The first real-life cowboy who held a Marlboro cigarette in his hand, and played the role of the “Marlboro Man” – even though he wasn’t a smoker – has died. Norris was 90.
Robert Norris, who played the advertising icon for a dozen years, reportedly died last Sunday at his ranch in Colorado Springs.
As the story goes, ad execs noticed Norris in a newspaper photo with his longtime friend – an actor by the name of John Wayne – and tracked him down at his 63,000-acre ranch in Colorado.
They thought he was perfect for the rugged, genuine cowboy character, and, according to a friend, he did it as a favor. This was in the ’60s, and Bob appeared in magazines, commercials and billboards for the cigarette company for the next 12 years.
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