Dead Cool Smokers

dead cool smokers

Again, nothing to do with the Thames.


Just a list of really cool people who died of smoking-related diseases. Plus some current celebrities who have been photographed smoking.


There are currently three pages of them—this is page one.


The moral is: even if you think you look really cool being photographed smoking, there have been lots of other dead cool smokers before you.

Click here for Dead Cool Smokers 2

There are good reasons for listing the people on these pages.

If you smoke, you have a greater than 50% chance of dying from lung cancer, emphysema, heart attack, stroke or mouth, throat or stomach cancer.

Once you start smoking, it’s very hard to give up (but not impossible). Though when you do quit, the risk of dying from a smoking-related disease reduces dramatically.

There are far too many images of famous people smoking—photographs in newspapers and magazines that make it look really cool to smoke.

And there are still plenty of examples of films and TV dramas where people smoke for no good reason except to look tough, glamorous or cool.

Well, it isn’t cool. If you smoke, you will probably die prematurely and painfully.

So take a look at the people on these pages and think of the consequences of smoking.

And in case you are interested, yes I was a smoker for 10 years. Then I gave up for 10 years. Then smoked for another five. I stopped about 10 years ago—oh dear, looks like a cyclical pattern.

Anyway, this website is one way of reminding myself how unwise it was to smoke in the first place.

Jennifer Aniston



Actress famous for Friends

Mary Astor



Actress from the 1920s to 1960s


Famous for The Prisoner of Zenda and The Maltese Falcon



Beryl Bainbridge





Famous for The Bottle Factory Outing and  Sweet William


Stanley Baker



Actor and film producer of the 1940s to 1970s


Famous for Hell Drivers, The Guns of Navarone and Zulu


Lung cancer

Lucille Ball



Film and TV star of the 1930s to 1980s


Famous for I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show


Acute aortic aneurysm

Tallulah Bankhead



Stage, film TV actress from 1920s to 1960s


Pneumonia and emphysema

Ronnie Barker





Famous for The Two Ronnies, Porridge and Open All Hours


Retired in 1986 because of heart trouble


Heart attack

Trevor Baylis



Famous for inventing a clockwork radio


Member of the Supporters Council for the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Tobacco (FOREST)

Leonard Bernstein



Conductor, composer and pianist


Famous for the music for West Side Story


Lung cancer

Humphrey Bogart





Famous for Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo and The African Queen


Cancer of the oesophagus

Richard Boone



Actor in the 1950s and 1960s


Famous for The Alamo, The Shootist and Have Gun, Will Travel


Throat cancer

Jacques Brel



Songwriter, singer and actor from the 1950s to 1970s


Lung cancer

Nigel Bruce



Stage and film actor from 1920s to 1950s


Famous for Treasure Island, The Scarlet Pimpernell, Lassie Come Home, Hitchcock’s Suspicion, and for playing Dr Watson in a series of Sherlock Holmes films alongside Basil Rathbone


Heart attack

Isambard Kingdom Brunel



Civil engineer


Designer of railways, stations, tunnels and ships.


Famous for the Great Western Railway and ships like the Great Eastern, Great Western and Great Britain


Smoked up to 40 cigars a day



Yul Brynner



Stage and film actor of the 1940s to 1970s


Famous for The King and I, and The Magnificent Seven


Lung cancer

Julie Burchill



Tabloid columnist

Anthony Burgess



Novelist and critic from 1950s to 1990s


Famous for A Clockwork Orange, Inside Mr Enderby and Earthly Powers


Lung cancer

Johhny Carson



Comedian and chat show host


Famous for The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992



Lon Chaney, Senior



Silent movie actor in the 1920s


Famous for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera


Haemorrhage following throat cancer operation

Graham Chapman



Monty Python member and star of Life of Brian


Spinal cancer spread from throat cancer

Winston Churchill



Journalist and politician


A heavy cigar smoker, Churchill nearly died several times during WW2 – two pneumonia bouts and two heart attacks in 1943, pneumonia in 1945 and a stroke in 1953, before dying from a stroke in 1965

Nat King Cole



Pianist and singer


Famous for songs like Mona Lisa and When I Fall In Love


Lung cancer

Billy Connolly



Singer, comedian and actor


Famous for Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Man Who Sued God

Gary Cooper



Actor from 1920s to 1950s


Famous for The Virginian, A Farewell to Arms, Mr Deeds Goes to Town, Beau Geste, and High Noon


Lung cancer

Russell Crowe





Famous for Gladiator and Master and Commander

Sammy Davis Jr



Singer and actor from the 1930s to 1980s


Famous for Porgy and Bess, Ocean’s Eleven, Robin and the 7 Hoods and The Cannonball Run


Throat cancer

Johnny Depp





Famous for Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Walt Disney



Animator, film producer and director, head of entertainment corporation


Famous for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disneyland


Lung cancer

Pete Doherty





Famous for being in the Libertines and Babyshambles, for getting caught in possession of cocaine and heroin, and for banging on about being a heroin addict and self-harmer

Edward VII



King and Emperor



Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor



King for a year


Throat cancer

T.S. Eliot



Poet and playwright from 1910s to 1950s


Famous for The Waste Land, Four Quartets, Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party



Duke Ellington



Jazz composer and bandleader


Lung cancer

Joe Eszterhas



Screenwriter famous for Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct and Showgirls


Started smoking at 12, and smoked 60-80 cigarettes a day. His films often featured close-ups of actors smoking (e.g. Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct)


Had 80% of his larynx removed in 2001 because of cancer


Now campaigns against smoking in movies

F Scott Fitgerald



Novelist and scriptwriter


Famous for The Great Gatsby


Second heart attack

Ian Fleming



Journalist, intelligence specialist and novelist


Famous for creating James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


Pleurisy and heart attack

Errol Flynn



Film star of the 1930s to 1950s


Famous for The Dawn Patrol, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, and The Charge of the Light Brigade


Heart attack

Sigmund Freud



Founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology


Cancer of the jaw

Stephen Fry



Comedian and actor


Famous for Blackadder and Gosford Park