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Dean Winters

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Dean Winters
Winters in October 2010
Born (1964-07-20) July 20, 1964 (age 50)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1995–present

Dean Winters (born July 20, 1964)[1] is an American actor who has appeared on such television series as Oz, Rescue Me, 30 Rock, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as the character "Mayhem" in a series of Allstate Insurance commercials.

Early life and education[edit]

Winters was born in New York City, and has three siblings, actor Scott William Winters, writer Bradford Winters, and Blair Winters.[2][not in citation given]

Winters grew up on Long Island and spent his teenage years in Scottsdale, Arizona. He attended the Jesuit Brophy College Preparatory school in Phoenix, graduating in 1982. He graduated from Colorado College.[when?][citation needed]


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", became a recurring character in the 14th season and, in the 15th season, also became Sergeant Olivia Benson's love interest. 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 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.[citation needed]

Winters was cast in the ABC drama pilot Happy Town, from the creators of October Road, but was replaced by Steven Weber after shooting the pilot.[3][4]

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.[5]

Personal life[edit]

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 went into cardiac arrest for 2½ minutes.[6] Paramedics were able to revive him, and Winters was hospitalized in intensive care for three weeks.[6]

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.[6] 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.[6]



TV series[edit]

Music videos[edit]


  1. ^ "Meet Mayhem: The Man Who Made Insurance Interesting". Business Insider. Apr 19, 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dean Winters' profile at". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2009-02-22). "Slew of pilots flesh out casts". Retrieved 2010-05-20. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Guide". Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  5. ^ Elliott, Stuart (2010-06-20). "Allstate Adds Villain, With Car Insurance as the Hero". Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Dean Winters' amazing journey back from death". New York Post. June 18, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ravitz, Justin (2008-03-17). "Bloomberg Films '30 Rock' Cameo". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 

External links[edit]