You might not know Terrie Hall's name, but you probably know her face: Hall, 53, was the star of a series of graphic anti-smoking ads from the CDC. She died of cancer on Monday in a North Carolina hospital. You probably also remember her speaking voice: Hall, who narrated her own ads, had no voice box, after it was removed years ago following her 2001 diagnosis with oral (and later throat) cancer. She speaks with an electrolarynx.
Here's what is probably her most memorable ad, which has nearly 3 million views on YouTube. "I'm Terri. And I used to be a smoker. I want to give you some tips on getting ready in the morning," the ad begins:
According to the CDC, Hall, who did four ads for the agency, was filmed in her final days for another possible campaign, after the cancer spread to her brain this summer. But it sounds like the agency hasn't decided yet whether the footage is suitable to use in their work. The potential ad was filmed last weekend, according to the AP.
Here's another one of her ads, filmed this past year, as part of a pair of campaigns that cost the CDC about $100 million:
According to the AP, the CDC credits Hall's ads, in part, with inspiring an impressive number of smokers to quit:
A diseased former smoker whose voice box was removed years ago, Hall took a leading role in the campaign that showed how smoking-related cancer ravages the body. Officials believe the campaign led as many as 100,000 Americans smokers to quit.
Those numbers come from a survey conducted by the CDC to measure the impact of their campaign. They estimate that about 80 percent of U.S. smokers saw their ads. After the ad campaign, Hall, became a celebrity of sorts for several anti-smoking advocacy groups.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.