As a working actor in the movie business, you have to be open to accepting any job offer that comes your way – whether it's a big time role in a big time movie or a small appearance in a 30 second television commercial. You've gotta do what you've gotta do to pay the bills, and that's why many beloved actors have appeared in commercials over the years – either before, during or after their greatest successes... and our favorite horror icons are no exception.
Check out these commercials featuring faces that are sure to be familiar to all fans of horror cinema!
Jamie Lee Curtis (Activia)
Beginning in 2010, Halloween icon Jamie Lee Curtis teamed up with Activia to promote their healthy poop-inducing yogurt in a series of commercials that are still airing to this day, giving horror fans a glimpse inside Laurie Strode's digestive system. Because we were all wondering what was going on in there, were we not?
P.J. Soles (7-Up)
Speaking of which, right around the time of Halloween's release in the late '70s, PJ Soles popped up in a few different commercials, and she can be seen shilling 7-Up soda in the one above. The Halloween and Carrie co-star also appeared in a headache-inducing commercial for Pizza Hut's taco pizza in 1979.
Anthony Perkins (General Mills Cereals)
Anthony Perkins' partnership with General Mills was a bit different than the other ads on this list, because Perkins actually reprised the role of Psycho's Norman Bates for this early '90s commercial promoting their Oatmeal Crisp and Oatmeal Raisin Crisp cereals. A brilliant and ballsy move from General Mills, using a killer to help promote their product!
Vincent Price (Tilex)
Throughout his career, the legendary Vincent Price became a spokesman for all sorts of different companies, including Citibank, Gaviscon, Century 21 and even Sun Country Wine Coolers. The cool thing about the commercials Price appeared in is that they almost always played up his status as a horror icon, one of my personal favorites being the Tilex ad seen above.
David Naughton (Dr. Pepper)
Before he ever found himself writhing on the floor and transforming into a werewolf, David Naughton was tasked with making Dr. Pepper look good in this commercial from the '70s. Only director John Landis can confirm if this is true or not, but rumor has it that it was actually this commercial that led to Landis casting Naughton as the lead in An American Werewolf In London. Proof that sometimes you've gotta embarass yourself as an actor before breaking on through to the other side!
Adrienne King (Downy)
Two years after she cut off Mrs. Voorhees' head in Friday the 13th and solidified herself as one of the most iconic final girls of all time, Adrienne KIng became a mommy herself in this unintentionally creepy commercial for Downy, where she appears to be getting advice from a ghostly version of herself. If only baby Jason were wrapped in blankets washed in Downy's fabric softener, maybe things would've turned out differently...
Linda Blair (Ideal Toys)
Prior to The Exorcist, Linda Blair got a small taste of what it's like to portray a normal young girl in Hollywood, rather than a pea soup-spitting, head-spinning demon. Before becoming forever attached to the horror genre, Blair appeared in this early 1970s commercial for Ideal's Kerry and Mia dolls. A brief moment of relaxation, before being possessed and forced by the Devil himself to masturbate with a cross!
Tobin Bell (Hardee's)
Long before he started playing games and pushing the human body to its absolute limit, Saw's Tobin Bell had a small role in this 1988 commercial for the fast food chain Hardee's. That's him at the very start of the commercial, decked out in period clothes and overseeing the construction of The White House. Ironically, fast food burgers are responsible for more deaths than even Jigsaw ever was, in his brief career as a master torturer!
James Karen (Pathmark)
He forever won over the hearts of genre fans when he portrayed Frank in Return of the Living Dead (and Ed in the sequel), but James Karen had, by that point, already had a long career as an actor, beginning in the late '40s. Here he is in 1983, just a couple years before the living dead returned, reading off Pathmark's weekly specials!
Guillermo del Toro (Alka-Seltzer)
If you check Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro's IMDb page, you won't see too many acting credits, aside from a handful of voice-only roles and small appearances in his own movies. But what you won't find on there is del Toro's most substantial acting role to date, as a man whose heartburn is so bad, he transforms into a werewolf. I kid you not. Check out this Mexican Alka-Seltzer commercial from 1991, starring and directed by the visionary filmmaker!
Jewel Shepard (Hallmark)
You know Jewel Shepard as the fauxhawk-sporting Casey in the aforementioned Return of the Living Dead, but what you might not know is that Shepard has been battling breast cancer for the last few years. A fighter and an inspiration every step of the way, she recently appeared in this particularly powerful Hallmark commercial, urging everyone to not wait for holidays or special events to tell their loved ones the things they need to hear most. That's Shepard 10 seconds into the commercial, bravely filmed while in her hospital bed. We love you, Jewel.
Lance Henriksen (Flame Beer)
Everything Lance Henriksen does is utterly badass, whether it's a low budget Bigfoot flick or even a commercial... and this one, for New Zealand's Flame Beer, is about as badass as commercials can possibly get. Fire, beer and Lance Henriksen... what more can ya ask for?!
Bruce Campbell (Old Spice)
Though Bruce Campbell will forever be one of us, so to speak, the last several years have seen a big-time revival in The Man With the Golden Chin's career, with roles that have helped him win over more than just horror fans. In 2007, Campbell began his run as Sam Axe on the popular show Burn Notice, and it was around that time that he became the spokesman for Old Spice, appearing in a series of their commercials.
Clint Howard (Andro Ant Bait)
In addition to being a musician and a filmmaker, Rob Zombie has recently added commercial director to his resume, and this one for Amdro Ant Block is one of a couple he's done so far. In it, The Ice Cream Man himself, Clint Howard, portrays a man who has been driven completely mad by the ant infestation in his home, resorting to extreme measures to try and get rid of them.
If you know of any other commercials starring loveable horror icons, drop a comment below and let us know about them!