Images of different Marlboro campaigns.

The American actor Robert Norris , a face that became popular as the handsome cowboy who promoted the Marlboro cigarette brand for twelve years , died on the 3rd at the age of 90 at his home in Colorado Springfield (USA), it was reported on Saturday.

The photo of Norris, with his inseparable cowboy hat and lighting a cigarette, flooded billboards, magazine pages and television but what many do not know is that he never smoked .

Norris, who was born in Chicago and always dreamed of being a cowboy, was discovered by advertising in 1954 when they saw a photo in a newspaper with his friend, actor John Wayne, after which they went to visit him at his ranch, the Tee Cross Ranches , where he raised horses in Colorado, according to his son Bobby.

"They got out of their car, these guys in their striped suits, and approached Dad and said ," Would you like to be in Marlboro cigarette ads? "He recalled in an interview with a radio station recently.

Norris told them that he was busy at the time and suggested that if they really had an interest, they should return the following week.

"They returned the following week" and the actor thus became the image for twelve years of Marlboro, of the largest tobacco company in the world, Phillip Morris.

Bobby also recalled that his father, who had two sons and two daughters, constantly warned them that he didn't want them to smoke , until one day one of them questioned him: "If you don't want us to smoke, why do you advertise cigarettes?"

After that incident Norris went to Phillip Morris and resigned to remain his image because he did not want to be a bad example for his children.

Norris was followed by other "cowboys" in the advertising campaign that lasted until the 1970s . Several of them were smokers and have died from cancer or lung diseases.

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