Brad Johnson, the Real-Life Rodeo Cowboy, Marlboro Man, and Actor Has Died Aged 62

Leila Kozma - Author
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Jun. 3 2022, Published 8:51 a.m. ET

The Arizona-born rodeo cowboy, model, and actor Brad Johnson, whose charm, sex appeal, and acting chops earned him comparisons to Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, died on Feb. 18, 2022.

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Brad first established himself as a pop culture figure with a range of Marlboro and Calvin Klein ads — which swiftly paved the way for projects with even more importance. What happened? What's Brad's cause of death?

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Brad Johnson's cause of death was confirmed in June 2022.

Brad lost his life in February 2022. His cause of death was confirmed months later. According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, Brad died because of COVID-19-related complications.

In an obituary cited by Entertainment Tonight, Brad's family commemorated Brad's positive spirit. As they wrote, Brad loved to spend time outdoors, frequently going hunting.

"He was not only interested in all life had to offer but was gifted in it as well. Although he was taken too early, he lived life to the fullest," the obituary reads, via Entertainment Tonight. "The son of a horse trainer, Brad grew up with a passion and love for the outdoors, and his younger years would see him hunting and competing in rodeo whenever he had the chance."

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"Brad started his professional rodeo career in 1984, and the circuit would lead him to Dallas, Texas, where he would meet the love of his life, Laurie. They were married for 35 very full years," it recalled. "As much as he loved cowboying and the outdoors, Brad loved nothing more than his family. He put them before himself in every way and they know that they could not have been blessed with a better husband and father."

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Brad built a mightily successful career after making the switch to modeling and acting.

A raw talent, Brad first assumed the duties of Marlboro Man in 1987. He then landed the role of Ted Baker in Always — and he soon became an international superstar.

As '80s babies are bound to recall, Always features the eminently quotable line, "He's too beautiful. He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle."

With a career spanning nearly three decades, Brad got the chance to appear in iconic TV shows like Melrose Place, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and TV movies like The Robinsons: Lost in Space.

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Brad Johnson is survived by his loving wife, Laurie, and eight children.

Brad passed away in Fort Worth, Texas, the city where he was born and raised. Brad's father, Grove, worked as a horse trainer — and it was likely him who first instilled the love of the outdoors in Brad. Brad continued to honor the family legacy throughout his life, the obituary written by his family suggests.

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