The name of Jonathan Goldsmith probably does not mean all that much to you. You have, however, most likely seen him many times in your life. Goldsmith is the actor who plays the role of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” character that is featured in television and print Dos Equis beer advertisements. Part of the gimmick of those commercials is that there are certain supposed “facts” associated with the character, such as one that claims that the most interesting man on the planet once wrestled Fidel Castro. Goldsmith has, because of those ads, become an iconic commercial figure who is also a favorite of those who create Internet memes.
While the man himself may not be quite as fascinating as the character, Goldsmith has led a rather interesting life during his 76 years on the planet. Before the actor was used to sell beer to the masses, he was featured in other roles that you may have seen, depending how much television you watched over the years. None of those, however, will be as fondly remembered as will his role that will, for many, forever have his face associated with Dos Equis. Who could have guessed when it was created that “stay thirsty, my friends” would become such an iconic line?
10. He Is Actually Jewish
You probably could have guessed upon seeing his last name that the actor who plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World” is not in any way Hispanic. Goldsmith was born in New York, and he is Jewish. His mother was a model for some time, while his father worked as a gym teacher. That is quite the modest upbringing for a man who is depicted on screen and in print as being able to fly wherever he wants whenever he wants and for somebody who has dined with many a king and queen. It is Goldsmith who is now royalty in the advertising business.
9. The Character Really Lived…Kinda
Goldsmith has, in interviews, discussed that the version of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” that we see in television commercials is based off of an actual person: “I immediately thought of my friend, Fernando Lamas, who was a great raconteur and a sailing buddy of mine. … That was the first thing that came to my mind, and it stuck with me after that,” Goldsmith stated during an interview with Jewish Journal back in 2010. Lamas, born in Argentina, was an actor and a director, and he is known as the father of actor Lorenzo Lamas.
8. How He Got The Job
It is only fitting that Goldsmith went through what could be considered an interesting audition to get the Dos Equis gig, one that he talked about during an interview with Primer Magazine in 2011: “The auditions were held with hundreds of others, most of whom looked Latino. I felt like I made somewhat of an impression when I took off one sock as a conversation opener and indeed finished the 30 minute improvisation with the casting director’s requested line ‘…and that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro.’” The character actually stepping inside of a squared-circle with Castro would make for one heck of a commercial all on its own.
7. His Other Roles
You know Goldsmith for being “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” but that is hardly the only role that he has had over the years. IMDB credits Goldsmith for having 107 credits during his career as an actor. Dragnet. Dallas. Highway to Heaven. MacGyver. Knight Rider. The A-Team. Knots Landing. Those are just some of the projects that Goldsmith was, in one way or another, involved with over the years. Knowledge of that fact may give you something to look for if you are flipping through the channels at night and you come upon any show or movie that featured Goldsmith.
6. He Left College After Dating A Teacher!
The line “He failed to graduate college because he was too busy dating a teacher” seems like it belongs in one of his commercials. Goldsmith described while speaking with the Popeater website in 2009 that it is one that also describes one of his real-life experiences. He was, as he stated during that interview, 19 years old when he made his exit from NYU. “I was asked to kind of leave,” Goldsmith stated. “Well, it had to do with one of my teachers who I was having a bit of a fling with.” Dos Equis needs to get on making this story part of the bit.
5. He Owes His Wife A Lot
Some people prefer to keep their business lives separate from their personal affairs. Goldsmith went the opposite route years ago, and it proved to be a wise decision. As explained in a piece that was published in the New Yorker back in 2011, it was because of Goldsmith’s wife Barbara who was working as his agent at the time that the Dos Equis opportunity arose, and she is credited with getting him that job. In a page right out of the diary of the character, Goldsmith and Barbara were living aboard a sailboat in Marina del Rey at the time of the New Yorker interview; because of course they were.
4. He Does Not Always Drink Beer…
The famous line in “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials has Goldsmith stating: “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” It turns out that Goldsmith himself will not always be seen having a beer when he is choosing to enjoy an adult beverage. He described while speaking with Ad Age that he sometimes prefers to have a martini or scotch. One would expect nothing more from a man who plays a character known for enjoying the finer things in life. No disrespect meant, but a Dos Equis does not really go well with a Cuban cigar.
3. He Once Lashed Out at Dustin Hoffman
It was during the previously mentioned interview with the New Yorker when Goldsmith described an interaction he once had with fellow actor Dustin Hoffman. “I jumped up and said, ‘Dustin, the reason you don’t like me is because I’m gonna make it and you’re not!’” is what Goldsmith supposedly said to Hoffman. Goldsmith has made it, alright, and he is instantly recognized in many places that he travels. Hoffman, however, has never been part of such an iconic advertising campaign. He will just have to live with the Academy Awards and other honors that he has earned during his legendary acting career. Bummer.
2. He Is A Hero
Goldsmith may not actually be the most interesting man in the world, but there are at least two people who are grateful that the real person exists. The Jewish Journal article mentioned earlier in this piece described how Goldsmith once, while hiking in a snowstorm, came upon a man who was suffering from hypothermia. He cared for that individual overnight until the duo was saved. Goldsmith has also talked about how he once played the hero role for a 10-year-old girl in Malibu: “I noticed one girl who was in trouble right in front of everybody. I got her just as she went down. If I wasn’t there, she would have drowned 10 feet from her parents. It was just fortunate.”
1. He Is Charitable
“The Most Interesting Man in the World” should be keen on helping others, and that has been the case with Goldsmith. He has worked with the Morris Animal Foundation, an organization that fights pet cancer. He is involved in S.A.B.R.E., a foundation that strives to protect Siberian Tigers. The Free Arts for Abused Children nonprofit is another cause that Goldsmith has been involved with when not playing his famous role. It is admirable that Goldsmith has taken steps to ensure that he will be remembered by some for being more than just a well-known spokesman for a beverage.