You won’t know Stephanie Courtney by her given name, but we bet you anything you’ll know her face. In fact, we bet you know her face more than almost any other face in the world. She’s not the most famous person in the world, but she’s got one of the most recognizable roles in the world. She’s a commercial television star who managed to take a small gig and turn it into something unbelievable.
Is that enough suspense for you? Stephanie Courtney is Flo from Progressive. The only person who might be more famous than Flo is Jake from State Farm – but not his name or face, just the fact that he is Jake from State Farm. Flo is famous, but she’s more than just the exceptionally perky insurance sales lady with the 1960s bouffant. She’s Stephanie Courtney.
She’s an actress
She’s more than just a commercial star. Stephanie Courtney has been in numerous shows on television, including Mad Men and the short-lived Cavemen. Her goal in life is to act, but the commercial in which she stars has made her more famous and more recognizable to everyone, and it’s only helped her game. She’s been in more than a dozen television roles and movie roles, though none of them have been main characters or even huge roles.
She’s a New Yorker
Stephanie Courtney is Flo, the perkiest person that ever walked the planet. With a role like that, you might not see her as much of a New Yorker because of her perkiness (and that tells me you’ve never been to New York because in the dozen or more times I’ve been to the city, I’ve never met a rude New Yorker). However, she was born and raised in Stony Point. Her mother was a single mother and raised the girls in New York, but she is not from the city.
She’s got two older siblings
It turns out that she has the cake job in the family. She is the youngest of three, and that makes her the baby. Her older sister Jennifer is also an actress, and it’s managed to bode well for both of them as they were able to live together as adults and save money when they were looking for work and in between jobs. We don’t even know if her other sibling is a brother or a sister, and we don’t know much about his or her line of work, either.
She’s well educated
Stephanie Courtney is not a dumb actress. In fact, she’s a highly educated actress with a degree from Binghamton University. She graduated from college back in 1992, and she worked hard to obtain her degree. Her father was a history teacher in high school, and education was very important in her household even though her parents were not married when she and her sisters were growing up.
She’s worked some odd jobs
While she’s been looking for solid work in Hollywood, she’s been working different jobs to support herself. She worked for a while as an evening secretary for the Smith Barney Chairman when she was studying acting and comedy. She also worked as a caterer, and she worked a number of other odd jobs. One of her most memorable odd jobs was as a waitress. She said that it was a job that did not last long for her since it appeared she was a terrible waitress. What we like about her is that she can admit to that without any issues; most people think they can do the job, but we think it requires a lot of skill and finesse.
She’s part of The Groundlings
It’s a famous improvisational comedy sketch group in LA, and she is part of it. In fact, she has always considered herself a comedian before anything else. She and her theater director met and ended up together, and that’s how she came to be married to Scott Kolanach in 2008.
Her first commercial was less innocent
It was 1998 when Stephanie Courtney booked her first commercial. She was going to be part of a Bud Light Commercial, and it worked well for her. She was really excited about it because the commercial aired during the Super Bowl that year. She had only a very small role in it, but it paid very well and left her feeling as if she’d finally made it as an actress.
She only liked commericals for the money
She is someone who didn’t want to be a commercial star, but she knew the money was good and she could make a fairly good living being part of them. She was able to go ahead and get through with her life by paying her bills as a commercial star, and she even got residuals from them. However, she didn’t want to do it forever. She wanted to do real work as a real actress and a real comedian.
She came up with Flo’s personality on her own
When Stephanie Courtney was booking the job for Flo from Progressive, she took what she knew of the character she was to play and she made it her own. All she knew from the company was that they were looking for a character who was perky, who was good at her job and who loved her customers. That’s when she made the decision to actually be the most obnoxiously perky and borderline crazy character that we all know and love today. She was given the job, and it didn’t take more than a few months for people to begin to recognize her. She was able to quit her jobs.
She is living a double life
Living a life as Flo from Progressive is a very serious role for Stephanie Courtney. She says that people don’t always recognize her because of the makeup and the hair, and people really only know her as the character. She’s said it often feels like a double life for her; a second identity almost. She loves it, though, and it works well for her and for her career.
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