VIDEO: Meet the real Marlboro Man 

WHEN Bruce and Gloria Adams sell a ‘‘magical’’ block of dirt at One Mile Beach near Anna Bay, it will be yet another chapter closed in the life of Australia’s original ‘‘Marlboro Man’’.

The only thing he has left of what is recognised as one of the most iconic advertising campaigns of its era is a grainy photo of himself astride a 17.5-hand galloper, from one of the scenes.

But it is hard to forget the imagery that saw the then 29-year-old milko ride hell-for-leather into a creek, catch a struggling foal in his arms and stride through the water to return it to its waiting mother.

‘‘I earned my money that day,’’ the 69-year-old said.

He and Gloria married in 1962 and had three children. It was a pretty hard life, he said.

So when Bruce was offered the chance to become the Marlboro Man he jumped at it.

What transpired were three days of shooting on a stud farm in Scone, from which a series of advertising material – print ads, short and long commercials, and cafe posters – were made.

Bruce was paid a contract rate, unlike his American counterparts, who received royalties on the marketing material.

But it didn’t matter.

‘‘I would have done it for nothing; it was fun.’’ he said.

Not so fun was trying to give up smoking. At a time when it was the height of fashion and the mark of a man, the icon of the tobacco industry did just that, ironically going on to become the public face of the anti-smoking brigade led by the National Heart Council.

‘‘I am still amazed how quickly sentiment changed. People used to tell me tongue-in-cheek that, as the Marlboro Man, I started them smoking, so I hope I helped a bit with the anti-smoking campaign as well.’’

Bruce’s passion though, has always been horses, and the couple  still keep a few on their 18-hectare property, now on the market.

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