LOS ANGELES- Eric Lawson, one of several actors who depicted the "Marlboro Man" cowboy in a long-running series of cigarette ads for Philip Morris and later appeared in an anti-tobacco message for the American Cancer Society, has died of lung disease.
He was 72, and died at his home in the central California town of San Luis Obispo of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which the US surgeon general has linked to smoking.
His death was reported by his family in an obituary notice published on Sunday in the Los Angeles Times. The date of his death was not specified.
The square-jawed Lawson played dozens of bit parts in television shows spanning three decades, starting in the 1970s, including "Baretta," "The Waltons," "CHiPs," "Charlie's Angeles and "The A-Team."
Lawson was perhaps best recognized for his appearances during the late 1970s and early 1980s as the rugged cowboy in Marlboro Man print ads for Marlboro-brand cigarettes, one of the world's most successful commercial campaigns.