Celebrities attract huge followings because people aspire to be something bigger or better. In many cases, the image portrayed by a famous or powerful person is the key characteristic people want to replicate. The mighty cigar is a prop that has been used by some of the most successful celebrities in history, making it a symbol of success and power.
These five celebrities eventually became inextricably linked to their iconic cigar in the hearts and minds of the general public.
1. Orson Welles
Orson Welles was widely regarded as a genius filmmaker, thanks largely to the groundbreaking Citizen Kane. He was only 25 years old when he directed and starred in the movie, which was almost unheard of at the time. Welles loved the high life and all of its trappings. As well as having a taste for fine food and champagne, Welles loved his handmade cigars so much so. that he wrote many cigar-smoking characters for his movies.
In real life, Welles was often seen and pictured with a cigar hanging from his mouth. Many of his young, impressionable fans wanted to be just like him and took up smoking themselves as a result.
2. Sigmund Freud
No celebrity was more committed to cigars than acclaimed psychologist Sigmund Freud. He was known to chain smoke at times, and he continued smoking more than 20 cigars a day for many years.
Freud is widely regarded as a genius in the ways of the human mind. He is respected as much dead as he was alive. This respect manifested itself in imitation among his fans — many of whom used the cigar as the ultimate gesture to their idol.
3. Winston Churchill
No celebrity is more closely associated with handmade cigars than Winston Churchill. During some of the most famous speeches and public appearances in his life, the former British Prime Minister could be seen with a cigar — either hanging from his mouth or resting on an ashtray next to a glass of whiskey.
Winston Churchill is the ultimate symbol of victory in the face of adversity. Millions are motivated by his achievements to this day, and they smoke cigars as a tribute to the great man. So striking is the image of Churchill with a cigar, he even has a type of cigar named after him.
4. Babe Ruth
The sight of an elite sports star puffing on a cigar while in uniform is still remarkable. Baseball legend Babe Ruth loved smoking full-bodied cigars from a young age — so much so he bought a share in a local cigar factory. It wasn’t long before a cigar was produced bearing his name.
Babe Ruth’s image is an enduring one that stands for sporting excellence and hope. He rose from impoverished beginnings to become the most famous sports star in the world. Ruth was a huge inspiration for young baseball players, and indeed anyone who wanted to pursue the American Dream. His love of cigars undoubtedly inspired millions of people to take up smoking during the 1920s.
5. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood delivered some truly iconic lines of dialogue with a huge stogie in his mouth. He was one of the people who were at one with his cigar, yet he never smoked cigars away from movie sets. Eastwood himself came up with the idea of cutting cigars into short stubs. The move gave his famous “Man with No Name” character a gritty edge that had never been seen on the big screen before.
Cigars are as popular today as they ever have been. Millions of regular smokers around the world were inspired to try their first stogie as a result of seeing these iconic celebrities handle a cigar so beautifully.