Then And Now: 19 Once Famous Commercial Stars

Do you ever wonder what commercial stars look like in real life? What is the Orbit Gum girl doing now? This article has collected the real life stories of 19 once famous commercial stars. Take a look!

1. Flo The Salesperson – Stephanie Courtney

Most people remember Stephanie Courtney as the fictional salesperson Flo for the insurance company Progressive. In real life, Courtney performed in theatres in New York after graduating from Binghamton University. Later, she moved to Los Angeles and became a stand-up in a comedy club where she was discovered.

2. Geico Caveman – John Lehr

Remember the caveman from the Geico commercial? Well, in real life, John Lehr looked nothing like that. John said the caveman makeup took around three hours to apply! Before appearing in the commercial, John was an elementary school teacher who graduated from Northwestern University.

3. AT&T Salesperson Lily Adams – Milana Vayntrub

Actress Milana Vayntrub has appeared as the AT&T salesperson Lily Adams since 2013. She has also appeared in commercials for Mattel Barbie and a number of television series, including ER, Days of Our Lives, Californication, Silicon Valley, and Other Space.

4. The Orbit Gum Girl – Vanessa Branch

English-born actress Vanessa Branch had appeared in the Orbit commercial from 2006 to 2010, before she was replaced by actress Farris Patton. Besides that, she has also starred in Lost, Gilmore Girls, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Trek: Voyager. She is also a model who was featured in the Girls of Maxim gallery in 2006.

5. The Crazy Target Lady – Maria Bamford

The Crazy Target Lady made actress Maria Bamford a household name. Besides commercials, her other comedy works focused on darker subjects such as suicide and psychiatric conditions, which stirred up some controversies. 

6. The Pepsi Girl – Cindy Crawford

In the 1992 Super Bowl Pepsi commercial, supermodel Cindy Crawford wore an iconic pair of jeans in front of a soft-drink machine and became an instant television sensation. In real life, Cindy Crawford was once the highest – paid supermodel in the world. 

7. The Dos Equis Beer Man – Jonathan Goldsmith

The Dos Equis beer commercial was hugely successful. It boosted the company’s sales by 15.4 percent in 2009 and gave actor Jonathan Goldsmith the title of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from 2006 to 2016. But in 2016, Goldsmith jumped off the Dos Equis bandwagon and returned as the spokesperson for Astral tequila.

8. The Pine-Sol Lady – Diane Amos

Perhaps anyone who watches TV can recognize actress Diane Amos from the Pine-Sol commercial. In real life, Diane is an actress and a comedian. Maybe you don’t remember or didn’t notice her, but she has starred in many box-office hits such as Patch Adams, Sweet November, Copycat, and Blue Jasmine.

9. The Dr. Pepper Girl – Donna Loren

During her time as the “Dr. Pepper Girl,” actress Donna Loren became a familiar face as the company reached the highest sales in history from 1963 to 1968. Nowadays, Donna has switched to recording and writing. She has released several Youtube videos and is busy writing her memoir.

10. The Air Jordan Spokesperson – Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan once appeared in the Air Jordan shoes commercial of Nike. The shoe line became so popular that they caused a wave of “shoe-jackings”, and Jordan is still raking in cash from the commercial contract.

11. The Verizon Spokesperson – Paul Marcarelli

Remember the “can you hear me now” spokesperson from the Verizon commercial? The actor was Paul Marcarelli from Connecticut. The interesting thing is that he appeared in a commercial for rival provider Sprint in 2016 with husband Ryan.

12. The Freecreditreport Spokesperson – Eric Violette

The man who seemed to be eternally plagued by bad credit from the iconic Freecreditreport commercial was named Eric Violette in real life. But the man you heard singing was not Eric but jiggle-writer Dave Muhlenfeld. The producers felt Eric’s heavy French accent was not suitable for the commercial.

13. The Snapple Lady – Wendy Kaufman

Before her commercial role, Wendy was an employee for Snapple. She was interested in responding to fan mails. Maybe that’s why in the commercial she would read a fan letter and have the writer make a guest appearance. Unfortunately though, Snapple fired her in 2008 because she did not sign the contract which she thought was “one-sided and worth nothing.”

14. The T-Mobile Girl – Carly Foulkes

The T-Mobile commercial made Canadian model and actress Carly Foulkes a household face. She was widely recognized as a sex symbol, though the model said she did not classify herself as such.

15. The GoDaddy Boy – Jesse Heiman

Do you remember the cringing 10 seconds when Jesse Heiman was kissing Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli in the Super Bowl commercial from web hosting company GoDaddy? “It was like kissing paradise. Like kissing God’s hands,” Heiman told the New York Daily News.

16. The Dime Lady – Candice Bergen

Candice Bergen was already a famous model and actress before the Sprint telephone commercial. People called her the “Dime Lady” because Sprint’s rate was 10 cents a minute. The widely-spread commercial helped her build an even more successful career. She went on to host her own show and starred in numerous films and television series.

17. The 7UP Spokesperson – Orlando Jones

Just when actor Orlando Jones’ career started to take off with him starring in sketch comedy show MADtv, he landed a contract with 7UP to be a commercial spokesperson. In the commercial, Jones performed a taste test to prove 7UP was better than rancid milk. Today Jones is still pretty active, appearing in works like American Gods.

18. The Allstate Spokesperson – Dean Winters

Although Dean initially refused the offer from Allstate because he didn’t want to “put on a suit and sell insurance,” but the commercial was widely successful. Besides the commercial, Dean appeared in many notable works like 30 Rock and Oz.

19. The Voice Of Geico Gecko – Jake Wood

British actor Jake Wood used to lend his voice to the cute Geico Gecko, but the insurance giant fired him because he refused a pay cut. Besides the commercial, his most prominent role is Max Branning on British soap opera EastEnders, which has pumped out over 5,500 episodes.

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