Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Top 10 best elderly performers

I have so much respect for older actors. They have put in the hard work, they have lived through so many changes in culture and technology and survived in one of the toughest industries in the world.

In our culture, the elderly are quite often forgotten. They are seen as ‘past it’ and no longer useful to the rest of the world, which is a complete lie. Older people offer so much experience, wisdom and stories that will no doubt grow us youngies into better people. The elderly are so valuable and can still do a lot of things that we can do. And to prove my point, here are the 10 best older actors, still working in the industry!

Image by David Shankbone

1. Betty White – This chick is on fire! She has been acting since 1939 when she was just 17 and is still going at the ripe age of 90. She has a cracking sense of humour and is not afraid of taking on any role that comes her way. Her last film was The Lorax where she voiced the granny. We love you Betty!

Image by Lymantria

2. Clint Eastwood – Yep, that’s right, Betty White beats Clinty baby but only just. This amazing man is still directing and starring in films at 82 and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. He started his career in 1955 at the ripe old age of 25 and a few Dirty Harrys later, he’s still churning out quality films. And yes, though your voice is getting a little difficult to understand, we love you too Clinty!

Image by Diaa abdelmoneim

3. Christopher Plummer – Oh Mr Plummer, you were severely dreamy in The Sound of Music and you’re still as handsome and as sophisticated today! How do you do it? This Canadian spunk started his career when he was 24 years of age on Broadway (where else!?) in a flop called The Starcross Story. From there he went on to more successful shows mixed in with yet more flops! His film career began in 1958 peaking with The Sound of Music in 1968. From there his career skyrocketed and he is still acting today, his latest film was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Image by Allan Warren

4. Mickey Rooney – If there was an Oscar for the longest career (and the cutest elderly actor) Rooney would win hands down. He started acting in 1922 when he was just two years old. Awwwww. And he’s still acting today. His last role was in The Muppets (2011), where he made a cameo appearance.  He is one of the most beloved actors of all time so give the man a standing ovation already!


Image by Josh Jensen

5. Robert Duvall – I never think of Duvall as an elderly actor but at 81 years of age, I guess he fits into that category. Duvall’s first role was in the theatre in 1952, he then went on to star on various tv shows after a short stint in the army. He has been a solid performer from then to now and I can’t wait to check him out in his latest film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2012) where he will star with Gérard Depardieu.

Image by Stuart Crawford

6. James Earl Jones – That voice, that presence, this man is a legend and at 81 he is still working, still amazing audiences with his incredible talent. And, really, this man brought Darth Vader to life, so really, say no more! He started acting when he was 22 years of age in 1953 and this year he is starring in Gimme Shelter with Brendan Fraser. So happy to see this man still acting!


Image by Georges Biard

7. Gena Rowlands – Beautiful, sophisticated, honest and still giving incredible performances at the age of 81. Gena Rowlands started acting in 1954 when she was 24 years of age and has been performing solidly ever since. She won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and was nominated for two Oscars! Phew. What a career.

Image by Angela George

8. Mel Brooks – Writer, director, composer, comedian, actor and inspiring 86 year old. He has been responsible for quirky films such as, The Producers (1968), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974) and History of the World Part I (1981), as well as the tv hit show, Get Smart (1965).  He began his illustrious career in 1949 as a stand up comic which led to a job as a comedy writer for NBC. From TV he moved on to music, movies, acting writing, achieving legendary status somewhere in between!

9. Lauren Bacall – Smokey, sultry and husky Bacall started her career when she was 18 (in 1942) on Broadway. She then became a model and was spotted by a producer’s wife and was then offered her first leading role in To Have and Have Not with Humphrey Bogart. Her latest performance is in The Forger (2012) with Hayden Panettiere and Alfred Molina.

Image by Angela George

10. Kirk Douglas – Douglas has been performing for 70 years. He started acting in 1942 (aged 26 years) on the stage in New York City. From early on, he was typecast as the tough strong mean type of character which he embraced to help overcome his shyness. At 95 Kirk has slowed down a little,  his last film appearance was in the 2010 documentary, Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff. 

So do tell, who’s your favourite elderly performer?


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