The man whose “personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards” and the man who made politics cool again befriended each other in August 2011 and the two are the epitome of squad goals.
In a fascinating essay penned for Politico, Jonathan Goldsmith recounted his exploits as a TV actor with a relatively unremarkable career until one lucky audition in 2005 when he suddenly became “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” playing the part of a debonair, playboy spokesman for Dos Equis beer, a role that would eventually bring him to Camp David to hang out with the president.
Goldsmith, who hailed from the Bronx, invented the character during an audition to be a Dos Equis spokesman. He was sleeping in his 1965 pickup at the time and was hit by a stroke of genius when he performed the character based on his Argentinian friend, Fernando Lamas. The company was looking for “a Hemingway kind of guy.” The audition had few instructions: just improv and make sure you end with the line, “And that’s how I arm-wrestled Fidel Castro.”
Goldsmith nailed the audition and that was the birth a brilliant marketing campaign that managed to catch the eye of President Barack Obama, who recognized Goldsmith when he happened to meet him at a fund raiser. A few years later, Obama’s staff invited Goldsmith to an intimate birthday party at the president’s private retreat, Camp David. Goldsmith was to be the surprise guest for the weekend.
Obama later invited Goldsmith to the White House as well, where he gifted him an Oval Office visit and a pair of gold cufflinks with the presidential seal.
In the essay, Goldsmith also recounts his 40-year Hollywood career that included such exploits as sleeping with the wife of Groucho Marx and the wives of two Republican congressmen. He also claims to have broken the bed of Henry Fonda’s mistress and to have had an affair with Tina Louise, who played Ginger, the movie star on Gilligan’s Island. And there’s more:
While I had befriended some of the biggest stars, my career was more of a footnote in the lives of people who had made it big. I had been Judy Garland’s date. I was shot by John Wayne. I starred opposite Burt Lancaster. I worked on Broadway early in my career with Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan. I shared the stage with Dustin Hoffman, with whom I often competed for roles in the early ’60s. I even told him off once, saying I was going to make it and he wasn’t… I almost died at sea and on a mountain. I had been caught naked on the freeway in Los Angeles and had debunked a miracle worker in the Philippines.