The Most Interesting Man in the World is an extremely popular advertising campaign for the Dos Equis brand of beer, produced by the marketing firm Euro RSCG for Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery. The ads feature Jonathan Goldsmith as “the world’s most interesting man” and are narrated by Frontline’s Will Lyman. Goldsmith has stated that his friend, actor Fernando Lamas, was an inspiration in creating the character. The advertisements first began appearing in the United States in 2006.
Jonathan Goldsmith (born September 26, 1938) is an American actor. He began his career on the New York stage, then started a career in film and television. He appeared in several TV shows from the 1960s to the 1990s. He is best known for appearing in television commercials for Dos Equis beer, beginning in 2007, as the character The Most Interesting Man in the World, in which he speaks with a distinctive deep voice inspired by his deceased sailing partner and friend Fernando Lamas.
Jonathan Goldsmith was born on September 26, 1938, in New York. His mother was a Conover model and his father was a track coach at James Monroe High School. He was raised Jewish. Goldsmith left home at 17 to attend Boston University to pursue a career in acting.
To advance his acting career, Goldsmith moved to California from New York in 1966. Like many aspiring actors, he found it difficult to gain enough acting work to survive and wound up working various jobs, including driving a garbage truck and working in construction, to help make ends meet.
During his early years in film, Goldsmith performed as “Jonathan Lippe”, having taken the name of his stepfather at the age of six. He subsequently changed his professional name back to his birth name, later recalling, “It always made me feel bad for my father, who never caused me any grief about it…. As my career grew and my son was born, I changed my name back to my real name, Goldsmith, so my father could enjoy his son’s success and have a grandson to carry his name as well.”
Goldsmith first established himself as an actor in Western films, with 25 such appearances. In the 1976 film The Shootist, Goldsmith played a villain who was shot between the eyes by hero John Wayne, who fired blood capsules from a special pellet gun at pointblank range into Goldsmith’s face for seven painful takes.
Goldsmith also made guest appearances on 45 television series, including Adam-12, Knight Rider, CHiPs, Eight Is Enough, The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, Barnaby Jones, MacGyver, Murder, She Wrote, Charlie’s Angels, Manimal, The Fall Guy, Dynasty, T.J. Hooker, Hardcastle and McCormick, Magnum, P.I., Knots Landing, The A-Team, as well as a few made-for-TV movies. His longest run in a television series was on Dallas, in which he appeared 17 times.
In the 1980s Goldsmith started network marketing businesses (waterless car wash products) Dry Wash & Guard, and also SPRINT which was successful enough to allow him to “retire” from the Hollywood scene; he and his wife purchased an estate in the Sierras. He and his wife later separated, and he moved onto a large sailboat moored in Marina del Rey. As of 2011 he and second wife Barbara (who was his agent when he obtained the Dos Equis role) are moving to a house in the area of Manchester, Vermont.
Beginning in April 2007 and continuing through 2011, Goldsmith had been featured in a high profile television ad campaign, promoting Dos Equis beer. The campaign, which transformed Goldsmith into “the most interesting man in the world”, has been credited for helping to fuel a 15.4 percent sales increase for the brand in America in 2009 and also made him into a very popular meme.
Goldsmith supported the S.A.B.R.E Foundation, whose mission is to protect and preserve the Siberian Tiger.
Goldsmith’s other charitable causes are Free Arts for Abused Children, which pairs artists with children in protective custody, and the Stella Link Foundation, a group calling attention to child sex trafficking in Cambodia.
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