(PCM) Actor Eric Lawson, who is best known for his portrayal of the Marlboro Man in the cigarette brands’ ad campaigns in the late 70’s, has passed away at the age of 72.
Lawson’s cause of death was respiratory failure due to COPD, which is a smoking related illness. He died at home and is survived by his wife Susan Lawson, six children, eighteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Lawson was hired by Marlboro to portray the rugged Marlboro Man in ads that ran from 1978 to 1981. He has done some film and TV work with notable roles in “Dynasty”, “Baywatch” and “Charlie’s Angels”. He sustained injuries on the set of a Western film in 1997 which then ended his acting career.
Lawson had been a smoker since the age of 14, however he did appear in a anti-smoking ad that made parody of his famous Marlboro Man character and also spoke publicly about the harmful effects of long-term cigarette smoking.
Lawson is not the only Marlboro actor/model who has died from smoking related illnesses. David Miller died of emphysema in 1987 and David McLean died of lung cancer in 1995.