If you turned on your TV in the 2010s, chances are you saw Morgan Smith-Goodwin. The actress starred as “Red” in a series of commercials for popular fast food chain Wendy’s, but what is she up to today?
The Actress’ Big Role
The Alabama native was cast as “Red” in 2012 for the Wendy’s campaign, titled Now That’s Better. While the character isn’t technically named in the commercials, many assumed she was the Wendy, all grown up. She wasn’t. It wasn’t even her natural hair color.
Smith Goodwin might be playing a famous redhead, but she had to dye her hair to get the job. The new hair color had “given me a ton of exposure,” she told Canada’s Metro News. “You have to be forever grateful and very flattered when a company will trust you with their brand. So I don’t take it lightly.”
“We’re thrilled that Morgan Smith Goodwin, who we call ‘Red,’ has resonated with our customers since we first introduced her in our advertising April 2012,” Liz Geraghty, vice president of brand marketing for Wendy’s, told Yahoo Food. “‘Red’ has been our most successful effort since the Dave Thomas advertising campaign in the 1990s.”
While most loved the new Wendy’s commercials, Smith Goodwin had her fair share of haters. People were annoyed that the classic Wendy had been updated for the 21st century, with some criticizing her for being the “hot” Wendy. There was even an “I hate the Wendy’s girl” Facebook page.
“Morgan is not meant to replace Wendy, who stands alone as the original namesake,” Geraghty explained. “Instead, Morgan is a brand advocate with a quick wit and engaging personality that America has gravitated toward.”
What She’s Been Up To Since The Commercials
Her commercial role led to bigger parts of the actress, who was a complete unknown before scoring the Wendy’s ad campaign. She’s since appeared in Veep, the Netflix drama Messiah, 9-1-1, and Love in the Time of Corona. She also found time to get married and start a family. Smith Goodwin married New York’s Gramercy Tavern manager Dave Goodwin; the two have two kids together and split their time between New York City and Los Angeles.
The actress frequently posts on Instagram, from headshots and audition videos, to family photos and selfies. “I was so busy being thankful that I only managed to take 4 slightly unhinged photos,” Smith Goodwin captioned pictures of her family. “Special shout out to Dave who accidentally shamed my niece for not being able to spell “friends” during the Thankful Game.”