Movie Stars Hawking Cars On TV Is At Least As Old As The 1957 DeSoto

Fellow UT Austin alum Matthew McConaughey has recently gotten quite a bit of ribbing for his Lincoln commercials, but the twang-toned actor is far from the first movie star to hawk cars on TV. Way back in 1957, actress Jeanne Crain tried to convince middle-class Americans to purchase Chrysler's DeSoto.

If you never heard of Crain, that's probably not terribly surprising. She was only nominated for an Academy Award once, and her most famous role was probably in Gentleman Marry Brunettes, a sequel to Gentleman Prefer Blondes. And if you've never heard of DeSoto, well, that isn't surprising either. Snapped up by Chrysler fairly early in its life, DeSoto was a mid-size, mid-level product for the next few decades before Chrysler replaced it with the Newport and put it out to pasture.


Also, you know, it was named after a brutal exploiter of indigenous populations, Hernando DeSoto, and probably wouldn't have survived to modern times anyway. Of course, hell, we're still celebrating Columbus Day. Maybe in some parallel universe where the name survived, driving your 2014 Chrysler DeSoto, purchased for thousands of dollars off at a Columbus Day sale, isn't too far fetched.

I'd read that review by Tom MacParland.

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Groucho also sold DeSotos