Dean Winters has had a solid acting career. He’s been in the movies but mostly he’s made it on T.V. Both Network and Cable. He stared as Ryan O’Reily, an Irish American hell raiser around whom people had a habit of dying, in H.B.O.’s prison drama Oz. As Tommy Gavin, Winters played the part of an N.Y.P.D. detective, Johnny, the younger brother of Denis Leary’s lead character in the FX produced show, Rescue Me. He’s also had parts in shows like N.Y.P.D. Blue, Sex And The City, C.S.I. Miami, and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit. Winters has done alright for himself.
Then, shortly after being cast in ABC's Happy Town in 2009, his career marching nicely along, tragedy struck. Dean died. Suffering from a bacterial infection, Dean collapsed in his doctors office and was promptly rushed to Lennox Hill Hospital on New York’s Upper Eastside. His heart stopped beating in the ambulance for two and a half minutes. Revived by the ambulance crew, Dean spent the next three weeks in the intensive care unit. His recovery complicated by gangrene, Winters endured several operations and ultimately lost a thumb and two toes.
Dean collapsed in his doctors office and was promptly rushed to Lennox Hill Hospital on New York’s Upper Eastside. His heart stopped beating in the ambulance for two and a half minutes.
Incredibly, Winters is back. And doing arguably the best work of his career. What’s more incredible is the fact that rather than slipping into his comfy shoes on a movie or TV show, he’s staring in a string of commercials for Allstate Insurance Company. His character? Mayhem. Is there anything better on American T.V. right now? I'm not sure there is.
Clad in a scruffy black suit and tie and grinning manically, Winters narrates events as he acts out various scenes of destruction. Taking on the characters of a deer, a satellite dish, a flag, a Christmas Tree, an irate teenage girl, a woman out jogging, a puppy and, maybe best of all, a random windstorm, Mayhem leaves a trail of destruction everywhere he goes. These 30-second commercials may or may not cause you to ponder your level of insurance coverage but they will definitely cause you to speculate as to why Winters isn’t acting in the big leagues right now. Don’t count him out.
Don’t count anyone out who has come back from the dead.
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