Many of today’s seniors are more vibrant and active than ever, and you only have to look to Hollywood to find proof. Here’s a look at just a few of our oldest actors who are still going strong.
Over 40 years ago, a 50-year-old actor was about to land a TV role that would arguably make hers the most famous set of dimples since Shirley Temple. That’s when Betty White took on the role of Sue Ann Nivens, the smiling but devious “happy homemaker” on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
From there, it was on to The Golden Girls in the 1980s, The Bold and the Beautiful from 2006-2009, and assorted guest spots in between. Now, at 92, she’s beginning her fifth season of the TV comedy Hot in Cleveland. It’s a high point of a TV career that goes all the way back to the early days of television, with a series called Life with Elizabeth, in 1952.
White said on her 90th birthday that she didn’t feel old, and never felt the need to lie about her age. She added that being healthy and having friends has made her “golden years” some of her happiest.
But White isn’t the only senior actor who is still going strong. Actor and director Clint Eastwood, 83, starred last year in Trouble With the Curve, a father-daughter road trip movie that costarred one of Hollywood’s hottest young actresses, Amy Adams. It’s his latest effort in a career that spans almost 60 years in show business.
He told Esquire magazine in 2012 that he tries not to over-think his formula for success, relying instead on his “animal instincts” to help him select roles and films.
Dick Van Dyke
TV legend Dick Van Dyke, whose self-titled show was a hit through most of the 1960s, recently turned 89 and is in post-production on a film called Life Is Boring, in which he plays a delusional poet. Life has been anything but boring for Van Dyke, whose career was launched in the 1960 Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie; he also played the freewheeling chimney sweep in Mary Poppins.
He’s also totally hip. According to contactmusic.com, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith reached out to him to rap on a children’s album called Rhythm Train.
Other over-80 actors who are staying active? James Earl Jones, 83, is in pre-production on a fantasy film called Starbright, scheduled for release in 2015. The Oscar-winning Michael Caine, 80, is set to star in three films in 2014 and another three in 2015. At 82, Christopher Plummer became the oldest ever Oscar winner in 2010, for his performance in Beginners. He has made five film commitments for 2014.
If staying active is a key to longevity for our oldest actors, then give these fitness tips a starring role in your own life.