Whatever happened to the old ad stars?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been driving somewhere or watching TV and suddenly thought, “Hey, whatever happened to the FedEx fast-talker guy?” That’s because I’ve never actually done it. But the folks at Mental Floss have, and now they’ve posted a “Where are they now?” retrospective about classic ads and their origins. After learning that I’m not the only person who’s creeped out by the FedEx guy, I found out that the Cracker Jack sailor was a portrait of someone’s dead grandson, that Bob’s Big Boy was a manchild who got paid in food to help out around the restaurant, and that the Coppertone girl is now a personal trainer in Florida. (The dog pulling her bathing suit down is probably dead, which is a bit sobering.) At least Mikey of Life cereal fame didn’t actually explode from mixing pop rocks and soda. He works as an advertising saleman in radio now, which is arguably worse.

—Posted by David Kiefaber