Celebrities Who Smoke: Dave Harbour

May 13, 2024

In the latest of our “Celebrities who smoke” series, we’ve extended our stay in Hollywood with the spotlight shifting from Robert Downey Jr. to another gifted actor— David Harbour.

But what do you know about the man who has appeared in Broadway plays, movies, and television shows? Discover more about Harbour’s upbringing, his meteoric rise to fame, and the cigars that have tickled his tastebuds for 15 years.

Who is David Harbour?

David Harbour is a classically trained actor born in White Plains, New York, on April 10, 1975, to parents Kenneth and Nancy Harbour. Both of Harbour’s parents worked in real estate. However, their son was inspired to pursue an acting career after watching Kenneth Branagh’s directorial debut in the adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Henry V (1989).

He graduated from Byran Hills High School in Armonk, New York, before attending Dartmouth College. Harbour left Dartmouth in 1997 with majors in drama and Italian studies, making his Broadway debut two years later with a role in The Rainmaker (1999). Harbour’s first appearance on television also came in 1999, when he played a waiter in the show Law & Order.

However, life as a young man in the Big Apple wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Harbour. He frequented and participated in gambling at underground poker clubs and struggled deeply with alcoholism in his early 20s, and was homeless for a short time. 

Harbour has been sober since the age of 24. He later revealed on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast in 2018 that he found sobriety with the help of a 12-step recovery program. 

At the age of 25, Harbour experienced a manic episode and was institutionalized by his parents. He was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Thankfully, this didn’t derail his acting exploits. Harbour landed minor roles in several blockbuster films, including Steven Spielberg’s science-fiction thriller War of the Worlds (2005) and neo-Western romantic drama Brokeback Mountain (2005). 

That same year, he garnered a Tony Award nomination for his performance as young biology professor Nick in a production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2005). In 2011, Harbour received his reoccurring role as MI6 agent Roger Anderson on the short-lived ABC show Pan AM.

Harbour even rubbed shoulders with stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Denzil Washington in the intense adult drama Revolutionary Road (2008) and the dark yet stylishly violent thriller The Equalizer (2014). But his breakout role was still to come.

How is David Harbour famous?

Harbour shot to fame for his role as the beleaguered and grizzled small-town police chief Jim Hopper in Netflix’s sci-fi phenomenon Stranger Things (2016). It was a move that rejuvenated his career and love of acting, not to mention opening new doors in Hollywood. Given Harbour’s struggles with bipolar, he saw his portrayal of Hopper as a chance to highlight the demons of individuals living with mental illness. 

Harbour received critical acclaim for his performance, winning a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, alongside two Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. Still, it proved he was adept at playing psychologically complex characters. 

Since Stranger Things, Harbour has starred as the antihero title character in a reboot of the beloved franchise Hellboy (2019). He then took flight to take on another superhero role in the fast-paced Marvel movie Black Widow (2021).

Harbour is expected to return as Hopper for the Stranger Things finale (season five), which is anticipated to be released sometime in 2025. He now resides in Brooklyn with his wife and English singer-songwriter, Lily Allen.

Celebrities Who Smoke: David Harbour_FTR

What are David Harbour’s favorite cigars?

The incredible success of Stranger Things means Harbour can enjoy a life of opulence. It’s reported he will earn $9.5 million in season five, so why not spend some of it on some of the world’s finest handmade cigars?

Harbour’s love for cigars first surfaced when shooting the Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008) in Panama. A scene required cigars, so copious boxes of Cubans were brought to set. Harbour and the rest of the cast were lucky recipients of “a bunch of boxes of them.” The Stranger Things star has had a love affair with cigars ever since, with Robusto-sized smokes his preferred choice.

He’s also partial to a Padron, while his desert island smoke (budget aside) would be the Cuban Cohiba Behike. We think Harbour would enjoy the JR Edicion Limitada Alternative to this luxurious smoke, which delivers well-balanced spice alongside mouthwatering earthy and nutty hits for a fraction of the price.

However, two cigars sit at the top of Harbour’s puffing list. The Partagas Serie D No. 4 possesses a fresh farmyard aroma and delivers rich, dark flavors of black pepper and cocoa from first draw to last, as well as an enduring leathery finish.

Another popular smoke in Harbour’s humidor is the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill. This 4 7/8” by 50 medium to full-bodied Cuban is the size of a standard Robusto and lasts just under an hour. It comes dressed in a beautiful, albeit slightly rustic brown wrapper. Once lit, it produces prominent notes of cedar, coffee, earth, and a touch of sweet wood.

JR Cigars stocks the full-sized Churchill version of this cigar, which is manufactured in Honduras and finished using a dark and oily Nicaraguan wrapper leaf. Conveniently sold in boxes of 27, the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Churchill delights with dark chocolate, spice, earthy undertones, and a hearty peppery finish.

Who would have thought it? The man synonymous with the beer-swilling, swashbuckling, yet lovable rogue that is Chief Jim Hopper is also a bonafide cigar connoisseur. Then again, stranger things have happened.


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