Born in 1957, the loveable rogue, Louie the Fly always seemed destined for stardom.
The youngest of three, Louie was the apple of mother Marg’s eye and she soon realised that Louie was more than just another fly on the block. Louie was bad, mean and mighty unclean and, what’s more, he spread disease with the greatest of ease. Marg could not have been prouder of her boy, Louie and it is Marg who is credited with kick-starting Louie’s career as a child star.
Such was Louie’s fierce reputation, that his manager Bill Graham once described Louie as being “afraid of no-one ‘cept the man with the can of Mortein”.
Little is known about Louie’s personal life but he has long enjoyed an off-screen reputation as a philandering party-animal who lives in squalor. Visitors to his residence often comparing it to a rubbish tip, an image that Louie’s on-screen performances have done little to dispel. Over 90% of Australians recognise Louie and know the ‘Louie the Fly’ jingle, both of which are associated with the Mortein brand.
Louie’s TV career has spanned more than 50 years, starring in numerous Mortein commercials since 1957 and (dis)gracing the pages of countless newspapers and magazines. At one point, Louie was given his own spin-off cartoon series in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper! Louie was once compared to the great character actor Robert De Niro for his roguish charm and the intensity of his on-screen performances. But Louie has always played down comparisons with such silver screen villains. “Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me? No seriously, sure I’m bad, sure I’m mean and mighty unclean but at the end of the day, I’m just a fly that got lucky.”
Louie’s longevity and timeless appeal may well lie in the loveable rogue character for which he has become synonymous – doomed to death-by-Mortein in every TV commercial, yet always reappearing in the next advertisement to meet a similar fate! So if history is anything to go by, Louie will live to see another day and another Mortein commercial. After all, Louie the Fly has been a household TV favourite for over 50 years – he’s not ready to go legs up just yet!