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Winters in October 2010
July 20, 1964
New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Dean Winters (born July 20, 1964) is an American actor best known for his work on the television series Oz, Rescue Me, 30 Rock, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as the character "Mayhem" in a series of Allstate insurance commercials.
He grew up in Long Island, New York, and spent his teenage years in Scottsdale, Arizona. Winters attended Brophy College Preparatory school in Phoenix, where he graduated in 1982. He is a graduate of Colorado College.
Winters has appeared in two of the Law & Order television series: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where he was a regular in the first season, and as a guest star in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Purgatory". More than ten years after his final appearance on SVU, he again portrayed Detective Brian Cassidy in the 13th season finale Rhodium Nights. He has also made guest appearances on Homicide: Life on the Street, Sex and the City, Third Watch, NYPD Blue, CSI: Miami and as Dennis Duffy in 30 Rock as well as previously having an accompanying role in Rescue Me. He also starred in the 1999 romantic comedy Undercover Angel with Yasmine Bleeth and the 2002 direct-to-video horror film Hellraiser: Hellseeker. He played Tom in PS, I Love You. Winters played Detective Sam Tyler's father in the US version of Life On Mars. He also played Charley Dixon, Sarah Connor's love interest, in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
On June 20, 2010, Winters was introduced as "Mayhem," the recurring character in a new television and radio advertising campaign for Allstate Insurance created by the agency Leo Burnett Chicago. The campaign is centered around the idea that paying too little for insurance could result in customers not getting the best coverage or service for their money. In an analysis of the 15-second teaser spots, Stuart Elliott, advertising columnist of The New York Times, called Mayhem "a throwback to a kind of ad character that was once hugely popular: the bad guy who causes problems that the product being advertised solves," comparing Winters' character to the Noid in ads for Domino's Pizza in the 1980s, or the Spotmaker in early Calgonite ads.
Around June 19, 2009, after shooting the Happy Town pilot, Winters contracted a bacterial infection and collapsed upon arrival at his doctor's office, and while being transported across Central Park in an ambulance, Winters' heart stopped beating for 2½ minutes. Paramedics were able to revive him, and Winters was hospitalized in intensive care for three weeks. Over the course of the next year, Winters developed gangrene, requiring the amputation of two toes and half of one thumb and ten subsequent operations including a skin graft. Aside from being replaced by Weber when the pilot was picked up for series production, Winters was away from acting until the spring of 2010, when Tina Fey brought him back to 30 Rock and he started work on the Mayhem campaign.
- Conspiracy Theory (1997)
- Lifebreath (1997)
- Firehouse (1997) (TV film)
- Undercover Angel (1999)
- Snipes (film)|Snipes (2001)
- Bullet in the Brain (2001)
- Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) (direct-to-video) -Trevor 'Trev' Gooden
- Strip Search (2004) (TV film)
- Brooklyn Bound (2004)
- Love Rome (2004)
- Bristol Boys (2005)
- Dead Calling (2006)
- P.S. I Love You (2007)
- Devil You Know (2009)
- Winter of Frozen Dreams (2009)
- Splinterheads (2009)
- 7 to the Palace (2009)
- Today's Special (2009)
- Homicide: Life on the Street (1995–1996)
- NYPD Blue (1996)
- Millennium (1997–1999)
- Oz (1997–2003)
- New York Undercover (1998)
- Sex and the City (1999)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–2000, 2012-2013)
- Deadline (2001)
- Third Watch (2002)
- The Twilight Zone (2002)
- CSI: Miami (2005)
- Rescue Me (2004–2011)
- 30 Rock (2006–2013) ("Jack Meets Dennis", "Tracy Does Conan", "The Break Up", "Subway Hero", "Cooter", "Apollo, Apollo", "Anna Howard Shaw Day", "Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land","Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning", "100","Hey, Baby, What's Wrong","Mazel Tov, Dummies!)
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2008)
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009)
- Life on Mars (2008–2009)
- Happy Town (2009)
- Up All Night (2012)
- "Biography for Dean Winters". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2009-02-22). "Slew of pilots flesh out casts". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2010-05-20.[dead link]
- "Guide". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
- Elliott, Stuart (2010-06-20). "Allstate Adds Villain, With Car Insurance as the Hero". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
- "Dean Winters' amazing journey back from death". New York Post. June 18, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- Ravitz, Justin (2008-03-17). "Bloomberg Films '30 Rock' Cameo". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
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