Dean Winters in an Allstate commercial as the character Mayhem


Fascinating Facts About Allstate's Mayhem Actor, Dean Winters

Dean Winters, a veteran TV and Film actor, has been charming audiences for years in Allstate commercials. Here are some fascinating details about the man behind the Mayhem.

Early on, Winters had a nightmare audition for a film he spent days preparing for but didn’t receive the same level of attention from the film's director.

He’ll Throw A Script

When the rude director wouldn’t stop looking at his phone, Winters threw the script at his face. Needless to say, he did not book that particular role.

In June 2009, Winters collapsed due to a horrific bacterial infection. On the way to the hospital, his heart stopped — for two and a half minutes.

He Actually Died

Paramedics revived him, but over the next year, he spent 95 days in the hospital, endured 10 operations, developed gangrene, and had to have two toes and half a thumb amputated.

Allstate Insurance sought him out to play the Mayhem guy, but at first, Winters turned down what he later called "the best job [he's] ever had.”

Tried To Avoid Mayhem

"My smartass remark was that I became an actor so I wouldn't have to put on a suit and sell insurance. And then my agent slapped me around and said, 'Come on, get real.'"

In the mid-’90s, Winters worked as a bartender while trying to break into the business. His lucky break happened when Tom Fontana walked into his bar.

A Chance Meeting

Fontana — the creator/producer of NBC's police drama “Homicide Life On The Street” — struck up a friendship with Winters and offered to write a role on the show.

Later, when Fontana moved on to create the searing prison drama "Oz" for HBO, he wrote the role of Ryan O'Reily specifically for Winters.

In 1997, Winters landed his first film role in the thriller "Conspiracy Theory." He quit his bartending job the day before filming began.

Conspiracy Theory

When his more significant role was “whittled away,” Winters considered giving up acting. He could have gone back to his old job had he not deliberately burned that bridge.

"The owner wouldn't take me back because I told him to go f*** himself when I quit," he recalled. "Because I wanted to make sure when I quit that I wouldn't have a way back in!"