David McLean (actor)

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David McLean
Eugene Joseph Huth

(1922-05-19)May 19, 1922
DiedOctober 12, 1995(1995-10-12) (aged 73)
Years active1955–1978
Spouse(s)Lilo Diane Haig (?-1995) (his death) (1 child)

David McLean (May 19, 1922 in Akron, Ohio – October 12, 1995 in Culver City, California) was an American film and television actor, best known for appearing in many Marlboro television and print advertisements beginning in the early 1960s.

Early years[edit]

McLean was born as Eugene Joseph Huth in Akron, Ohio.[2]


McLean's acting career began on stage with work in little theater plays. Following military service in World War II, he acted in productions in Los Angeles in addition to drawing sketches and cartoons.[2]

In addition to his commercial work for Marlboro cigarettes, McLean starred as the title character in the NBC western television series, Tate, which was a summer replacement for half of Perry Como's program in 1960.[3] He also appeared in numerous television programs and feature films of the 1960s and 1970s, including a leading role in the 1961 movie X-15, the directorial debut of Richard Donner, and films such as The Strangler (1964), Nevada Smith (1966), Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell (1977), Kingdom of the Spiders (1977) and Deathsport (1978).

He guest-starred three times in the NBC television series Laramie: in the 1962 episodes "Beyond Justice", in the role of Steve Collier, a corrupt territorial politician, and in "A Grave For Cully Brown" as Cully Brown,[4] and as Marshal Branch McGary in the 1963 episode, "The Marshals." [5] In 1966, he appeared in an episode of the NBC western The Virginian.[6] He guest-starred in the NBC western series Bonanza as well as on Daniel Boone.[7]

In 1963, McLean was cast as the gangster Frank MacErlane in the episode "Open Season" of the CBS anthology series, GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In the story line, James Best portrays the courageous Wisconsin game warden Ernie Swift who faces the reprisal of the mob after he tickets MacErlane for illegal fishing.[8] That year he also appeared on Perry Mason as the title character and defendant Trevor Harris in "The Case of the Lawful Lazarus." As Lazarus in the Bible had been raised by Jesus from the dead, Harris reappeared from a ten-year absence after being declared legally dead.

McLean appeared as Stephen F. Austin in the 1964 episode, "A Book of Spanish Grammar," on the anthology series, Death Valley Days. In the story line, Austin travels to Mexico City to purchase land in colonial Texas to sell to future settlers. His traveling companion, Valdez (Rodolfo Acosta), wonders why he risks so much to help strangers.[9]

Aside from his commercial appearances for Marlboro, McLean was the spokesperson for Great Western Savings & Loan in its television commercials.[2] He was also an woodworker and artist.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

McLean was married to Lilo Diane Haig, who is also known as Liselotte Herlinger. They had a son, Mark.[2]

Health problems[edit]

A lifelong smoker, McLean started suffering in 1985 from emphysema and had a tumor removed from a lung in 1994.[2] His libertarian bent prevented him from pursuing a direct suit against Philip Morris, but he did become an anti-smoking advocate. At a meeting of stockholders of Philip Morris, the manufacturer of Marlboro, McLean requested that the company limit its advertising.[citation needed]

McLean was one of two Marlboro Man actors to suffer from cancer. Wayne McLaren, who acted the part for print advertising, died of lung cancer in 1992.[10]


On October 12, 1995, McLean died of lung cancer at the age of 73 in Los Angeles, California. His burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.[2]


"In 1996, McLean's widow and son filed suit for wrongful death against Philip Morris ... [claiming] that the firm encouraged or even required cigarette smoking, which caused McLean's lung cancer."[2] A fictitious version of these purported events were featured in the comic novel Thank You for Smoking.[citation needed]

The suit was eventually dismissed. A January 27, 2014, article in the Los Angeles Times reported that "a federal judge ruled that California law -- in those days, more protective of tobacco companies -- protected Phillip Morris from Lilo McLean's claims. McLean was billed for the costs of the lawsuit."[11]


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Tate Tate
1961 The Right Approach Bill Sikulovic
1961 The Silent Call Joe Brancato
1961 X-15 Matt Powell
1964 The Strangler Lt. Frank Benson
1966 Nevada Smith Romero
1971 The Andromeda Strain Senator McKenzie (New Mexico) (uncredited) 1977 Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell Billy
1977 Kingdom of the Spiders Gene Smith
1978 Deathsport Lord Zirpola (final film role)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "David McLean The Marlboro Man, 73". The New York Times. October 20, 1995.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Aaker, Everett (2017). Television Western Players, 1960–1975: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland. pp. 291–292. ISBN 9781476628561. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  3. ^ West, Richard (1987). Television Westerns: Major and Minor Series, 1946-1978. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. pp. 97–98. ISBN 0-7864-0579-1.
  4. ^ [1] Classic TV Archive, U. S. Western series
  5. ^ "CTVA US Western - "Laramie" (Revue/NBC) Season 4 (1962-63)". ctva.biz.
  6. ^ "Yahoo". movies.aol.com.
  7. ^ Biography, nytimes.com; accessed March 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "GE True". Classic Television Archive. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "A Book of Spanish Grammar on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "`Marlboro Man' Widow Suing Tobacco Companies". Chicago Tribune. Houston Chronicle. September 15, 1996. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ Pearce, Matt (January 27, 2014). "At least four Marlboro Men have died of smoking-related diseases". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.

External links[edit]