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X-Files Epic Ep Countdown Day 12, Character Spotlight: The Cigarette Smoking Man

“If you find the right starting point and follow it, not even the secrets of the darkest men are safe.”

Frohike, of The Lone Gunmen

X-Files Epic Ep Countdown, Day 12 , Character Pick: The Cigarette Smoking Man

In the interest of variety, instead of highlighting one of my favorite X-Files eps, I decided to recap the history of a specific character for the next several days. The X-Files returns to Fox for six episodes, beginning with the premier on January 24th. Today’s character pick is none other than the iconic antagonist, The Cigarette Smoking Man.

The shadowy character is played by Canadian actor William, B. Davis, who also teaches at his own school, “The William Davis Center for Actors Study.” and is a vocal proponent of climate control.

The Cigarette Smoking Man or “Cancer Man” is one of the most mysterious and insidiously malicious characters on the X-Files. He first appears in the pilot, and as a member of “The Syndicate”, is at the center of the larger government conspiracy plot-line that involves the abduction of Mulder’s sister as a child, as well as the coming alien invasion. He says only four words in the entire first season but, over the course of the show, is brought to light as  Mulder and Scully’s primary nemesis.

“Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man,” (Season 4, episode 7 ) begins with the villain listening to a recording Frohike, one of the Lone Gunmen, recounts the the Cigarette Smoking Man’s childhood and ultimately theorizes about his culpability in several major political assassinations over the years. Frohike also reveals that Cancer Man’s father was a communist sympathizer and was executed as a traitor, and that his mother dies of lung cancer when he was a child. After her death, he spent his younger years in an orphanage and doesn’t resurface until after the Bay of Pigs.

Major Major Plot Points to Remember:

  • The Cigarette Smoking Man is presumed to be Mulder’s real father.
  • He is seemingly murdered in at the end of season 6 and is not resurrected until season 9.
  • At the end of season 9, it also appears the The Cigarette Smoking Man has been killed….but was he?

The trailer suggests otherwise? Wait for it…


  • “Don’ t try to threaten me, Mulder. I’ve watched presidents die.” -Cancer Man
  • “We give them happiness. And they give us the authority….Men can never be free because they’re weak, corrupt, worthless and restless.” -Canver Man
  • “… you black-lunged son of a bitch.”- Mulder to Cancer Man
  • The Cigarette Smoking Man has “Trust No One” engraved on his lighter.

Some Classic Cancer Man Moments:

Not a cheerful dude…


The Cancer Man is not the main focus of this clip but I like it…reminds me of the christening scene in The Godfather.



Who is your fave X-files character? Let us know in the comments!

I have three lovely but exhausting girls. I stay home with them and draw comics and such. Aside from being a momma, I'm an expert insomniac, lover of all things dark and creepy, and hopeful initiate into the Evil League of Evil.

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