Mr Nice Author Howard Marks Dies, Aged 70

11 April 2016, 09:00 | Updated: 11 April 2016, 11:25

Howard Marks 2010

The drugs smuggler-turned-writer has lost his battle with cancer.

Howard Marks - the author of the best-selling autobiography, Mr Nice - has died, aged 70.

The former drug-smuggler from Kenfig Hill, Bridgend County, has passed away after being diagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer. 

Marks was jailed in the US in 1990, after being convicted of smuggling cannabis.

The book, in which he documented his exploits involving the likes of the CIA, MI6, the IRA and the Mafia, became the multi-million selling Mr Nice, which was then made into a 2010 film starring Rhys Ifans.

Marks also collaborated with the Super Furry Animals on their 1996 song, Hangin' with Howard Marks. Photos of him in various disguises appeared on the cover of their 1996 album Fuzzy Logic. went on to appear with his fellow Welshmen at Glastonbury festival.

Since the news of his passing, tributes have poured in on Twitter for the author from all walks of life.

See some of the posts below:


Lastnight I heard the news of Howard Marks passing and, yknow what, I shed the warmest, most beautiful tears as I smiled the biggest smile. I sat in bed remembering the time I spent reading his tales as a teen and then the time I spent discussing them with him as an adult. I haven't commented publicly on the passing of someone in a long ole time. For me personally, it rarely feels a necessity. But with Howard I felt the need. Because what a life he led. And how beautifully he shared his tales. On April 21st 2015 I had the pleasure of driving up to Leeds to sit down with Howard for my podcast. I met him in a hotel car park near to his flat and then chatted with him in the sun as I lugged my podcast gear up to his place. He was instantly warm, welcoming and engaging. Charming to a fault, despite his ongoing battles with numerous cancers. Once I was set up we sat and conversed for nearly two hours. I was frequently speechless as I heard stories I had read many years before, coming direct from his mouth in those wonderfully warm Welsh tones. I was in awe as he happily dispelled many of the over exaggerated myths, then wove equally mind boggling true accounts. He opened my eyes to many things in those brief moments we shared. I've turned the adverts and what not off on that particular interview as it felt disrespectful to have them on at this time, so I unashamedly urge you to go and listen to what is a very proud moment for me. Episode 33. As I said last night, I don't really see death as something to be sad about as such. Someone like Howard led the average life 50 times over and revelled in sharing his experiences with others. And how beautiful it is to remember such things. To have them preserved in writing, on video, in pictures and on tape. I feel so honoured to have got those moments with him and that podcast suddenly means so much more to me than the regular weekly episodic offering. Thank you for the time you spent with us and for all that you were to so many. Light em up, Mr Nice.x iTunes, Acast or at (Photo by probation London)

A photo posted by scroobiuspipyo (@scroobiuspipyo) onApr 11, 2016 at 1:53am PDT

Marks revealed he had inoperable bowel cancer in January 2015, and told the Observer: "I don’t have any regrets and have not had any for a very long time.”