Amazing British actors over 70
7th August 2023
Some of Britain’s most inspirational and influential figures are actors over 70 years old. Britain is blessed with an incredible array of older actors, with many regarded among the greatest performers in the world. It’s great to see many talented Brits lighting up the stage and screen well into their 70s, representing their generation across the globe. This guide to British actors over 70 celebrates these figures, informing you about some of their best-known projects.
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of history’s greatest performers and is certainly one of the most well-known British male actors over 70. Winner of two Oscars, Hopkins is perhaps most remembered for his iconic turn as Hannibal Lecter in the acclaimed horror movie Silence of the Lambs. Born in Margam, Wales, Hopkins received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and has over 100 screen acting credits across film and TV. The actor is still going strong today and became the oldest winner of an acting Oscar in 2021.
Known for: Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day, Westworld
Sir Ben Kingsley
Sir Ben Kingsley was born in Scarborough and is of Kenyan descent. The Academy Award Winner has appeared on our screens since the 1960s, including a seven-episode stint on Coronation Street in his early years. However, the actor is best known for his performances in the acclaimed movies Gandhi and Schindler’s List. One of history’s greatest character actors, Sir Ben continues to star in blockbuster movies today, including appearances in the Marvel franchise.
Known for: Gandhi, Schindler’s List, Iron Man 3
Dame Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren is, without question, one of the most beloved British actresses over 70, having legions of admirers around the world. This inspirational actress was born in London to English and Russian parents and has appeared in over 150 film and TV projects. Mirren has been nominated for four Academy Awards, which includes a win for her performance as Elizabeth II in 2007’s The Queen. Her credits range across all genres, from period dramas to action blockbusters, and she was made a Dame in 2007.
Known for: The Queen, Gosford Park, Prime Suspect
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen has appeared in some of the biggest blockbusters of the last few decades and is one of the most recognisable actors in the world. Perhaps best known for his acclaimed performance as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and his many turns as Magneto in the X-Men series, McKellen also boasts a stellar stage career. Born in Burnley, this beloved actor has been nominated for two Academy Awards and was knighted in 1991.
Known for: The Lord of the Rings, X-Men, Richard III
Dame Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews is an icon and the last surviving lead actress of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Andrews was singled out for stardom from an early age thanks to her unique singing talent and went on to star in some of history’s most beloved musicals, including the iconic The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Andrews continues to perform to this day, mostly as a voice actor in various animated movies.
Known for: The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Princess Diaries
Dame Judi Dench
When it comes to British actresses over 70, most people will name Judi Dench among their favourites. A national icon with over 100 film and TV credits, Dench is perhaps best remembered for her role as M in eight different James Bond movies – a character which brought the York-born actress to international stardom. Dench won a best actress Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love and has been nominated on seven other occasions.
Known for: Skyfall, Goldeneye, Shakespeare in Love
Dame Maggie Smith
Dame Maggie Smith is another national treasure and one of the best British actors over 70. Smith was born in Essex in 1934 and has appeared in scores of movies that have become household favourites. From the beloved Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter franchise to roles in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Gosford Park, Maggie Smith has done it all, including two Oscar wins for dramatic performances in the 1970s.
Known for: Harry Potter, Gosford Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
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Sir Michael Caine
Male British actors over 70 do not come any more famous or more beloved than Michael Caine. With his iconic voice and loveable screen presence, this legendary actor has become a favourite of many and starred in a slew of hit movies across the decades. A list of his best-known movies would go on for some time, but the London-born actor has been in everything from The Italian Job and Zulu to The Dark Knight and The Prestige. Always entertaining and worth the price of admission alone, Sir Michael has secured his place in movie history.
Known for: The Italian Job, Zulu, The Dark Knight
Sir Patrick Stewart
Not only is Patrick Stewart one of the great film and stage actors in history, but he is also a TV icon, having starred as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Stewart has over 150 screen acting credits with many notable movie roles to add to his stage and TV appearances. Beyond his numerous Star Trek movies, Stewart is perhaps most recognisable today for his performance as Professor Charles Xavier in the popular X-Men movie franchise.
Known for: Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men, Logan
British actors over 70
- Sir Anthony Hopkins
- Sir Ben Kingsley
- Dame Helen Mirren
- Sir Ian McKellen
- Dame Julie Andrews
- Dame Judi Dench
- Dame Maggie Smith
- Sir Michael Caine
- Sir Patrick Stewart
As you can see, some of the biggest names in film and TV are British actors over 70 years old. These beloved names have been entertaining us for years, and long may it continue. These celebrities show that age is no barrier to success.
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