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KVUE News Team


 Enter to win UT-Nebraska tickets courtesy of Cadillac

Austin actress well-known after controversial commercial

06:47 PM CST on Friday, November 10, 2006


She's an Austin actress, now nationally known for her role in a controversial campaign commercial.


Johanna Goldsmith

It was an ad that aired in a hotly-contested U.S. Senate race in Tennessee, between Democrat Harold Ford and Republican Bob Corker.

"It became huge, immediately. Nationwide," said political consultant Bill Miller.

The character, played by Austin's Johanna Goldsmith, says she met Harold Ford at a party at the Playboy mansion and, later in the ad, tells Harold to call her before winking at the camera.

"I added the wink," Goldsmith said.

Because the actress is white and Ford is black, the ad started a political firestorm and drew national attention.

"Very suggestive ad, white woman, black candidate, old South. Everyone recognized it for what it was, it was suggestive of racial politics," Miller said.

But its star defends the spot.

"I didn't see any issues at all. That thought never entered my mind," she said.

Ultimately, Corker defeated Ford for the U.S. Senate seat.

But after all the free airtime, the real winner may be Johanna, who says she's already gotten two marriage proposals and "several" new job offers.


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