“Now that I’m gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke. Whatever you do, just don’t smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn’t be talking about any cancer. I’m convinced of that.”
Yul Brynner was born on this day in 1920. He began smoking when he was 12 years old. Throughout his career, promotional photos often showed him with a cigarette in his hand. He quit smoking in 1971. In 1983, it was discovered that he had inoperable lung cancer. In early 1985, aware he was dying, Brynner gave an interview on Good Morning America discussing the dangers of smoking. During the interview, he mentioned that he wanted to to make an antismoking commercial. He made an ad with the American Cancer Society. Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10, 1985, in New York City. A few days after his death, the recorded anti-cigarette public service announcement was shown on all the major US television networks, and also in many other countries.