Welcome to Charlie's® Page
Charlie® the Tuna was born in a Chicago ad agency in 1961, and he’s been the official StarKist® spokes-fish ever since. Take a look at some of the highlights and memorable moments from
Charlie’s 51-year reign as one of America’s most beloved characters!
Click through each square to find out more about Charlie’s life and his rise to stardom!
StarKist hires Leo Burnett to develop a new campaign to "establish a quality image for StarKist tuna and distinguish it from its main competitor."
Burnett's approach focuses on the fundamental ideas that research has discovered:
Consumers want tuna that tastes good and they do not like tuna that tastes "fishy."
Depatie Freleng Studios begins production of an animated commercial featuring the character of Charlie the Tuna.
Actor Herschel Bernardi is cast as the voice of Charlie, providing just the right combination of Brooklyn street tough, and Broadway culture to Charlie's demeanor.
Voice over artist Danny Dark, "The King of Voice Over Artists," is cast as the narrator, uttering the famous line "Sorry Charlie, StarKist doesn't want tuna with good taste, but tuna that tastes good!"
Charlie the Tuna premieres in his first commercial.
The phrase "Sorry, Charlie®" enters the American lexicon, going on to become one of the most popular and recognizable phrases in American pop culture.
A Charlie the Tuna hand carved statue is erected as the mascot of the town of Charleston, Oregon. It became a popular roadside attraction.
StarKist is the number one brand of Tuna. Ninety percent of consumers recognize the "Sorry, Charlie®" advertising.
After more than 85 commercials,
Charlie goes into temporary
retirement from television.
StarKist becomes the first company to introduce "Dolphin Safe" Tuna.
In test markets, Charlie meets Premia, his female companion, to help introduce StarKist’s premium Chunk Light Tuna. The relationship is short lived.
Charlie rings the bell on the
Wall Street Stock Exchange.
Charlie ends his hiatus and returns with a slimmer look to tout StarKist new innovative tuna in a fresh seal pouch.
Charlie walks down the red carpet at
the first annual TV Land Awards®.
Actress Maila Nurmi, best known as 50's television hostess Vampira, claims that actor James Dean created the original sketch of Charlie the Tuna on a napkin at Googie’s on Sunset Strip! Her claim proves to be false.
Charlie the Tuna is a part of the Advertising Week Walk of Fame on New York City’s Madison Avenue.
Charlie co-stars in a Mastercard® Priceless commercial with several other legendary advertising icons.
Charlie sign unveiled on Pittsburgh’s Northside, home of StarKist Headquarters.
Charlie Celebrates his 50th Birthday, taking his place in animation history as one of the most enduring characters of all time!