That cowboy about to light up a smoke in Schick Center's anti-smoking newspaper ad campaign ("Whaddya mean smoking is old hat?") sure looks like a young John Wayne to some of us (the Duke, a cigarette smoker, died of lung cancer in 1979).
But a Schick Center spokeswoman said it's actually Art Acord, a '20s Western featured player who died bankrupt in Mexico in 1931 of acute alcoholism, according to faded clips.
The rep said the company "wanted to gently josh the public" into responding to the possible deadly effects of nicotine addiction. So they went to Bison Archives in Beverly Hills for the picture of Acord and other old time stars. They didn't go after a mug of the Duke, a Schick exec told us--they simply wanted a smoking cowboy.
"We have a campaign based on old-time stars who glamourized smoking," the exec said, including Valentino and Wallace Reid, a leading man of the '20s who died of morphine addiction aggravated by heavy drinking.