(LOS ANGELES TIMES) — Deborah “Debi” Austin, a Californian who became a symbol of the anti-smoking movement for her powerful role in advocacy and education, died last week. She was 62.
Austin, of Canoga Park, is perhaps best known for her role in a public-awareness television ad in the mid-1990s and later spots she filmed after being diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and receiving a laryngectomy.
“They say nicotine isn’t addictive,” Austin says in one ad, taking a drag of her smoke. “How can they say that?”
Her raspy voice, poised demeanor in the face of adversity, and dark hole in her throat are unforgettable.