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Isaiah Mustafa

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Isaiah Mustafa
Mustafa at the 2024 WonderCon
Born (1974-02-11) February 11, 1974 (age 50)
Alma materArizona State University
  • Actor
  • Football player
Years active1997–present
Lisa Mitchell
(m. 2018)

American football career
No. 18
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Career information
High school:Oxnard (CA) Santa Clara
College:Arizona State
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only

Isaiah Amir Mustafa (born February 11, 1974)[1] is an American actor and former American football wide receiver.[2] Mustafa is widely known as the main character in a series of Old Spice television commercials, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like". He is also known for portraying Luke Garroway on Freeform's fantasy series Shadowhunters and adult Mike Hanlon in It Chapter Two.


Mustafa was born in Portland, Oregon[3] to Shahidah Mustafa-Davis and John Wali Mustafa, the youngest of seven children in a Muslim family.[4] When Mustafa was 5 years old, the family relocated from Portland to Mission Viejo, California, and his father opened a limousine service in Laguna Hills.[4] Several years after the family relocated to California, Mustafa's father was killed in a car accident.[5]

He was educated at Santa Clara High School, and later attended Santa Monica College, before transferring to Moorpark College.[5] Mustafa then studied history at Arizona State University, from which he graduated in 1995.[6]



Mustafa played basketball and ran track at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, California.[2] He did not play high school football, but he tried out for Moorpark College's football team hoping for an athletic scholarship;[7] he became a free safety, and later became a wide receiver.[2][7]

After transferring to Arizona State University in 1995, Mustafa was a starting wide receiver for the Arizona State Sun Devils but had an unspecified "confrontation" with a coach and was benched his senior year.[2] He played during the 1997 Rose Bowl between the then-undefeated Sun Devils (led by Mustafa's friend Jake Plummer)[6] and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Although Mustafa expected to become a high school teacher after graduation, a sports agent suggested that he try out for NFL teams. The Tennessee Oilers signed him to the practice squad, then sent him to NFL Europe's Barcelona Dragons in 1998.[2] After a season on the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns' practice squads in 1999, Mustafa attended the Seattle Seahawks' training camp in 2000.[8][9]


Mustafa in August 2010

After the Seahawks, Mustafa pursued an acting career, playing small roles on various television series, including Ugly Betty and Days of Our Lives.

In 2010, he signed a talent deal with NBC and appeared as a supporting role in the comedy film Horrible Bosses.[10][11] Mustafa hosted the TBS special Funniest Commercials of the Year in both 2010 and 2011.[12] In 2011, Mustafa guest-starred in two episodes of ABC's action drama series Charlie's Angels, portraying Detective Ray Goodson, an ex-boyfriend of one of the Angels.[13] The following year, he guest-starred in two episodes of The CW's spy drama series Nikita, playing the role of Cyrus, a former agent for Division and a member of the "Dirty Thirty".[14]

In April 2013, Mustafa appeared in a commercial for the Israeli beer Maccabee.[15] The following year, he starred in the pilot episode of the USA Network comedy series Sirens as a police officer named Danny.[16] In May 2015, it was announced that Mustafa would portray the werewolf Luke Garroway on the Freeform fantasy series Shadowhunters, based on The Mortal Instruments series of novels by Cassandra Clare.[17]

In 2019, Mustafa played the adult Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs in his younger version) in It Chapter Two, the sequel to the 2017 horror film It.[18]

Old Spice[edit]

In February 2010, he gained sudden fame for his main role in the popular "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" advertising campaign for Old Spice, which featured his monologues.[6][19][20][21] Mustafa's first commercial in the series was directed by Tom Kuntz. Subsequently, a three-day session created a series of humorous, personalized YouTube videos, with Mustafa reprising the character from the original Old Spice commercial. These were directed at members of the public and celebrities who had asked him questions on websites such as Reddit, Facebook and Twitter.[22][23]

On July 26, 2011, Old Spice launched a new campaign on YouTube featuring a challenge between Mustafa and Fabio entitled Mano a Mano in el Baño. Mustafa said he wasn't worried, even though Fabio has been "the epitome of the sex symbol as a pitchman". Mustafa ultimately emerged as the winner.[24] He resumed his work for Old Spice with a series of advertisements released in January 2014. The campaign featured several webpages selling false products directed at men, which were interrupted with Mustafa suggesting that men buy Old Spice instead.[25] In August 2015, Mustafa once again appeared in Old Spice commercials, this time alongside Terry Crews.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Mustafa has one daughter with his former wife.[27] He previously dated professional wrestler and actress Catherine Joy Perry, better known by her ring name Lana.[28] He married his girlfriend of two years, Lisa Mitchell, on May 26, 2018 and they have one son together.[29]

He owned a restaurant, Jo Jo's Barbecue, on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in 2000,[8] but it has since closed.[7]

Mustafa is a comic book fan; his knowledge of Doctor Doom's first name helped him win $47,000 on The Weakest Link, for a question on the first name of Doctor Frankenstein.[5] The money helped him pursue his post-restaurateur goal of becoming an actor.[7] Mustafa had expressed interest in playing comic book superhero Luke Cage,[30] and appeared as Cage in a Marvel Comics web short, styled after his Old Spice commercials.[31]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 The Island Injured Football Player
2006 The Last Supper Moses Short film
2006 Even Money Basketball Player
2011 Madea's Big Happy Family Calvin
2011 Horrible Bosses Officer Wilkens
2012 The Three Stooges Moe's Hip Executive
2013 Crush Coach Evans
2014 Back in the Day T
2016 Girl Flu. Gabriel
2016 After the Reality Garreth
2019 It Chapter Two Mike Hanlon Shared role with Chosen Jacobs
2022 Home Team Porcupine Coach
2022 Murder at Yellowstone City Cicero
2023 Boy Kills World Benny


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Football Wives Football Player Television film
2008 Ugly Betty Bailiff Episode: "Odor in the Court"
2009 Days of Our Lives Cleveland Cop 2 episodes
2009 NCIS: Los Angeles Brent Duffy Episode: "Search and Destroy"
2009 Eli Stone Newlywed Husband Episode: "Tailspin"
2009 NCIS Oliver Newcomb Episode: "Caged"
2010 Castle Team Leader Episode: "Boom!"
2010–2011 Chuck Richard "Rick" Noble 2 episodes
2011 Hot in Cleveland Coach Kevin Episode: "LeBron is Le Gone"
2011 Love Bites Captain Craig Episode: "Sky High"
2011 Femme Fatales Raven Episode: "Speed Date"
2011 Charlie's Angels Detective Ray Goodson 2 episodes
2012 Rags Reginald Worth Television film
2012 Nikita Cyrus 2 episodes
2014 Anger Management Paul Episode: "Charlie Screws a Prisoner's Girlfriend"
2014 Sirens Danny Episode: "Pilot"
2014 Selfie Mitchell McMoney Episode: "Nugget of Wisdom"
2014 Kroll Show Hammer Episode: "Mother Daughter Sister Wife"
2015 Baby Daddy Captain Hudson Episode: "An Officer and a Gentle Ben"
2016–2019 Shadowhunters Lucian "Luke" Garroway Main role
2017 Total Divas Himself Episode: "What Happens in Vegas..."
2018–2021 Robot Chicken Various voices 2 episodes
2021 Grey's Anatomy Brian Williams Episode: "Today Was a Fairytale"
2022 Black-ish Himself Episode: "And the Winner Is..."

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2011 Gears of War 3 COG Gear (voice)


  1. ^ "Person Details for Isaiah Amir Mustafa, "United States Public Records, 1970–2009"". FamilySearch. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wharton, David (April 18, 1998). "Beach Ball". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  3. ^ "Shadowhunters Cast: Isaiah Mustafa". Freeform. Archived from the original on June 29, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Dominguez, Fernando (October 9, 1993). "Like Bo, Moorpark's Mustafa Has Found a Hobby". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b c Weber, Jim (December 15, 2010). "Catching up with Isaiah Mustafa: Obscure Sun Devil, famous pitch man". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c D'Zurilla, Christie (February 16, 2010). "It's the guy in the Old Spice commercial: Isaiah Mustafa". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Wednesday July 28, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "SEAHAWKS CAMP: The long road to the NFL". M.kitsapsun.com. August 9, 2000. Archived from the original on March 24, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Farnsworth, Clare (July 15, 2010). "Hey, he smells familiar". Seattle Seahawks. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  10. ^ Stanhope, Kate (June 11, 2010). "Old Spice Isaiah Mustafa Signs Talent Deal with NBC". TV Guide.
  11. ^ O., Courtney (July 27, 2010). "Isaiah Mustafa Set for 'Horrible Bosses'". MovieWeb.
  12. ^ Stanley, T.L. "Isaiah Mustafa hosting TBS funny-ads show". Adweek. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (August 23, 2011). "Charlie's Angels Exclusive: Isaiah Mustafa Spices Things Up as Angel's Lawman Ex". TVLine.
  14. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (September 14, 2012). "Exclusive: Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa to Charm Nikita". TV Guide.
  15. ^ Wasserman, Todd (May 9, 2013). "The Old Spice Guy Is Selling Beer in Israel". Mashable.
  16. ^ Masters, Megan (October 22, 2012). "TVLine Items: Breaking Bad Vet Visits Parenthood, New Gig for Old Spice Guy and More!". TVLine.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (May 8, 2015). "Matthew Daddario & Isaiah Mustafa Join 'Shadowhunters' On ABC Family". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  18. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 9, 2018). "'It Chapter 2' casts Isaiah Mustafa as adult Mike Hanlon". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "That great Old Spice TV ad: 'I'm on a horse' and how he got there". Entertainment Weekly. February 19, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  20. ^ Grant, Drew (February 20, 2010). "Old Spice's Spicy Ad Campaign". Mediatite. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  21. ^ Barol, Bill (February 18, 2010). "The making of 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like'". True Slant. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  22. ^ "'Old Spice Guy' takes pitch to YouTube, Twitter". CSMonitor.com. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  23. ^ Kleinman, Zoe. "See Also: Tech Brief". BBC. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  24. ^ "MSNBC: Old Spice guy wins online hunk-off over Fabio". NBC News.
  25. ^ "Old Spice, Isaiah Mustafa Stage 'Interneterventions' on 9 Fake Websites for Manly Products". Adweek. January 21, 2014.
  26. ^ Monllos, Kristina (August 6, 2015). "Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa Are Now Battling for the Hearts of Old Spice Fans". Adweek.
  27. ^ Mills, Nancy (April 22, 2011). "Isaiah Mustafa takes Old Spice fame to big screen". USA Today.
  28. ^ A Tearful Lana Confesses Her Marriage Fears to Rusev After Running Into Her Famous Ex on Emotional Total Divas Episode
  29. ^ Gavilanes, Grace (August 9, 2018). "2018 Celebrity Weddings". People. Time Inc. p. 26. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  30. ^ "Isaiah Mustafa Reveals Secrets Behind Old Spice Commercial". g4tv.com. July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  31. ^ Goldberg, Matt (May 31, 2011). "Isaiah Mustafa Campaigns for LUKE CAGE with Fake Teaser Trailer". Collider.

External links[edit]