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Cover Stars

Cigar Aficionado’s 112 covers have won high praise, and eight of our cigar-smoking celebrities tell us why.
Marshall Fine
From the Print Edition:
Cigar Aficionado's 20th Anniversary, September/October 2012

(continued from page 1)

When William Shatner appeared on the cover in 2006, he was at the height of his “Boston Legal” powers as attorney Denny Crane, a role that brought him two Emmy Awards. The first captain of the Starship Enterprise on the original “Star Trek,” Shatner has had several TV series since the end of “Boston Legal” (including the sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says” and the talk show “Shatner’s Raw Nerve”) and his  documentary, “William Shatner’s Get A Life,” about his exploration of Star Trek conventions, just started airing on the EPIX pay-cable network.

WILLIAM SHATNER: Before we start, if you’re going to ask my favorite cigar and I have to go do some research, I’m probably just going to click on some Cuban thing and I won’t really know whether I mean that. So I’d rather talk about the feeling and the meaning of a cigar, rather than have to name some specific brand I like.

Cigar Aficionado: Fair enough. Let’s start with this: What did it mean to you to be on the cover of Cigar Aficionado?
SHATNER: The Aficionado is a cultural-elite magazine aimed at a specific type of person. You don’t have to be intelligent or rich or knowledgeable to smoke cigars but, given the mystique of cigars, it helps. Now I don’t smoke often, but when I do, I want the subtlety of taste of the part of the Earth that this tobacco came from. Like good wine and good cheese, a good cigar requires a subtle palate. And I think I have that. So it gave me a sense of pride to be on the magazine’s cover.

CA: What is your favorite cigar memory?
SHATNER: I’m sitting in front of my house, sitting on a hill overlooking my property and my wife and I are smoking cigars. Now, how many men have their wife with them when they smoke, instead of saying, “Get away from me—you smell”?

CA: At the end of most episodes of “Boston Legal,” you and James Spader would sit on Denny Crane’s balcony and share a smoke and a drink. Is there a downside to something like that?
SHATNER: You shoot the first take at the beginning of the morning and the camera has to be moved to shoot the scene from 20 different angles. So you’re lighting and smoking cigars all day long. They did say to me, “Well, don’t smoke them—just hold them in your hand.” But I couldn’t do that because I wanted to show the richness of his life and the enjoyment of smoking a good cigar. But 20 in one day is 19 too many. It took me a while to come back from that.

CA: Was the cigar boom of the 1990s a good thing or a bad thing?
SHATNER: A boom is good—why not? Obviously, you have to do everything in moderation. So smoking a great cigar is a pleasure I would wish upon anyone in moderation.

Susan Lucci

(Sept/Oct 1999)

For actress Susan Lucci, 1999 was a banner year that saw Lucci landing on the cover of Cigar Aficionado magazine (holding a cigar while lying in a bathtub full of floating roses), even as she made her Broadway debut. While “All My Children” and Lucci’s Erica Kane ended their run in 2011, Lucci is set to return to the small screen in a Lifetime series, “Devious Maids,” created by Marc (“Desperate Housewives”) Cherry, in 2013.

Cigar Aficionado: What do you remember about the cover shoot?
SUSAN LUCCI: It was one of the most fun shoots ever. I was so happy they asked me. And the shoot happened right after I won the Daytime Emmy. I was so thrilled to be asked. It turned out to be pivotal for me and led to me making my Broadway debut.

CA: How so?
LUCCI: In the story in Cigar Aficionado, I mentioned Broadway as a dream I’d had forever. Fran and Barry Weissler were producing a revival of Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway and, once they heard that I was interested in Broadway, they contacted me. I went into Annie Get Your Gun to replace Bernadette Peters. And I know they heard about my interest from that story.

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