeah, it was his job to have all that stuff.  But that’s not why he kept them.  He loved Broadway with a passion and his profession was just a way for him to capture those moments that he loved so much and keep them closer to him.

You deserved a much longer run, my friend.  A much longer run.

 

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Comments
  • Jani Bedrick says:

    Bless Him and may he rest in Eternal Peace..

  • A beautifully personal eulogy. Thank you.

  • Solange De Santis says:

    A beautiful tribute, Ken. The ghost light burns for Bradshaw.

  • Thank you for your beautiful tribute to wonderful Bradshaw.
    He was the video guy for Horowitz & Spector and then Russell did videos for me through Bradshaw’s office. It’s hard to think of videos of shows without seeing Bradshaw’s face and his home office. I know his spirit is fine. We’re the ones who will feel the loss.

  • Sybil Bruncheon says:

    Bradshaw was one of my first friends in the cabaret community, which like other branches of the entertainment world has its mix of the warmhearted, the suspicious, the envious, the deceivers, the grand! I had never done a cabaret show before 1988, and I was met with tons of skepticism and sideways glances by the “upperclassmen” when I first came onto the scene. I was producing, writing, directing, and acting in it, which was unusual only because it was actually a “book” musical/improv with a cast, multiple costumes, scenery, props, programs, and even changing guest stars from other shows who would “drop” in to do specialty numbers. Bradshaw, from the first minute I met him and he saw what I was up to, encouraged me, introduced me to friends, and gave me ideas, support, and inspiration. That show, CAFE BERLIN ran for 3 years. And when, after years of playing it “safe” in the fickle corporate world, I was laid off, and had to reinvent myself, it was Bradshaw on a sunny April morning on Fire Island who talked to me about my plans for Sybil Bruncheon, and what I could now do with her with the whole new world of technology available….There we were bundling up in our sweaters having coffee in the chilly sunshine of the retreating Winter of 2011, sharing what it means to move on, to embrace new adventures in the face of loss, heartbreak, and adversity. Bradshaw’s love for John was inspiring to any who knew them and a ferocious rebuke to all those who think that a same-sex couple could never have a meaningful and long lasting relationship. Over the years, Bradshaw moved in and out of my life as our careers and fortunes changed and evolved….now we decided that we would start interviewing all the old-timers ( a vanishing breed!) out in Cherry Grove and capture their wonderful stories, mischiefs, scandals, gossip, and memories of the Island back in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s before all of it was lost….a wonderful project for the coming Summer and Fall. And it was just last week or so that I went to his home and picked up the newly reworked and digitized DVDs of CAFE BERLIN. We talked at length about this coming Spring and the Archiving both of his library and the exciting pursuit of the Fire Island project….We both joked that if the Mayans are right and this IS the end of the World, we would rather throw caution to the wind and have a Ball doing our shows and projects like children playing for all they’re worth, and Fate be damned!!! We both agreed to use 2012 for fun, adventure, and new hope…… I know that Bradshaw is having some of John’s brilliant (and I mean BRILLIANT!) apricot cobbler right now while they sit together at end of day looking at the first stars coming out on a Fire Island evening that will always be balmy and perfect….the ocean is rolling softly in the backround…I’m sure Bradshaw’s making all the lighting and sound arrangements for a perfect paradise to come for the two of them…………I’ll stay here, and continue to play in the sand of our Earthbound world…being even more appreciative and grateful for the year, the month, the week, the sunset, the moment that is given….loaned, I should say, and is taken back finally. And that lesson will be one more gift that Bradshaw left behind without even knowing it…..you see, he was accidentally generous.

  • Sandy Jordan says:

    I remember him so well …. remember him singing with us at various clubs. And I was always glad to see him doing so well. He was very creative and very talented and very nice. He will be missed…

  • JAMES O'NEILL says:

    HI KEN,
    WHAT A MOVING TRIBUTE TO SOMEONE WE ALL KNOW IS THERE,
    BUT RARELY SEE OR HEAR ABOUT.
    THANK YOU FOR THE RMINDER THAT THERE ARE NO SMALL PARTS.
    MY BEST
    JIM O’NEILL

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