WhyQuit's small page banner

 WhyQuit    The Law   Joel's Library    Turkeyville   


Fame Struck Down By Nicotine Dependency


Coffin image for www.WhyQuit.com

If tobacco kills famous people before age 60, then why can't it kill us too?




Bill Hicks (YB), 32, comedian: pancreatic cancer


Lorraine Hansberry, 34, playwright (Raisin in the Sun): pancreatic cancer


Luiz Jose Costa, 36, Brazilian music star: lung cancer


Carrie Hamilton, 38, actress, Carol Burnett's daughter: lung cancer


Wilhelmina Cooper, 40, modeling pioneer: lung cancer


Patty Donahue, 40, singer "I know what boys like": lung cancer


Eric Carr, 41, musician (Kiss drummer): heart and lung cancer


Carolina Knapp, 42, author (Pack of Two/The Hunger): lung cancer


Judy Holliday, 43, actress: throat cancer

click Punch's image to watch a short YouTube video in which he shares a parting message with smokers

Chris "Punch" Andrews, 43, Canadian radio DJ: lung cancer


Nat "King" Cole, 45, singer: lung cancer


John Cipollina, 45, guitarist: emphysema


Nancy Gore Hunger, 46, sister of V.P. Al Gore: lung cancer


Lon Chaney, 47, actor/director: lung cancer


Graham Chapman 48 comic ("Monty Python"): throat cancer


Mary Wells, 49, singer ("My Guy"): larynx cancer


Jack Cassidy, 50, actor: died in a fire from smoking in bed


Errol Flynn, 50, actor: heart attack


Jim Varney, 50, comedian (Ernest): lung cancer


Roger Maris, 51, baseball player (N.Y. Yankees): lung cancer


Wayne McLaren, 51, "Marlboro Cowboy": lung cancer


Robert Shaw, 51, actor (Jaws): heart attack


Rod Serling, 51, director (Twilight Zone) heavy smoker: heart disease


Carl Wilson, 51, musician (Beach Boys): lung cancer


Lloyd Haynes, 52, TV actor (General Hospital): lung cancer


Eddie Kendrick, 52, singer (Temptations): lung cancer


Roy Orbison, 52, singer ("Pretty Woman"): heart attack


Kidd Kraddick, 53, national morning radio host: heart attack


Terrie Hall, 53, Amercia's most famous ex-smoker: brain cancer




Captain Phil Harris, 53, "Deadliest Catch" crab boat skipper: stroke


Click to watch a short smoking while injured video clip of Captain Phil Harris, skipper of the Alaskan crab boat Cornelia Marie, featured in ongoing Discovery Channel series 'Deadliest Catch'


Jimmy Dorsey, 53, musician, band leader: lung cancer


Jerry Garcia, 53, musician (Grateful Dead): heart attack


Lindley ("Spike") Jones, 53, band leader: emphysema


Babe Ruth, 53, baseball player: oral cancer


William Talman, 53, actor (Perry Mason's adversary): lung cancer


Jack Wild, 53, actor (Artful Dodger in Oliver): mouth cancer


Tony Gwynn, 54, Hall of Fame Padres baseball player: oral cancer



Tony Gwynn
1960 - 2014

On June 16, 2014 Tony Gwynn, age 54, a hall of fame San Diego Padres baseball player, died following a three year battle with oral cancer. Although Tony's doctor felt that his rare form of oral cancer (salivary gland cancer) was not tobacco related, other cancer experts contend that it is so rare that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of a causal relationship. An October 14, 2010 article by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a corporate interest organization accused of being a tobacco industry front group, attacked Tony Gwynn's statements that his cancer was caused by smokeless tobacco. ASCH has strongly advocated use of smokeless tobacco as a harm reduction product since 2007. The American Cancer Society lists tobacco as a "possible" salivary gland cancer risk factor.


Mark Belanger, 54, baseball shortstop Orioles: lung cancer


Michael Landon, 54, actor - heavy smoker: pancreas and liver cancer


Robert Palmer, 54, singer/songwriter - heavy smoker: heart attack


Larry Gilbert, 55, PGA golfer: lung cancer


Susan Hayward, 55, actress: lung cancer


Lee Remick, 55, actress: lung and liver cancer


Ian Fleming, 56, James Bond creator: heart attack


King George VI, 56, Father of Queen Elizabeth II: lung cancer


Betty Grable, 56, "pin-up" girl, actress: lung cancer


Doug McLure, 56, TV actor (The Virginian): lung cancer


Roger Miller, 56, singer/songwriter: lung/throat cancer


Eddie Rabbitt, 56, singer/song writer: lung cancer


Patrick Swayze, 57, actor ("Dirty Dancing" "Ghost"): pancreatic cancer


Patrick Swayze, 57, Smoker, Dead


Patrick Swayze, Smoker, Dead at 57


Patrick Swayze, star of "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" died on September 14, 2009, after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. According to Johns Hopkins University's Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, "cigarette smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer ... associated with a 2-3 fold increased risk." A heavy smoker, Patrick openly admitted his belief that smoking "probably" contributed to his cancer. But even after being diagnosed he continued smoking, with each puff adding additional nicotine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which promote pancreatic cancer. If smoking robbed us of Patrick, why can't it rob us of you?


Humphrey Bogart, 57, actor ("Casablanca"): esophagus cancer


Wolfman Jack, 57, music disk jockey: heart attack


Edward R. Murrow, 57, reporter: lung cancer


Will Thornbury, 57, modeled for Camel TV ads: lung cancer


George Harrison, 58, musician (The Beatles): lung cancer


R.J. Reynolds, 58, tobacco company founder: emphysema


R.J. Reynolds, III, 59, tobacco company heir: emphysema


Clark Gable, 59, actor ("Gone With The Wind"): heart attack


Anne Ramsey, 59, actress (Goonies - Mama Fratelli): throat cancer



Non-famous young victims


Noni 32 Bryan 33 Kim 44 Quentin 23 Deborah 38 Gruen 38


Ready to end your self-destruction?





Visit WhyQuit and learn more about smart turkey quitting

Explore Smart Turkey Quitting


WhyQuit.com's coffin bannerWhyQuit.com   WhyQuit is the Internet's oldest forum devoted to the art, science and psychology of cold turkey quitting, the stop smoking method used by the vast majority of all successful long-term ex-smokers.

Nicotine Addiction 101   WhyQuit's guide to understanding nicotine dependency.

Nicotine Cessation Topic Index   An alphabetical subject matter index to more than a thousand nicotine cessation articles, videos and support group discussions.

Joel's Library   Joel Spitzer began presenting stop smoking clinics and seminars in 1976. WhyQuit's education director since 2000, Joel's Library is home to his life's work. It includes Joel's "Daily Quitting Lesson Guide." The Guide walks new quitters through the first two weeks of smoking cessation, recommending daily videos to watch and articles to read. It's also home to more than a hundred original short stop smoking articles, to "Never Take Another Puff," Joel's free ebook, and to his ever growing collection of more than 400 video stop smoking lessons.

Joel's Stop Smoking Video Index   An alphabetical index to Joel's 400 videos. Each link opens a webpage where Joel shares the video together with related articles and links.

Freedom's small link banner "Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home"   Written by John R. Polito, a former 30-year heavy smoker and WhyQuit's 1999 founder, Freedom from Nicotine shares the science underlying nicotine dependency and successful abrupt nicotine cessation. Whether hooked on cigarettes, e-cigarettes (e-cigs), bidis, kreteks, a pipe, hookah or cigars, on dip, chew, snuff or snus, or on the nicotine gum, lozenge, spray, inhaler or patch, the book provides a road-map home.

Visit Turkeyville, Facebook's most popular quit smoking support group! Turkeyville   Imagine surrounding yourself with more than 10,000 cold turkey quitters. Turkeyville is a Facebook support group exclusively for cold turkey quitters. The group's primary focus is helping newbies navigate the first few days. Just that first brave step, yes you can!

Freedom   Freedom was WhyQuit's original 1999 stop smoking support group. No longer accepting members, today Freedom's 453,000 archived member posts serve as a valuable source of recovery insight and understanding.



George Harrison of the Beatles smoking a cigarette while his guitar gently weeps

We Miss You George!


WhyQuit.com Joel's Library Turkeyville

WhyQuit's small banner

Index Videos How to Quit

© WhyQuit.Com2000-2014 - Last updated April 22, 2018 by John R. Polito