Robert "Bob" Norris, who played the iconic Marlboro Man for more than a decade in the '60s, died on his Colorado route at 90. According to multiple sources, Norris was never a smoker.
Norris got into the high-profile campaign for the cigarette brand Philip Morris by accident, as his son Bobby Norris told local CBS affiliate, KKTV. He said advertising executives searched for his father after seeing him in a newspaper photograph with a well-known friend of his Hollywood connections, John Wayne. to Dad and they said, & # 39; How do you want to be commercials for Marlboro cigarettes? & # 39; "Bobby Norris told the station." He said, & # 39; Well, I'm busy right now. Why not come back next week, and, if you're serious, let's talk. & # 39; ”
They returned, of course, and shot 2,000 pictures, he said.
( The Gazette newspaper reported Norris's findings somewhat differently: His ranch was chosen as a place to shoot an ad campaign, and Norris was like a real cowboy they like him in front of the lens,.)
This weekend he lost a legend and one of Duke's close friends, Bob Norris. Bob is a Colorado rancher and the original Marlboro man. He and his wife spent many Thanksgivings at 26 Bar Ranch with John Wayne and his family. Our condolences go out to the Norris family. pic.twitter.com/hF7MILAXto
– John Wayne Official (@JohnDukeWayne) November 4, 2019
Son of Norris – one of his four children with his deceased wife of 65 years – explained to KKTV why his father quit playing the company mascot in the 60s, just as consumers learned how cigarettes affected their health.
"She always told us kids, & # 39; I don't want to see you smoking, & # 39;" said the younger Norris, "so don't finally ask one of us, & # 39; If you don't like us smoking, why are you doing cigarette commercials? & # 39; He called Phillip Morris and quit that day. "
The company stopped. using Marlboro Man in the announcements only after other men who starred in its campaign died of lung cancer, NPR reported in October 2002.
Marlboro aside, Norris, whose ranch eventually occupying more than 100,000 acres, is important to his community. He not only performed roles in local rodeo organizations, but he was an avid creator. A local place was named after him.
Colorado Springs Chief Minister John Suthers issued a statement to the TV station:
"Bob Norris not only looked at the part of a cowboy, he was the real deal. The T-Cross Ranch has long been the largest property owner in El Paso County and Bob and his family have done an amazing job of maintaining a lifestyle in the face of urban growth. Bob had a great impact on our community, including the Norris Penrose Event Center. ”
The family held a public service to remember him on Friday.
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