A Canny Success
Fitzgerald, who lives in a cozy apartment in Los Angeles with his wife of four years, actress Annie Fitzgerald, hasn't always been so in touch with his sensitive side. He once delivered a different message as a defensive back for the University of Missouri. Signed by the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals after he graduated with a degree in radio, television and film in 1977, Fitzgerald had his pro career ended by a hamstring injury. So he headed to L.A. and pursued an acting career.
After 18 years of doing small stage productions and numerous commercials, it's as Johnny that he has made his mark, especially on Bud Light's bottom line. Since the ads began last spring, Budweiser's director of marketing, Jim Schumacker, says the ads have kept the brew's sales on top of the light-beer category. A fourth Johnny spot will debut during this year's Super Bowl. Though grateful for the recognition (and the money he has earned), Fitzgerald hopes to. move on to more substantial parts—and dialogue. As he says, "I don't want 'I love you, man' on my gravestone."