a great actor and sometimes race car driver lost his life to cancer. Paul did live out a life to the ripe old age of eighty three, but in the end, lung cancer mastered him. He was a former chain smoker. Another beloved actor, Alan Hale of Gilligan's Island fame died of cancer at the age of seventy one. He had cancer of the thymus. A man from the early days of country music, Porter Wagoner, died of lung cancer at the age of eighty. He was known as the man who introduced singer Dolly Parton on his TV show that bore his name for twenty one years. This Blog About Death Celebrity Like Paul Newman And More.