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Charlie the Tuna celebrates 50th birthday

Happy birthday, Charlie!Incredibly, Starkist’s Charlie the Tuna has been around for half a century, beating out the life expectancy for both the Atlantic Tuna (15-20 years) and the Southern Bluefin Tuna (as long as 40 years).How does he do it?“Luckily, tunas are naturally healthy,” Charlie told TODAYshow.com, “so I’m feeling great, and looking great, if I do say so myself. I am celebrati
Today

Happy birthday, Charlie!

Incredibly, Starkist’s Charlie the Tuna has been around for half a century, beating out the life expectancy for both the Atlantic Tuna (15-20 years) and the Southern Bluefin Tuna (as long as 40 years).

How does he do it?

“Luckily, tunas are naturally healthy,” Charlie told TODAYshow.com, “so I’m feeling great, and looking great, if I do say so myself. I am celebrating 50 years of ‘good taste,’ after all.”

The big fish will celebrate the big five-oh with a celebration Friday in New York’s Times Square. Hosted by the “Bachelorette” Jillian Harris, fans can stop by Military Island from 11 am to 4 pm to get their pictures taken with Charlie, play games, win prizes and even sample a special birthday cake made by TLC’s “Cake Boss.”

Because February is Healthy Heart Month, for every photo snapped of fans giving Charlie a birthday kiss, Starkist will make a donation to the American Heart Association.

This milestone has Charlie feeling nostalgic for some of his favorite days in the past 50 years.

“I’ll never forget my big break when I swam into my first television commercial in 1961,” the icon shared. “Ringing the bell on the New York Stock Exchange in ‘96 and being part of the Advertising Week Walk of Fame on New York’s Madison Avenue are also pretty high on the list.”

As will his Times Square birthday party be, no doubt.

Do you have any fond (or maybe not-so-fond) tuna memories?