Fabio Lanzoni, the model-turned-I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spokesman, became a naturalized American citizen Wednesday, reports the New York Daily News. He joined over 6,000 people from over 140 countries to take the Oath of Allegiance. The event happened one day after Fabio’s birthday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” the 57-year-old Fabio said in a statement. “Over the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to travel the globe and America is still the greatest country on earth. There is no such thing as an Italian dream or an English dream but the American dream is alive and well. Each day people look to come to this country to seek a better life for themselves and their family. That was my dream and my thanks to the USCIS for helping turn that dream into a reality. I am proud to be an American.”
Fabio began making a name for himself in 1987 when he posed for the cover of the romance novel, Hearts Aflame. Becoming a huge hit with the readers, he appeared on hundreds more, often with a bare chest but always with his long mane of hair. Over the years, as he became to give acting a try, Fabio managed to play the heartthrob while not taking himself too seriously.
In 1990, Fabio appeared in his first film, The Exorcist III as an (uncredited) angel. He played “Handsome Man” in Scenes from a Mall and “Bouncer” in The Hard Way (both 1991). He also had a line or two as Lisle’s bodyguard in Death Becomes Her (1992). In 1993, he played Claudio, a hotel owner, for the syndicated TV series Acapulco H.E.A.T. By then, everyone knew who he was. Fabio’s roles turned into cameos often playing himself in numerous movies and TV shows, including Roseanne (1993), Spy Hard (1996), Step by Step (1997), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Zoolander (2001), and The Simpsons (2014).
In 2005, Fabio became Mr. Romance, a reality TV show created by Gene Simmons for the Oxygen network. On the show, a dozen male contestants would be mentored by Fabio at his “romance academy,” and as host, he would offer advice to the “viewers at home” at the end of each episode.
Fabio has been also been a spokesperson for many products with I Can’t Believe That It’s Not Butter! being the best known (Because what could be more ridiculous than running into Fabio on the beach? A tub of margarine that tastes like butter!) But Fabio has also represented Geek Squad, Oral-B, Nationwide Insurance, and the American Cancer Society.
In July of 2011, Old Spice created a campaign that would pit their current spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa, with Fabio for the Mano a Mano in el Bano (translated: “Hand to Hand in the Bathroom”) to see if Fabio had what it took to become the “New Old Spice Guy.”
Over the years, Fabio has had a few business ventures as well including writing a fitness book and workout video, Fabio Fitness, creating a women’s clothing line for Sam’s Club, and Healthy Planet Vitamins.
One of the strangest events to happen to Fabio occurred on March 30, 1999, at the Busch Gardens Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia. On this day, Fabio rode the Apollo’s Chariot roller coaster in the front car. In a bizarre accident, a goose collided with the coaster while it was making its descent crashing into Fabio’s face! The goose died on impact but left a one-inch cut on Fabio’s nose.
[Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images]