10 Surprising Roles of TV Commercial Superstars

Playing an iconic ad spokesperson can get an actor typecast.  But these 10 commercial superstars found other outlets for their creative talents. 


CARL HARDEE SR. CARL'S JR. Charles Esten, ad dad for Carl's Jr., did a multi-episode arc on The Office as Stamford branch manager Josh Porter. He already knew Rainn Wilson from The Expendables, a failed pilot about crime-fighting androids.



RONALD MCDONALD MCDONALDS GRACKED.COM Today Show meteorologist Willard Scott was the very first Ronald McDonald, somehow even creepier in his earliest incarnation. Scott had a thing for playing clowns, also appearing as Bozo on local TV.



THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD DOS EQUIS When Jonathan Goldsmith wasn't acting on episodes of Dallas or CHIPS, he was a notorious ladies man. He claims dalliances with Jack Warner's much younger girlfriend, one of Groucho Marx's wives, two congressmen's wives, and one runner-up to Miss Florida.

NY Post


MAYTAG MAN DAAUA MAYTAG RENTALS- CRACKEDCO Gordon Jump, one of several Maytag Men over the years, starred as Arthur Carlson on WKRP in Cincinnati. He also played the World's Creepiest Bike Shop Owner on a very special episode of Diff'rent Strokes.

AV Club


MAYHEM ALLSTATE CRACKED.COM Dean Winters plays Mayhem, the reckless guy with the effed up face in the AllState commercials. He also played Avi, the reckless guy with the effed up face in John Wick. He's more indestructible in the commercials.



LILY AT&T Milana Vayntrub has developed a legion of creepy fans as AT&T sales commando Lily Adams. More recently, she joined the Marvel universe as the voice of lighthearted superhero Squirrel Girl.

Comic Book Resources


JAKE STATE FARM LAP DANCE A FILM BY GREG CARTER Fast money Before he offered great rates at State Farm, Kevin Miles made it rain as Kevin the Customer in the Carmen Electra vehicle Lap Dance. FYI: Unlike Jake, she doesn't wear khakis.



THE GECKO GEICO CRAGKED COM The Geico Gecko has evolved over the years, both in looks and sound. His original erudite elocution was provided by Frasier's Kelsey Grammer, one of six actors to lend voice to the reptilian mascot.

Behind the Voice Actors


FLO PROGRESSIVE CRAGKEDCOM It feels like Stephanie Courtney has been Flo since the 1960s, but did you know she had a recurring part on Mad Men? She played switchboard gal Marge in five episodes during the show's first season.



THE GOOD HANDS GUY ALLSTATE Dennis Haysbert assured us we were in good hands, and casting directors agreed. Haysbert spent five seasons as President Palmer on 24, ranking top three on IndieWire's list of Greatest TV Presidents of All Time.