The New York Times reports that John Edwards, who was a close confidant of gay British painter Francis Bacon, died Tuesday in Bangkok of lung cancer at the age of 53. Edwards was a featured model in at least 30 of Bacon's latter-era portraits. The two met in 1976 at the Colony Room bar in London, and Edwards was the sole heir to Bacon's paintings and properties when the artist died in 1992. Edwards was gay but never had a sexual relationship with Bacon, who was 40 years older than Edwards. Edwards is survived by his partner, Philip Mordue.