1935-02-01

CHRISTIAN HAREN was an American stage and screen actor, model and community activist born on this date (d: 1996); In the 1960s Haren received a studio contract from MGM and starred in Vicente Minnelli’s Bells Are Ringing, Otto Preminger’s In Harm’s Way, and Billy Rose’s Jumbo. He starred on Broadway in the Bertolt Brecht play The Resistable Rise of Aruro Ui, produced by Tony Richardson.

But Haren is best remembered for playing the role of The Marlboro Man in print advertisements in the early 1960s, and appearing in print ads for Budweiser Beer. 

Haren was openly gay, and was the proprietor of the popular Palm Springs gay bar CC Construction Co. in later years. In 1985, he was diagnosed with HIV-AIDS and became active in AIDS prevention education. He started “The Wedge”, a “safer sex” AIDS prevention organization for teens in San Francisco. After living with the disease for over a decade, Haren died in 1996. Five well-known Marlboro men died of smoking related illnesses. Haren and Darrell Winfield (21 years as the Marlboro Man) were the two best known of all of men who portrayed the Marlboro Man, but who did not suffer ill effects from smoking. Haren toured high schools giving a talk about HIV-AIDS awareness and safer sex.

Haren died in 1996 in San Francisco of complications from HIV-AIDS, at the age of 61. His life was the subject of the 1998 documentary short Castro Cowboy.