Former Marlboro man dies from smoking-related disease
Another of the Marlboro Men who portrayed the rugged, cigarette-puffing cowboy in a series of advertisements has died of a smoking-related lung illness.
Eric Lawson, who featured in the ads during the late 1970s, was 72. He died at his home in San Luis Obispo, California, of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Lawson was an actor with bit parts on television shows such as Baretta and The Streets of San Francisco when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981.
His wife, Susan, said injuries sustained on the set of a western film ended his career in 1997.
A smoker since 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro Man and an Entertainment Tonight segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking.
Susan said her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time and continued the habit until diagnosed with the disease.
"He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him," she said. "He knew, yet he still couldn't stop."
Several actors and models who promoted the Marlboro brand have died of smoking- related diseases. They include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995.