Irish anti-smoking campaigner Gerry Collins dies at age 57
Monday, March 3, 2014
Gerry Collins, star of Ireland's QUIT anti-smoking ad campaign, died yesterday morning. He was 57 and had terminal lung .
|The reality is that I'm not an actor. I am dying.|
—Gerry Collins in a QUIT ad
Collins began smoking at seventeen but had stopped by the time he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2008. He described the treatment as "horrendous" and was featured by the QUIT campaign in 2011 after defeating the illness. He was later diagnosed again with cancer, this time of the lung and terminal.
"I wish I was an actor," he says in the two TV ads he filmed last year, "because if I was an actor I'd be acting about dying. The reality is that I'm not an actor. I am dying."
A keen sportsman, Collins played football for Dublin and his local Kilmacud Crokes team. As well as TV, he also appeared in radio and Internet ads. The national credits him with convincing 60,000 people to try to stop smoking.
The, resident features in two more TV ads due to air this week. In accordance with his wishes they will run as planned despite his death. His family released a statement saying they are "incredibly proud" of him and that he "loved hearing the many stories of people who had quit after seeing his ads or hearing his interviews."
- Rachel Flaherty. "Face of anti-smoking campaign Gerry Collins dies aged 57" — , March 3, 2014
- Brynmor Pattison. ""We are lost without him": Family's grief after anti-smoking campaigner Gerry Collins dies" — , March 3, 2014
- "'Our Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep and a happy man'" — , March 3, 2014