Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Eric Lawson | Ex-Marlboro man, 72

Eric Lawson, 72, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, died at home Jan. 10, his wife, Susan Lawson, said Sunday. She said his death was caused by respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Mr. Lawson, who lived in San Luis Obispo, Calif., 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 suffered on the set of a Western film ended his career in 1997.

A smoker since age 14, Mr. Lawson later appeared in an antismoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man and an Entertainment Tonight segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. Susan 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." - AP

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