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Actors who were surprisingly old by the time they made it Big

I always thought Lucile Ball was a young 20 something watching I Love Lucy re-reruns as a child. It was today I learned she was nearly 40yrs old when the show premiered.

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by Anonymousreply 105May 24, 2023 3:43 AM

She aged out of films, so she took the radio show to tv.

by Anonymousreply 1May 20, 2023 8:07 PM

Leslie Nielsen. He'd been acting successfully for years but made it big and became a household name relatively late in life.

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by Anonymousreply 2May 20, 2023 8:08 PM

Sharon Stone

Ellen Burstyn

James Gandolfini

Christoph Waltz

Brian Cranston

Judi Dench

by Anonymousreply 3May 20, 2023 9:47 PM

Olivia de Haviland

by Anonymousreply 4May 20, 2023 9:48 PM

Clara Peller...

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by Anonymousreply 5May 20, 2023 10:43 PM

J.K. Simmons

by Anonymousreply 6May 20, 2023 10:47 PM

R5 😆

by Anonymousreply 7May 20, 2023 10:49 PM

Why are you shocked? She looked like a Grandma by The Lucy Show

by Anonymousreply 8May 20, 2023 10:49 PM

OP, haven't you seen "Lucy Tells the Truth"? She says she's 34.

VV's best line ever when Lucy says that by telling the truth they'd all be much better friends. Ethel, drily: Somehow I doubt that.

Also o in this episode: Lucy deals the Bridge hands to five people, not the four playing.

by Anonymousreply 9May 20, 2023 10:53 PM

R8 No she didn’t. Why hate?

by Anonymousreply 10May 20, 2023 10:57 PM

Joel Grey

by Anonymousreply 11May 20, 2023 11:00 PM

Olympia Dukakis

Laurel and Hardy

by Anonymousreply 12May 20, 2023 11:02 PM

Joan Crawford (if you use her real birthdate).

by Anonymousreply 13May 20, 2023 11:32 PM

My sister-in-law’s grandfather hit the big time in his late 70s.

He was the “Country Time Lemonade” grandpa

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by Anonymousreply 14May 20, 2023 11:41 PM

[quote]Actors who were surprisingly old by the time they made it Big

Made their own or someone else's Big, OP?

by Anonymousreply 15May 20, 2023 11:52 PM

R15 their own or just generally entered the American public’s conscious.

by Anonymousreply 16May 20, 2023 11:54 PM

Oh, dear, OP/R16.

And how's your head?

by Anonymousreply 17May 20, 2023 11:56 PM

Estelle Getty.

by Anonymousreply 18May 20, 2023 11:58 PM

Gloria Stuart

by Anonymousreply 19May 20, 2023 11:59 PM

Regis Philbin

by Anonymousreply 20May 20, 2023 11:59 PM

Alan Kim

by Anonymousreply 21May 21, 2023 12:00 AM

Lucy was in her 20s when she signed to RKO Pictures, and 27 years old when she landed her first above-the-title billing ("The Affairs of Annabel," 1938). I would say that's hitting it big. Most young starlets fail to ignite and hightail it back to Dubuque.

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by Anonymousreply 22May 21, 2023 12:01 AM

Judith Lowry

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by Anonymousreply 23May 21, 2023 12:05 AM

Gloria Stuart made it big decades earlier.

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by Anonymousreply 24May 21, 2023 12:08 AM

R24 = R19

by Anonymousreply 25May 21, 2023 12:10 AM

Ellen Corby. She had a long career in film playing small parts. She hit it big when she played Grandma Walton at the age of 61. She won three Emmy awards playing that part.

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by Anonymousreply 26May 21, 2023 12:26 AM

R24, Prior to “Titanic”, she had become a trivia question.

by Anonymousreply 27May 21, 2023 12:31 AM

R26. Well, she got an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe supporting actress award for I Remember Mama (1948), so it’s not like she came out of nowhere—she also did guest shots on shows like Andy Griffith before The Waltons.

Dyke, ya know.

by Anonymousreply 28May 21, 2023 12:33 AM

Alison Janney

by Anonymousreply 29May 21, 2023 12:37 AM

Judith Lowry played Mother Dexter on Phyllis at the age of 85. I remember people would watch the show only to hear what she had to say. Lowry died when filming the second season.

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by Anonymousreply 30May 21, 2023 12:37 AM

R28, So, Grandpa and Grandma Walton were both queer?

by Anonymousreply 31May 21, 2023 12:39 AM

R30, Have you met R23?

by Anonymousreply 32May 21, 2023 12:40 AM

Burt Mustin

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by Anonymousreply 33May 21, 2023 12:41 AM

Angela Bassett didn't become well known until she was in her 30s

by Anonymousreply 34May 21, 2023 12:44 AM

R14 I just realized that the grandfather in that County Time Lemonade advertisement played crooked Judge Fenton in Foxy Brown. Foxy and Claudia pull his underwear off and humiliate him.

by Anonymousreply 35May 21, 2023 12:51 AM

Jessica Chastain. She's lied repeatedly about her age.

by Anonymousreply 36May 21, 2023 1:03 AM

We discussed him a few weeks back: Clifton Webb. A success on the Broadway stage, Webb came out to Hollywood in 1935 to do a picture with Joan Crawford. But those plans were scrapped and he went back to Broadway. Hollywood came a-calling one more time, and he made his feature film debut at the age of 55 with "Laura" in 1944.

by Anonymousreply 37May 21, 2023 1:12 AM

[quote] Webb came out

Did he really?

by Anonymousreply 38May 21, 2023 1:14 AM

Samuel L. Jackson didn’t start getting good roles until he became sober in his early forties.

by Anonymousreply 39May 21, 2023 1:41 AM

R39: Bradley Cooper said he didn't get great success until he got sober too. Although how he became a movie star instead of villain character actor is beyond me.

by Anonymousreply 40May 21, 2023 1:46 AM

"Jessica Chastain. She's lied repeatedly about her age."

I remember she used to list her birth year as 1982 (it stood out to be because I was also born in '82). Now it's 1977

by Anonymousreply 41May 21, 2023 2:07 AM

Abe Vigoda.

Discovered in an open casting call by Coppola for the Godfather.

by Anonymousreply 42May 21, 2023 2:11 AM

Ruth Gordon

by Anonymousreply 43May 21, 2023 2:15 AM

Thelma Ritter made her film debut at age 42.

by Anonymousreply 44May 21, 2023 2:23 AM

R38, My son was not a fag!

by Anonymousreply 45May 21, 2023 2:25 AM

F Murray Abraham

by Anonymousreply 46May 21, 2023 2:27 AM

[quote] I always thought Lucile Ball was a young 20 something watching I Love Lucy re-reruns as a child.

How could she be a child and a 20 something at the same time? And how could she watch reruns as a 20 something?

by Anonymousreply 47May 21, 2023 2:32 AM

[quote] F Murray Abraham

Oh don’t be that way, I’m sure Murray Abraham didn’t mean it.

by Anonymousreply 48May 21, 2023 2:33 AM

Faye Dunaway was 26 when she had her breakout role in “Bonnie & Clyde” during her first year of filmmaking.

That’s not old, but it’s not YOUNG (especially back then) for being Hollywood’s latest It Girl.

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by Anonymousreply 49May 21, 2023 2:42 AM

26 has never actually been considered old for a breakout role in Hollywood, you’re pushing it way too far.

by Anonymousreply 50May 21, 2023 2:47 AM

Faye was so gorgeous as Bonnie, cheekbones for days.

by Anonymousreply 51May 21, 2023 2:50 AM

Depends on if they look even younger than they are but 26 is like middle aged in female actor years.

by Anonymousreply 52May 21, 2023 2:53 AM

OP- Lucille Ball NEVER looked like someone who was in her 20's during l Love Lucy. She looked about ten years younger until the last episodes of the Lucy Desi Comedy Hour when time caught up to her and she looked her age.

by Anonymousreply 53May 21, 2023 3:05 AM

R41: In acting they say you can add or take three to five years off your age.

by Anonymousreply 54May 21, 2023 3:10 AM

Marie Dressler made her film debut in 1914 at age 46.

by Anonymousreply 55May 21, 2023 3:11 AM

R49- That's not the point about Faye Dunaway back then. 26 years old was still quite young. It's the fact that in that movie and especially in the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair she looked 36 not her actually age of only 26. Bonnie and Clyde she was only 25 years old- when it was actually filmed.

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by Anonymousreply 56May 21, 2023 3:11 AM

Sharon Stone worked regularly, but she didn't hit it big until her 30s.

by Anonymousreply 57May 21, 2023 3:27 AM

Humphrey Bogart was born in 1899 or 1900, depending on the source. He worked on stage and started in movies in 1930, but his big break didn't come until 1936 with [italic]Petrified Forest[/italic]. After that he was in a lot of good movies, a few stinkers. Before that, he was a working actor doing a ton of junk.

by Anonymousreply 58May 21, 2023 3:30 AM

Cate Blanchett

by Anonymousreply 59May 21, 2023 3:33 AM

Sydney Greenstreet

by Anonymousreply 60May 21, 2023 4:05 AM

Zara Cully was in her 80’s when she achieved fame as Mother Jefferson.

by Anonymousreply 61May 21, 2023 4:21 AM

Dylan Cannon. She was married to Grant but wasn’t a movie star until her late 30s.

by Anonymousreply 62May 21, 2023 4:24 AM

[quote]R50 Twenty-six has never actually been considered old for a breakout role in Hollywood, you’re pushing it way too far.

I acknowledged Dunaway wasn’t OLD… but the fact is her contemporaries Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, and Candice Bergen all made names for themselves in their early 20s. Which Dunaway was not.

Ellen Burstyn was almost 40, however, when she put herself on the map with “The Last Picture Show.”

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by Anonymousreply 63May 21, 2023 4:26 AM

Chloris Leachman

by Anonymousreply 64May 21, 2023 5:15 AM

Billy Ported worked for decades in music and theater (Tony Award for "Kinky Boots") but was unknown to the general public until recent years.

by Anonymousreply 65May 21, 2023 7:04 AM

Sorry, meant Billy Porter.

by Anonymousreply 66May 21, 2023 7:05 AM

Jean Stapleton had a successful career in supporting roles on Broadway, including original casts of "Funny Girl," "Damn Yankees" and "Bells Are Ringing." But she was unknown to the general public until "All in the Family."

by Anonymousreply 67May 21, 2023 7:08 AM

June Squibb

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by Anonymousreply 68May 21, 2023 7:11 AM

Marilyn was no spring chicken when she hit it big in Niagara (1953). By Hollywood standards she was a geriatric (27yo)

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by Anonymousreply 69May 21, 2023 10:06 AM

Rodney Dangerfield was in his mid-50s by the time he hit it big in 1980's "Caddyshack".

He was known only in the NYC comedy scene at the time.

by Anonymousreply 70May 21, 2023 2:28 PM

^ where do get your information? He was cast in Caddyshack because he *was* already famous.

by Anonymousreply 71May 21, 2023 2:30 PM

Doris Day was well into her thirties when she started playing virginal secretaries who marry Rock Hudson, she'd already had a long career as a big-band singer and B List actress when she finally hit the A List.

She really broke all the Hollyood rules for a woman, especially one who was blonde and attractive. She hit the big time at an age when.most actresses had given up and found a husband or a realtors license, she was headlining sex comedies at the age when Marilyn Monroe's career seemed to be ending.

by Anonymousreply 72May 21, 2023 5:14 PM

Gabrielle Carteris FTW.

by Anonymousreply 73May 21, 2023 5:30 PM

[quote] Gabrielle Carteris FTW.

How old is she now? In her 80s?

by Anonymousreply 74May 21, 2023 5:33 PM

R72, Doris Day was in numerous A list movies long before “Pillow Talk” in 1959.

by Anonymousreply 75May 21, 2023 5:34 PM

Sydney Greenstreet. He made his stage debut in 1902, but did not appear in films until he signed with Warner Bros. in 1941. His first film was The Maltese Falcon opposite Humphrey Bogart. He was 61.

by Anonymousreply 76May 21, 2023 6:00 PM

R76 = R60

by Anonymousreply 77May 21, 2023 6:02 PM

Estelle Getty for the win. She was middle-aged with fully grown kids before she decided to dip her toe into the acting pool. Harvey Fierstein once said in an interview that she was the only one who showed up at the theater driving her own car and having real-life skills like cooking and sewing.

by Anonymousreply 78May 21, 2023 6:40 PM

Several people said that before Estelle Getty was famous, she used to go to every off-Broadway and hole in the wall theater performance. She was a true supporter of theater.

by Anonymousreply 79May 21, 2023 6:44 PM

Bea Arthur

by Anonymousreply 80May 21, 2023 6:49 PM

Danny Aiello was 40 in his first film.

by Anonymousreply 81May 21, 2023 7:04 PM

Bea Arthur was 50 when she became a household name with Maude. And she looked like a modern 70. It's amazing how much older people looked back then.

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by Anonymousreply 82May 21, 2023 7:06 PM

Larry Bud Melman

by Anonymousreply 83May 21, 2023 7:08 PM

R78, Estelle Getty and Thelma Ritter both married and raised children before entering show business.

by Anonymousreply 84May 21, 2023 7:08 PM

Foster Brooks

by Anonymousreply 85May 21, 2023 7:09 PM

Melissa McCarthy

by Anonymousreply 86May 21, 2023 7:10 PM

R62 Grant who?

by Anonymousreply 87May 21, 2023 7:16 PM

R87, Ulysses S., Rose.

by Anonymousreply 88May 21, 2023 8:06 PM

R10 She absolutely did. She was 50 and looked old.

by Anonymousreply 89May 21, 2023 8:08 PM

R10 You’re telling me she doesn’t look like a Grandma here????

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by Anonymousreply 90May 21, 2023 8:09 PM

Irene Ryan was 50 when she hit it big as "Granny" in The Beverly Hillbillies

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by Anonymousreply 91May 21, 2023 11:39 PM

Jenny Stewart

by Anonymousreply 92May 21, 2023 11:51 PM

R40 Bradley Cooper can act. I used to fangurl Leo because he picks great roles but he’s charming but not an incredible actor. BC is absolutely spellbinding. The closest thing to Bobby D of the new breed.

by Anonymousreply 93May 22, 2023 12:00 AM

R47 are you retarded or just a cunt.

by Anonymousreply 94May 22, 2023 12:02 AM

Joy Behar.

by Anonymousreply 95May 22, 2023 12:06 AM

Burt Lancaster was 32 when he made his first movie, and had no acting experience except for a supporting role in a Broaday play that he'd taken for the hell of it, when someone mistook him for an actor.

He was lucky to come along during the WWII manpower shortage! Hollywood would put anything in trousers of the screen then, even Sonny Tufts. But unlike Tufts, Lancaster actually learned to act, and play the Hollywood game, while Tufts just got hammered.

by Anonymousreply 96May 22, 2023 2:30 AM

R96 you mean he drank?

by Anonymousreply 97May 22, 2023 6:57 AM

Sonny Bono, of Sonny and Cher

by Anonymousreply 98May 22, 2023 7:47 AM

Although he occasionally looked a child, Rami Malek was actually 36 when Mr Robot brought him to fame.

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by Anonymousreply 99May 22, 2023 8:14 AM

John Mahoney was 47 when cast in Moonstruck, and 53 when Frasier started. Often cast older than his actual age, he was only 15 years older than Kelsey Grammer.

[quote]Long interested in acting, Mahoney didn't make the transition to his craft until he was almost forty years old. Mahoney took acting classes at the St. Nicholas Theater and finally built up the courage to quit his day job and pursue acting full time. John Malkovich, one of the founders of the Second City's distinguished Steppenwolf Theatre, encouraged Mahoney to join Steppenwolf, and in 1986, Mahoney won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves (1987).

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by Anonymousreply 100May 22, 2023 9:01 AM

Hey! Doris Day was an award winning actress LONG before “Pillow Talk”!

She had 3 Sour Apple Awards from the Hollywood Women's Press Club for being the “Least Cooperative Actor/Actress.”

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by Anonymousreply 101May 23, 2023 7:48 AM

Billy Burke was 53 when she made her greatest mark in cinema as Glinda in "The Wizard of Oz".

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by Anonymousreply 102May 24, 2023 2:22 AM

Not an actor, but Julia Child was fifty when she got her first television cooking show.

by Anonymousreply 103May 24, 2023 2:57 AM

Phyllis Diller.

by Anonymousreply 104May 24, 2023 3:38 AM

[quote] Billy Burke was 53 when she made her greatest mark in cinema as Glinda in "The Wizard of Oz".

I had no idea. I thought she was in her 40s.

by Anonymousreply 105May 24, 2023 3:43 AM
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