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How Band-Aids changed Mike Lookinland's life forever

We've all got to start somewhere. No matter how auspicious the destination may be, the first step is the most important of the journey. We can't all be overnight successes, and for those of us who aren't handed everything, a humble beginning is a great place to start. 

Actors rarely score their first homerun during their first at-bat. While some rare talents show up on set and are immediately successful and recognized from that initial casting, the vast majority claw their way up the proverbial ladder. Hollywood isn't the kind of place you show up and can expect to be immediately heralded as the next big thing, despite what busloads of transplants might believe. Instead, actors go through countless auditions before maybe securing a paid gig.

Mike Lookinland, who played the youngest son, Bobby, on The Brady Bunch, found his way to sitcom acting through commercial work. But even that didn't come easily. Mike's father, Paul, had a co-worker who suggested he put his son forward for ad work. However, despite the colleague's potential expertise, Paul Lookinland promptly did nothing with the idea. 

Several months had passed before the Lookinland family acquiesced and took their middle child to a commercial agent. According to Andrew J. Edelstein's The Brady Bunch Book, seven-year-old Mike was cast in a Johnson's Band-Aid commercial. 

Mike's mother, Karen Lookinland, recalled, 'There were several kids playing football in the commercial and Michael was just a blur in the background." However, this blur was the start of a very successful child-acting career.

Shortly thereafter, the family patriarch, Paul, began teaching in California's public school system. The family's eventual move proved advantageous for young Mike's career. The Band-Aid commercial led to a Cheerios ad. However, his commercial acting opportunities were left behind when he was cast on The Brady Bunch

While he once dreamt of being either an orthodontist, an architect, or a football photographer, Mike Lookinland became best known as an actor. While none of these came true, Mike stayed in television/movie production, working primarily in Salt Lake City, where he's lived with his family since the '80s. 

"I did continue acting when the show first ended," Mike once recalled. "I did commercials, and guest spots on other series. And the following summer [1974], I got Towering Inferno and worked for three months. But in high school, I sort of faded away from it a little bit. I still went on auditions and stuff, but I just wasn't getting the jobs."

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