John Gilchrist, Who Played Little Mikey in Life Cereal Ad, Is All Grown up & Looks Unrecognizable
At age three, John Gilchrist rose to fame when he starred in the Life cereal commercials in the 1970s as Little Mikey. Despite the fact that he doesn't act anymore, he loves looking back on it.
Gilchrist played the iconic role alongside his two real-life brothers — Tom and Mike. Filmed in 1971, the commercial was aired nationally in 1972 and ran through 1984.
Happy 40th #birthday to Cinnamon Life Cereal!— getTV (@gettv) October 23, 2018
Remember "Hey Mikey!? Here's what he looks like today. And no, he didn't die from eating Pop Rocks while drinking soda.https://t.co/YwZSFXByD1 pic.twitter.com/v39VRQNy0o
The ad shows three young siblings having breakfast. Before them sits a bowl of Life breakfast cereal. Two of the brothers wouldn't like to taste it, so they get their brother Mikey to do so.
The little boy quickly gazes at the bowl. After moments of contemplation, he starts to enthusiastically eat the cereal before him, resulting in his brothers eagerly yelling, "He likes it! Hey, Mikey!"
Clearly, this commercial was an outright hit. Everybody knew about it, both children and parents alike.
"It's who I am, but it's only a part of who I am; I have a lot of great things in my life."
The children were entirely comfortable in the commercial since they were all real siblings. They wound up getting more cash in one day than their dad made in a week.
Years after the original commercial showed up, an urban legend spread that Gilchrist had passed on after eating a Pop Rock and a carbonated soft drink, which caused his stomach to inflate with carbon dioxide.
Before Gilchrist left acting, he would take on 250 more commercials. He then pursued a communications degree at Iona College.
Catch up with Mikey, The Life Cereal Commercial Kid! https://t.co/GMrixylqKG— DoYouRemember? (@DoYouRemember) August 31, 2019
He loved the New York Knicks very much, and that was the reason he was given a position at Madison Square Gardens. He worked in ad sales as a director of media sales.
Gilchrist still appreciates Life cereal and consistently has it on hand at home. Unfortunately, he didn't get a lifetime supply for his spot on the renowned commercial.
He likewise recollected his time with child-acting for Life cereal affectionately.
"It's who I am, but it's only a part of who I am; I have a lot of great things in my life," he said.
He also confessed he doesn't remember much about filming it because he was so young.
Gilchrist currently lives in Pelham, New York with his wife and three kids. He normally gets requests to sign autographs and does so cheerfully.