What is the hero dying of in the original D.O.A. (1950)? March 11, 2012 by Pamela Landy · Filed Under: Movies Edmond O’Brien is an accountant dying of radiation poisoning (caused by iridium) in the original D.O.A. (1950). In the 1988 remake, Dennis Quaid is a college professor also dying of radiation poisoning. Related PostsWhat is a last laugh before dying?What were the 12 labors of the Greek hero Hercules?Who played the black hero Ben in Night of the Living Dead (1968)?Who is the hero of William Faulkner’s Light in August (1932)?Who is the hero of Richard Wright’s Native Son (1940)?