LOOK WHO'S TURNING THE BIG 5-0

Marriage and the birth of a daughter are among the milestones in Tony the Tiger's lifeWhen the Kellogg Co. first began using Tony the Tiger, he initially appeared on all fours. Today, he not only stands upright, but also reaches a broad 6-foot-6.His eyes have changed from blue to dark green to golden. And the shape of his face has matured from round to contoured."His looks have evolved and changed

Marriage and the birth of a daughter are among the milestones in Tony the Tiger's life

When the Kellogg Co. first began using Tony the Tiger, he initially appeared on all fours. Today, he not only stands upright, but also reaches a broad 6-foot-6.

His eyes have changed from blue to dark green to golden. And the shape of his face has matured from round to contoured.

"His looks have evolved and changed subtly," said Celeste Clark, company spokeswoman.

But certain characteristics have stayed the same, like his friendly, self-assured personality, and, of course, his "gr-r-reat" expression. Tony has remained a good friend who offers encouragement to kids and grown-ups alike.

Tony has done a lot in his near 50 years (he'll officially turn 50 in July). In the late '80s, Kellogg put him in a celebrity role by taking him on tour. As part of this effort, Tony visits events and attractions so that he can interact with kids.

"We brought him to life," noted Clark. Tony was born in 1952, when Kellogg ran a contest to see who would represent a new cereal called "Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes of Corn." Along with Tony, contestants included "Katy the Kangaroo," "Elmo the Elephant" and "Newt the Gnu."

The race was so close that Katy and Tony initially shared the front of the box. In 1953, Tony became the sole spokescharacter.

In his early years, Tony was a smaller "child tiger" named Tony Jr. He was originally referred to as "boy" then later "son." He also appeared with Tony Sr.

In the '70s, Tony Jr. went on to appear on boxes of Kellogg's Frosted Rice cereal. Consumers also met his mother, "Mama Tiger," and his wife, "Mrs. Tony." In 1974, the Chinese Year of the Tiger, Mrs. Tony gave birth to a daughter, "Antoinette."