Jan 27, 2014
By Andy Johnson
The ruggedly handsome actor who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died at the age of 72. Eric Lawson succumbed to respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or C-O-P-D. Lawson, a smoker since age 14, appeared in Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981. He later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man, but his wife says he continued smoking right up until he was diagnosed with C-O-P-D. Two other Marlboro pitchmen also died of smoking-related diseases. David Millar died of emphysema in 1987. David McLean died of lung cancer in 1995.