Here's what happened to those cute kids from your favorite TV commercials
Ever wonder what became of the young stars of Life, Coke and Oscar Mayer ads?
They only appeared on TV for seconds at a time, but they've stuck in our brains for decades. The little kids whose cute demeanor sold millions of products appeared in some of the most iconic and successful commercial campaigns of all time.
The companies made millions, and the kids earned some fame. But what ever happened them? What is Mikey from Life cereal up to nowadays? Here are some of the most famous kids from TV commercials, and what they've been doing since their 15 minutes of fame.
No, little Mikey didn't die from eating Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola. Instead, the boy who played him, John Gilchrist, would go on to star in over 200 commercials. Gilchrist eventually quit acting and now works in ad sales in New York City. And yes, he is a fan of Life cereal.
Image credit: YouTube
2. "Hey Kid, Catch!"
We all remember the kid who oh-so generously gave his Coke to Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene as he limped back to the locker room. The commercial aired during the 1980 Superbowl and is considered by many to be the best Super Bowl commercial of all time.
Everyone knew Joe Greene, but who was the kid? His name was Tommy Okon, and he was nine years old when the commercial filmed. The Christmas after the commercial aired, Greene sent Okon a signed jersey. Today, Okon owns a business in New York City, and the two still keep in touch.
Image credit: Associated Press
3. I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke
In 1971, Coca-Cola gathered about a dozen students to film one part of the iconic hilltop commercial in Italy. After the commercial played a part in last year's series finale of Mad Men, the company caught up with two British women who starred in the commercial.
Both were traveling through Europe when they saw an advertisement for the casting. The cast reunited 20 years ago for the reunion ad, but they haven't kept in touch since then.
Image credit: Coca-Cola
4. My Bologna has a first name...
The "little fisherman" from the Oscar Mayer bologna commercial, who proudly recited the first name of his bologna, isn't so little anymore. Andy Lambros was a child actor, but now works as a graphic designer and web designer in southern California.
Image credit: YouTube
5. Rodney Allen Rippy
The burger was too big to eat. In the early 1970s, Rodney Allen Rippy was the adorable kid in the Jack in the Box commercials. Rippy became somewhat of a celebrity, posing for Ebony magazine and even presenting an award at the American Music Awards in 1974 with Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson. Since then, the acting gigs have died down. A few years ago, Rippy ran for mayor of Compton, California.
Image credit: RodneyAllenRippy.net
Like Rodney Allen Rippy, Mason Reese was so popular in his commercials he kind of transformed into a child star. His claim to fame was the Underwood Chicken Spread commercial, but he appeared in many others, including Dunkin' Donuts and Raisin Bran.
Outside of commercials, Reese appeared on The Mike Douglas Show with Leonard Nimoy and Eva Gabor, and even filmed a pilot for ABC. (The series was never picked up.) But like many child stars from his era, Reese never made the transition to acting as an adult. Today, he owns a few restaurants in Manhattan.
Image credit: itsabouttv.com