How ‘Flo the Progressive Girl’ Made Millions Acting in a Commercial!
Most actors bide time doing TV commercials, waiting for their big break. But then there are those excellent character ads that can really put a performer on the map. You know, Lily the AT&T Girl, Allstate’s “Mayhem,” Jake from State Farm, the GEICO Caveman, and of course, Flo the Progressive Girl. As the red-lipped mascot for Progressive Insurance, Flo has appeared in more than 100 advertisements since 2008. So who’s the real woman behind the beehive? And what’s her net worth?
The comedian and actress Stephanie Courtney was born in Stony Point, New York in 1970. She grew up as the youngest of three; her father is a retired history teacher and her mother is a singer. After high school, Courtney went on to attend Binghamton University where she majored in English but had dreams of becoming an actress. Naturally, she moved to New York City after graduation and began to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
Eventually, Courtney moved to Los Angeles with her sister Jennifer Courtney — also an actress. The two even performed together at the Aspen Comedy Festival. Soon after, Courtney joined the famous sketch comedy improv group The Groundlings and became part of the main cast in 2004. Courtney also met her husband, Scott Kolanach, through the troupe; Kolanach was the lighting director. They wed in 2008.
“Every crazy old lady character I ever walked out as on that stage had beautiful, peachy gem lighting because he liked me,” Courtney once sweetly told People Magazine.
Though Courtney is inarguably most known for her role as the perky insurance company spokesperson, she’s appeared in numerous films: The Brothers Solomon, Blades of Glory, The Heartbreak Kid, Melvin Goes to Dinner, Fred: The Movie, and its sequel Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred. She’s also on TV shows! On The Goldbergs, Courtney played the recurring Essie Karp. On the animated Adult Swim series Tom Goes to the Mayor, Courtney voices the lead role of Joy Peters. And you can also catch her, briefly, in old episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond and 2 Broke Girls. She even had a walk-on role in the first season of Mad Men as Marge, the deadpan switchboard operator!
It was in 2008 though that Courtney’s career took off as Flo. She said the insurance company was looking for a friendly “neighborhood waitress” type — the type whose kindness is almost maddening. And for that, the actress took inspiration from her dear mother Jane Courtney. Her mom (and source material) even accompanied her to the audition. And it paid off.
Stephanie Courtney’s “Flo” salary is $1 million per year. But since becoming the car insurance corporation’s official spokesperson, she likely experienced a serious pay bump. Plus there’s usually SAG contract negotiations, an ad exclusivity buyout… altogether Courtney likely has built up a net worth of $6 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. Not bad for an insurance lady.