Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remembering "Marlboro Man" David McLean May 19, 1922 - October 12, 1995

Whatever happened to "Marlboro Man"?

Many of the younger generation has never heard of "Marlboro Man"  Those of us in our fifties and sixties, when cigarettes were popular, knows that "Marlboro Man" was a popular cowboy on television whose purpose was to show the "macho side" of smoking, not just any cigarette, but Marlboros.

Marlboro Man was actually an Akron, Ohio native by the name of David McLean.  He appeared on television and newspaper advertising wearing his stetson and often riding his horse.  Part of his compensation was a free supply of cigarettes.

McLean was born Eugene Joseph Huth and was an actor who played the leading character in a short-lived western television series called "Tate"  He also appeared in numerous television episodes and feature films during the 1960's and 70's. He was a guest star on "Laramie" and as "Steve Collier" a corrupt politician in "Beyond Justice" and as Cully Brown in "A Grave for Cully Brown."  He also could be seen on episodes of popular westerns including "Death Valley Days" "Bonanza" "The Virginian" and appeared on the "Perry Mason" show. 

Ironically, McLean would eventually become an anti-smoking crusader after he learned that he developed lung cancer.  He attended a stockholder's meeting of the Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro, asking them to limit  their advertising that included his appearance.  He joined a campaign to end the  advertising of cigarettes on television.
David McLean's funeral program

Unfortunately, lung cancer took McLean's life on October 12, 1995 at the age of 73 in Culver City, California.  

The Gates, Kingsley & Gates Funeral Directors directed his funeral service (program pictured) in the Holy Cross Mausoleum Chapel in Culver City on Oct. 18, 1995 and following the service, McLean was laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery.  

McLean's resting place
Following McLean's death, his widow and son filed a lawsuit against Philip Morris that claimed the firm encouraged and even required cigarette smoking that caused his death. 

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