Super Ad Sparked Career For Doritos Beauty

By RICHARD HUFF Daily News Staff Writer

The Super Bowl made a super impact on former Miss USA Ali Landry, who just might have been the biggest winner, besides the Broncos, at last January’s grid gala. She was, we’ll remind those who watched, the one who made about 70 million male hearts flutter in an eye-popping Doritos ad.

The spot is hard to forget. A couple of guys in a laundermat tried to impress the Louisiana-bred beauty by catching Dorito Puffs in their mouths. She did them one better by catching a flying treat in her mouthwhile doing a split.

Overnight, Landry hit the top of the hot list. “The next day, the phone did not stop ringing,” she said yesterday. “I had to change my number. The job offers were amazing.”

This, for a commercial in which she said exactly zero words. Having never been much of a football fan, and, she swears, having never watched a Super Bowl, the ad’s impact caught her by surprise. “I really didn’t know it was such a big deal,” she said.

The folks at Doritos certainly liked the response. Which is why Landry will appear in another Doritos ad Sunday. This one is set in a school library that’s filled with teenage boys waiting to watch the again-silent Landry walk from one end to another.

Because of the impression she made last year, the whirl has been nonstop for Landry. She co-hosted the 1998 “Miss USA Pageant,” landed a recurring role on the syndicated drama “Pensacola: Wings of Gold” and became the co-host of the UPN series “America’s Greatest Pets.”

And, of course, there were plenty of offers turned down. “I’m being very careful about what I take,” she said. “The acting thing is sort of my passion, it’s more of a challenge. I want to be able to do all three – acting, hosting and commercials.”

All the attention not withstanding, the search for acting work has at time sbeen frustrating because of Tinseltown’s penchant for stereotyping beautiful women, she said. “I have kind of battled that my whole life, sort of,” she said. Which has led her, she said, to spurn the sexy-girlfriend roles that she’s constantly offered. “That is just not the way I want to be portrayed,” she said. “I want to do it right from the start.”

After an upcoming trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Landry will be back in Los Angeles to audition for TV roles in upcoming pilot episodes. “It’s been a fabulous year,” Landry said. “I’m just kind of seeing where it goes now. I would really like to do a prime-time show; that’s the goal.”