Candace Smith, Commercial Actress and Model, Bookstore Owner and Former Phillies Girl, Dies at 76

Candace Smith, 76, of Philadelphia, former business and promotional actress, longtime owner of the Garland of Letters bookstore on South Street, yoga enthusiast and “Phillies girl” in the 1970s and 80s, died on Monday September 6 of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at home.

Described by her longtime friend Marc Goldberg as “a character with great character,” Ms. Smith has led an eclectic life that has featured a range of accomplishments.

She has filmed commercials and radio commercials for the Phillies and other local and national clients, appeared as a model in print publications, represented the Phillies and others at promotional events, owned and operated a New Age bookstore and practiced yoga with respected teacher and author Vijayendra. Pratap.

“I have to say the whole world was her stage,” Goldberg said, “and she knew it.”

Cinematographer Garrett Brown has worked with Ms Smith on numerous TV and radio commercials, and said her distinctive voice and ability to improvise added an exciting dimension to their work.

“She danced and smoothed and bewitched in our early commercials, but a bright, whimsical intelligence still shone behind those eyes,” he wrote in a tribute.

“She loved the camera, and the camera loved her,” Goldberg said.

Ms. Smith opened the Garland of Letters Bookstore, which features a life-size statue of a lion on its door, in the 1970s. It offers yoga classes and sells tarot and oracle games, music, books on topics such as Himalayan healing and spells, incense and other articles related to metaphysics.

It has won numerous Philadelphia Flower Show awards for its display cases and was included in the 2019 Best of Philly by Philadelphia Magazine, which described it as a “metaphysical oasis (a holdover from the South Street hippie days). . “

Friends have said the store represents the real me and the genuine soul of Ms Smith. It was “a complete reflection of who she was,” Goldberg said.

Ms. Smith was a founding force and contributing member of the SKY Foundation and the Yoga Research Society, and Goldberg called her “a true catalyst and influencer and a cornerstone of these. [yoga] communities. “

Gary Levitt and Victor Sonder, directors and publicity managers, hired Ms Smith in the 1970s to work for their agency, Sonder Levitt & Sagorsky, doing dubbing and camera work. Sonder wrote in a tribute that she was “sweet but with a compelling mix of talents and daring personality traits inside of her.”

“Candy’s legacy is one of beauty, spirituality and love,” Sonder wrote.

Dennis Lehman, director of marketing for the Phillies from 1970 to 1988 and current executive vice president of Cleveland Indian affairs, worked with Ms. Smith during her tenure as the Phillies’ promotional spokesperson. He oversaw her studio work and accompanied her on promotional shoots with the Phanatic and fans.

“She was professional, personable and just plain fun,” Lehman wrote in a tribute. “I can also speak on behalf of the Channel 17 crew; she lit up the studio.

Chris Wheeler, former director of community relations and host for the Phillies, called Ms Smith a “professional par excellence” and wrote: “We always laughed at the way she would come to the studio looking like a flower child. Then about half an hour later would emerge as this glamorous model. But she’s always been the same down-to-earth and good person.

Born February 21, 1945 in Indianapolis, Mrs. Smith was an only child. She moved to South Florida with her family when she was young, was named the Junior Orange Bowl Princess, spent a few semesters at the University of Maryland after high school, and came to Philadelphia with her mother in the 1960s. .

Outside of work, she enjoyed gardening and surrounding herself with animals, especially horses, dogs and cats. She had a vacation home in Unityville, Pennsylvania. She suffered a stroke in 2005.

“Deep in her heart, she was the sweetest thing on this side of Heaven,” Goldberg said.

Services must take place later.

Donations in her name can be made to the SKY Foundation, 339 Fitzwater St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147, and the Yoga Research Society, 341 Fitzwater St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147.

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