Monday, January 27, 2014

Marlboro Cowboy in cigarette ads dies of chronic lung disease. RIP

Marlboro ad man Eric Lawson dies of chronic lung disease
Actor who appeared in cigarette campaign in late 1970s 
is third Marlboro cowboy to succumb to smoking-related illness

Eric Lawson appeared in the Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981. 
Eric Lawson, who portrayed 
the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, 
has died. 
He was 72.

Lawson died on 10 January at his home in San Luis Obispo 
of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 
his wife, Susan Lawson, said on Sunday.

Lawson was an actor with bit parts on such TV shows as Baretta and 
The Streets of San Francisco when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads 
from 1978 to 1981. 
His other credits include Charlie's Angels, Dynasty and Baywatch. 
His wife said injuries sustained on the set of a western film ended his career in 1997.

A smoker since age 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. 
Ms Lawson said her husband was proud of the interview, 
even though he was smoking at the time and 
continued the habit until he was diagnosed with COPD.

"He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him," she said. 
"He knew, yet he still couldn't stop."

A few actors and models who appeared in adverts for Marlboro cigarettes 
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.

Lawson is also survived by six children, 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.