Actor Eric Lawson, who portrayed the Marlboro Man during the late 1970s, has died at the age of 72 from smoking-related disease.
Eric Lawson’s wife, Susan Lawson, said Sunday that her husband died on January 10 at his California home. The cause was respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
He portrayed the smoking cowboy in Marlboro print ads from 1978 to 1981. He also had bit parts in such TV shows as Baretta and Charlie’s Angels before injuries sustained on the set of a Western film ended his acting career.
A smoker since age 14, Eric 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.
Eric Lawson is also survived by six children.