List of Celebrities who died of Smoking-related illnesses

Posted in Art and Culture

Allen, Gracie, 58, actress; heart attack (August 27, 1964)
The Burns and Allen Show
Allen lived with an George Burns, an inveterate cigar smoker, for 38 years; she had a long history of heart problems.

Arnaz, Desi, actor, lung cancer (December 2, 1986)
I Love Lucy

Astor, Mary, 81, actress; emphysema (September 24, 1987)
The Maltese Falcon

Ball, Lucille, actress, heart disease (Helen Gurley Brown claims cause of death was "smoking-induced lung cancer")
I Love Lucy Lucy & Ricky

Bankhead, Tallulah, 65, actress; lung cancer (December 12, 1968)
The Blue Angel

Benny, Jack, 80, comedian/violinist; lung cancer (December 26, 1974)

Benaderet, Bea, 62, TV actress; emphysema/lung cancer (October 13, 1968)
Beverly Hillbillies, Burns & Allen, Petticoat Junction, Betty Rubble's voice in The Flintstones

Bernstein, Leonard, 72, composer, conductor; heart attack due to lung failure (October 14, 1990)

Blake, Amanda, 60, actress; throat cancer (August 16, 1989)
Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke;
At 48, Blake, once a 2-pack a day smoker, had a malignant tumor removed from her tongue; she re-learned how to speak, toured for the American Cancer Society, and fought oral cancer until her death 12 years later. President Reagan presented her with the ACS's "Courage Award" in 1984.

Blakey, Art,71, jazz drummer and band leader; lung cancer (1990)

Brand, Neville,71, actor; emphysema (1992)

Bogart, Humphrey, 57, actor; cancer of the esophagus (January 14, 1957)
Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

Brynner, Yul, 65, actor; lung cancer (Fall, 1985)
The King and I
Diagnosed in 1983, Brynner made a memorable anti-smoking commercial.

Caen, Herb; SF columnist; lung cancer (February 1, 1997)

Candy, John; actor; heart attack (March 4, 1994)
Second City TV; Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Cantineflas (Mario Moreno Reyes), 81, popular Mexican comedian; lung cancer (April 20, 1993)

Cassidy, Jack; 50, actor; died in a fire from smoking in bed (December 12, 1976)
Father of Patrick and Shaun Cassidy, step-father of David Cassidy

Cipollone, Rose; housewife; lung cancer (1984)

Cobb, Ty, 74, baseball player; cancer, diabetes, chronic heart disease (July 17, 1961)

Cole, Nat "King", 45, singer; died after surgery for lung cancer (February 15, 1965)

Connors, Chuck, 71; actor; lung cancer (November 10, 1992)
The Rifleman

Coward, Noel, 73, playwright, entertainer; heart attack (March 26, 1973

Cooper, Gary, 60, actor; lung cancer (May 13, 1961)
High Noon, Sgt. York

Cooper, Wilhelmina Behmenburg, 40, modeling agency pioneer; lung cancer (1980)

Crosby, Gary, 61, author, son of Bing Crosby; lung cancer (August 24, 1995)
Going My Own Way (1983)

Davis, Bette, 81, stroke (1989)

Davis, Jr., Sammy, 64, entertainer; throat cancer (1990)

Dewhurst, Colleen, 67, actress, lung cancer (1991)

Disney, Walt, 65, animator, producer; lung cancer (acute circulatory collapse following an operation to remove a tumor) (December 15, 1966)

Dorsey, Jimmy, 53, musician, bandleader; lung cancer (June 12, 1957)
So Rare, Tangerine

Eliot, T.S., 76; author, poet; emphysema (January 4, 1965)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Hallow Men, Murder in the Cathedral

Ellington, Duke, 75; composer/band leader; lung cancer/pneumonia (May 24, 1974)
Sophisticated Lady, It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got that Swing

Fenneman, George, 77; announcer, actor; emphysema (May 19, 1997)
Groucho Marx sidekick, You Bet Your Life

Finks, Jim, 65; football team president/manager; lung cancer (1993)
Much-admired New Orleans Saints football team president and general manager. Credited with helping to bring about the return of the Chicago Cubs and New Orleans Saints. From Tobacco News, 6/10/93: There is no smoking anymore on the grounds of the New Orleans Saints' mini camp. Signs went up on orders of owner Tom Benson, after . . . Jim Finks was diagnosed with lung cancer April 30. "There's no smoking anywhere on the Saints property," Coach Jim Mora said. "And I mean anywhere."

Fleming, Ian, 56, author; heart attack (August 12, 1964)
James Bond novels

Flynn, Errol, 50, actor; heart attack (October 14, 1959)
Robin Hood, Captain Blood
Sidelight: In his youth, Flynn ran a tobacco plantation in New Guinea

Fosse, Bob, dancer/choreographer, smoked 4 packs a day; heart attack (1987)

Freud, Sigmund, 83, cancer of the jaw (1939)

Gable, Clark, 59, actor; heart attack (November 16, 1960)
The Misfits

Giacometti, Bart; baseball commissioner; heart attack (1990)

Gleason, Jackie, actor; lung cancer
The Honeymooners

Godfrey, Arthur "Smoke 'em by the carton"; lung cancer (diagnosed in 1959)

Goizueta, Roberto, 65, Coca-Cola CEO, lung cancer (October 18, 1997)

Grant, General Ulysses S., 63, throat cancer (July 23, 1885)
18th President of the US

Grable, Betty, 56, "pin-up" girl, actress; lung cancer (July 2, 1973)
How to Marry a Millionaire


Guardino, Harry, 69, actor; lung cancer (July 17, 1995)

Haynes, Lloyd, 52, TV actor; lung cancer (December 31, 1986)
General Hospital, Mr. Dixon in Room 222

Hayward, Susan, 55, actor; lung cancer metastized to her brain (March 14, 1975)
I'll Cry Tomorrow, I Want to Live!

Hellman, Lillian, author; lung cancer
The Little Foxes

Hobbs, Elsbeary, singer; throat and lung cancer (May 31, 1996)
Bass singer with The Drifters
Under the Boardwalk, On Broadway, There Goes My Baby

Holliday, Judy, 43, actress; throat cancer (June 7, 1965)
Born Yesterday

Humphrey, Hubert, Vice-President under Johnson, 66, bladder cancer (1978)

Huntley, Chet, actor, news commentator; lung cancer (1974)

Huston, John, 81, director; emphysema (1987)

Howard, Mo, 77, actor; lung cancer
The "boss stooge" of The Three Stooges

Ives, Burl, 85, actor; oral cancer (April 14, 1995)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; The Big Country

James, Dennis, 79; announcer, actor, game show host; lung cancer (June 5, 1997)
Voice of Old Gold Cigarettes when they danced died of lung cancer 30 years after quitting smoking. Had spurned lucrative tobacco contract after SG's report.

Jones, Lindley Armstrong ("Spike"), 53; comedic composer/band leader; emphysema (May 1, 1965)
Smoked 5 packs a day

Karloff, Boris, 81, actor; heart and lung disease (February 2, 1969)

Kaufman, Andy, 35, lung cancer (184)

King of England, lung cancer (1952)

Keaton, Buster, 71, deadpan silent film actor; lung cancer (February 1, 1966)
The General

Kendrick, Eddie, 52; singer; (1992)
The Temptations
Asked kids not to smoke.

Kovacs, Ernie, 43; TV personality; skull fracture from an automobile accident caused while he was trying to light his trademark cigar (January 11, 1962)

Landon, Michael, 54, actor, smoked 4 packs a day; cancer of the pancreas and liver (July 1, 1991)
Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie; I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Lerner, Alan Jay, 67, playwright, lyricist; lung cancer. (June 14, 1986)
My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, An American In Paris, Gigi, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Camelot

Marvin, Lee, 67, actor; heart attack. (August 29, 1987)
Cat Ballou

Marx, Groucho, 86, actor/entertainer; lung cancer. (Aug. 19, 1977) (Disputed: cause of death may have been pneumonia. Groucho had been ailing since he had a heart attack and several strokes in 1971)
A Day at the Races; You Bet Your Life

Maxwell, Marilyn, 49, actress/performer; heart attack (March 20, 1972)

McLaren, Wayne, 51; model; lung cancer (Summer, 1992)
"Marlboro Cowboy". At a Philip Morris shareholders meeting, he asked the company to limit their advertising.

McLean, David, 73; Former TV "Marlboro Man," actor/model; lung cancer (Oct. 12, 1995)

McLure, Doug, 56; TV actor; lung cancer (February 5, 1995)
The Virginian

McQueen, Steve, actor; lung cancer

Meadows, Audrey, 71, actress; lung cancer (Feb. 3, 1996)
The Honeymooners

Mercouri, Melina, 68, actress; lung cancer (March 6, 1994)

Millar, David, model; complications from emphysema.
According to his sister, Millar was the first Marlboro Man.

Mitchum, Robert, 79, actor; lung cancer (July 1, 1997)
The Night of the Hunter, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, Cape Fear, The Big Sleep, That Championship Season

Moore, Gary, 78, game show host; emphsema, November 28, 1993
I've Got a Secret, To Tell the Truth


Muller, Heiner, 66, playwright; throat cancer (Dec. 30, 1995)
Revered German playwright, poet, director, translator

Murrow, Edward R., newscaster; lung cancer
Host of The Camel News Caravan

O'Neal, Patrick, 66, actor; lung cancer (August, 1994)
The Kremlin Letter

Parks, Bert, 77, actor/singer; lung cancer (February 2, 1992)

Peppard, George, actor; "complications arising from the treatment of cancer"; Peppard had smoked 2 packs a day until 1993, when he had a cancerous tumor removed from his lung (May 8, 1995)
Breakfast at Tiffany's, A-Team

Powell, Dick, 59, actor; lung cancer (1963)

Price, Vincent, actor; lung cancer (October 26, 1993)
The Tingler, The Fall of the House of Usher

Ramsey, Anne, 59, actress; throat cancer (August 11, 1988)
Throw Mama from the Train

Rand, Ayn, author/philosopher; lung cancer (March 6, 1982)
The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged

Ray, Aldo, 64, actor; complications from throat cancer, pneumonia (March 27, 1991

Reasoner, Harry, newscaster; lung cancer, pneumonia (August 6, 1991)
60 Minutes

Remick, Lee, 55, actress; lung and liver cancer (July 2, 1991)
A Face in the Crowd, The Long Hot Summer, Anatomy of a Murder

Reynolds, R.J., 58, founder of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co., emphysema, (1916)

Reynolds, R.J. III, 58, emphysema, (1994)

Ruth, Babe, 53, baseball player. Oral cancer. (August 16, 1948)

Shaw, Robert, 51, actor; heart attack (August 28, 1978)
Jaws, From Russia With Love, The Sting

Serling, Rod, 51, writer/director; smoked 4 packs a day; heart disease. (1975)

Seyrig, Delphine, 58, actress; lung disease (October 15, 1990)

Shirley, Anne, 75, actress; lung cancer (July 4, 1993)
Anne of the Green Gables, Stella Dallas

Sinatra, Frank, 82, singer, heart attack (Dec. 12, 1915 to May 14, 1998)
Sinatra was also suffering from bladder cancer, early Alzheimer's and the effects of a stroke.

Shostakovich, Dmitri, 69, musician (August 9, 1975)

Smith, "Sonic" Fred, 45, rock musician; heart failure (November 4, 1994)
Guitarist with MC5

Soo, Jack, 63, actor; cancer of the esophagus (January 11, 1979)
Barney Miller

Stander, Lionel, 86, actor; lung cancer (November 30, 1994)
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Max in Hart to Hart

Stanwyck, Barbara, 82, actress; congestive heart failure (January 20, 1990)
Stella Dallas, Double Indemnity

Stevens, Woody, 84, horse trainer (August 22, 1998)
Trained winners in all three Triple Crown races, including five straight Belmont winners during the 1980s.

Sullivan, Ed, 72, entertainer; lung cancer (1974)

Talman, William, actor; lung cancer (August 30, 1968)
D.A. Hamilton Burger, Perry Mason TV Series
When He came down with lung cancer, He was the first actor to do a TV commercial on the danger of smoking. (Internet Movie Database) He died before the commercial aired.

Thomas, Ross, 69, author; lung cancer (December 19, 1995)
Espionage author; wrote the screenplay for Bad Lieutenant, his Briarpatch won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel (1985)

Thornbury, Will, 57, model; Lung Cancer (1992)
Modeled for Camel TV ads

Tierney, Jeanne, 70, actress; emphysema (November 6, 1991)
Laura, Leave Her to Heaven

Tone, Franchot, 63, actor; lung cancer (September 18, 1968)
Mutiny on the Bounty, Lives of a Bengal Lancer

Tracy, Spencer, 66, actor; lung congestion; heart attack (June 10, 1967)
Captains Courageous (1937), Boys' Town (1938), San Francisco (1936), Father of the Bride (1950), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Old Man and the Sea (1958), Inherit the Wind (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Tubb, Ernest, 70, singer; emphysema (September 6,1984)
"The Texas Troubador"-- Waltz Across Texas, I'm Walking the Floor over You

Tucker, Forrest, 67, actor; lung cancer and emphysema (October 25, 1986)
Sands of Iwo Jima, The Yearling, Gunsmoke

Tucker, Sophie, 78, entertainer; lung cancer (February 9, 1966)

Turner, Lana, actress; throat cancer (June, 1995)

Vaughan, Sarah, singer; lung cancer (1990)
Broken-hearted Melody

Walker, Nancy, 69, actress; lung cancer (March 25, 1992)

Wayne, John, 72, actor; After exposure to nuclear radiation, cancer took a lung in 1963; had many battles with heart disease and other cancers. (June 11, 1979)
Stagecoach; Red River; Fort Apache; Rio Grande; She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; The Searchers

Wells, Mary, 49, singer; larynx cancer (1992)
My Guy

Wheeler, Bert, 72, comedian; emphysema (January 18, 1968)

Wilson, Carl, 51, musician (Beach Boys); complications from lung cancer (February 6, 1998)

Williams, Tex, country-western singer; lung cancer (October 13, 1985)
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) (1947)

Wolfman Jack, 57, radio personality, actor; heart attack (July 1, 1995)
American Graffitti

Yennimatas, George, Greek National Economy Minister, 55; complications from lung cancer (April 25, 1994)
Yennimatas was one of Greece's most beloved politicians. When he presented the 1994 budget to reporters in November, he announced a new tax on tobacco, saying the revenues would be earmarked for an anti-smoking campaign.

York, Dick, 63, actor; emphysema (1992)

Young, Faron, 64, country-western singer; self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Dec. 10, 1996). Young "had been depressed recently about emphysema and other health problems"--NY Times, 12/11/96.
Goin' Steady; Sweet Dreams; Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young

Young, Coleman A., 79, Detroit, Michigan's longest-serving mayor. Emphysema. (November 29, 1997)

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