Robert Norris, a rancher recognized for his position as an unique “Marlboro Man,” died final Sunday at his residence in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 90.
J.D. Wing, foreman for Norris’ Tee Cross Ranch horse program, confirmed his dying to USA TODAY. Norris had been in hospice care and was affected by dementia.
Norris was one of many males featured in Marlboro commercials within the U.S. and Europe, based on his obituary.
“Rather than taking his fame seriously, he enjoyed the adventure,” the obituary reads. “Bob regaled his friends with various misadventures during these shoots, often highlighting the fictional world of television with the real world of ranching he actually lived.”
Born in Chicago in 1929, Norris by no means supposed to turn out to be a Marlboro Man, and even an actor, he fell into the position.
“He was the first Marlboro Man on television,” Norris’ son, Bobby Norris, instructed USA TODAY. “Phillip Morris decided they needed to get into the television market in the very early 60s. They went out and they got all these good looking, square-jaw models.”
The administrators even dirtied the fashions’ clothes to make it look as if they’d been engaged on a ranch.
The issue was, not one of the employed fashions might experience a horse, he stated..
The company had been utilizing Norris’ ranch to shoot, and there he was within the background, holding a herd of horses. Norris match the position higher than the fashions they’d employed.
“They said, ‘let’s use Norris, he’s already dirty,'” his son stated with a chuckle.
That kicked off greater than a decade-long stint for Noris within the Marlboro commercials.
As for smoking, the Marlboro Man himself was not for it.
He was by no means a smoker, his obituary says. In actual fact, he deserted the marketing campaign after feeling that he was setting a foul instance for his personal kids.
“He always told us kids, ‘I don’t ever want to see you smoking,’ so one of us finally asked, ‘If you don’t want us smoking, why are you doing cigarette commercials?'” Norris’ son instructed KKTV. “He called up Phillip Morris and quit that day.”
Marlboro had him lighting 10 to 20 packs per shoot to get the cigarettes to burn proper, Wing defined.
“If there was ever any chance of him smoking those commercials turned him off of it,” Wing stated. “After the first 50 (cigarettes), he decided he hated those things.”
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The Twitter account for actor John Wayne, who died in 1979, despatched out a word wishing condolences to Norris’ household after his dying.
Norris and his spouse spent many Thanksgivings with John Wayne and his household at 26 Bar Ranch.
“He was a great man,” Wing stated, including that Norris gave him a shot coaching horses at simply 19 years previous. “He was a great cowboy himself and always wanting to help the next guy coming up.”
His son stated he at all times had time to assist or provide counsel, irrespective of the request.
“He touched so many lives,” his son stated. “I’ve probably had over 300 texts, personally, from people that he had interacted with or touched through the years. He was really one of a kind.”
USA TODAY reached out to Phillip Morris for remark.