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Inspirational actors you won’t believe are over 65

25th November 2020


Movies have been on our screens for over 100 years with the first one hitting our cinemas in 1888, a lot earlier than people realise. Actors and the movies they star in play a huge part in the society we live in today and there are some famous faces that have made huge impacts in their very own ways.

This article will go into a little more detail about some of these inspiring actors that you just won’t believe are now over the age of 65 but who still continue to star in some of the world’s best and award-winning films today. Carry on reading to find out a little more about their lives, their acting careers and some fun facts you may not have known. 

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John Travolta

Age: 66


John Travolta is known by most for his famed role in the iconic film Grease where he portrayed the character Danny Zuko. John was born on 19th February 1954 in Englewood, New Jersey and started his acting career in New York where he attended drama school, soon after leaving school at an early age to pursue his passion.

Starring in his first film, Carrie, in 1976 his career soon took off and he has starred in some of the best films to air on our screens since. Some of his most famous films include the aforementioned Grease, Saturday Night Fever from 1977, Hairspray in 2007 and From Paris With Love which he featured in 2010. Some fun facts about this famed actor are he turned down a starring role in the critically acclaimed movie Chicago and also has a Princess Diana dress named after him.

Career highlights:

  • Grease (1978)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • From Paris With Love (2010)
  • The Punisher (2004)
  • Hairspray (2007)

Dame Helen Mirren

Age: 75


Dame Hellen Mirren or ‘Popper’ as she is commonly known among friends or family, is a true icon in her own right and was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003 for her services to drama. Winning countless awards for films like The Queen and Gosford Park, she also holds many awards for her years of service, including the record for winning the most awards for one film which was 40 awards for her role in The Queen.

Manny Ngo from The Wandering Mother agrees that she can’t believe Helen among a few other actors are over 65: “I didn’t realise some big-name actors like Dame Helen Mirren, Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis were over 65! They all still look fabulously amazing for their age! I loved Helen in Collateral Beauty. The film has an amazing cast and the story was brilliantly told and unravelled.”

Career highlights:

  • Calendar Girls (2003)
  • The Queen (2006)
  • Winchester (2018)
  • Collateral Beauty (2016)
  • Anna (2019)

Sir Patrick Stewart

Age: 80


Known as being a bit of a Sci-Fi king, Sir Patrick Stewart was born in Yorkshire in July 1940 and has played some of the biggest names in famous franchises like X-Men and Star Trek. Unlike some of the other stars, Patrick is from the UK, leaving school at 15 he was a local paper reporter before getting into acting and starring in his first film named Hennessy.

IMDB explains a little more about his early life: “Stewart spent a year as a furniture salesman, saving cash to attend drama school. He was accepted by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1957. He made his professional debut in 1959 in the repertory theatre in Lincoln; he worked at the Manchester Library Theatre and a tour around the world with the Old Vic Company followed in the early 1960s.”

Stewart was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 for his services to drama and after his features in Star Trek and X-Men. Some other fun facts about the famed actor is he trained as a boxer when he was younger and is now also a patron of the charity Refuge.

Career highlights:

  • Star Trek (various films)
  • X-Men (2000)
  • Logan (2017)
  • Green Room (2015)

Meryl Streep

Age: 71


The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia! and Julia & Julia are just some of the amazing movies that Meryl Streep has played roles in making her one of the most loved female faces on our screens. Born in June 1949 in New Jersey, Meryl Streep started her acting and performing career early as IMDB explains on their website: “Meryl's early performing ambitions leaned toward the opera. She became interested in acting while a student at Vassar and upon graduation, she enrolled in the Yale School of Drama.”

She has won many awards including winning Golden Globe Awards, Academy Awards and Critics Choice Awards for many films over the years. It isn’t commonly known but Streep has a great fear of helicopters and her husband Dom Gummer is a famous sculpture designer.

Career highlights:

  • The Devil Wears Prada (2007)
  • Mamma Mia! (2008)
  • Julie & Julia (2009)
  • Suffragette (2015)

Jackie Chan

Age: 66


18th February 1954 saw the birth of Jackie Chan in Victoria Peak, Hong Kong, now aged 66, Jackie Chan has been on our screens for decades and has shown off his outstanding Kung-Fu skills in films such as The Karate Kid, Rush Hour and Drunken Master. Chan moved away from Hong Kong to start his acting career but soon returned before filming his first film in 1962.

Chan is trained in Kung-Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Hapkido and he performs all of his Kung-Fu stunts himself, which often lead to accidents, one resulting in him having a permanent plastic plug in his skull.

Career highlights:

  • The Karate Kid (2010)
  • Rush Hour (1998)
  • Drunken Master (1978)
  • The Spy Next Door (2010)
  • The Foreigner (2017)

Mary Steenburgen

Age: 67


Mary Steenburgen was born in Arkansas in the US in the mid-50s and has been a frequent face in some of the best films over the last 20 years. After leaving college in 1972 she moved to New York to further her acting career with her first big debut being Goin’ South in 1978. She has since starred in some of the best films worldwide, including Step Brothers, Elf and The Proposal.

A few fun facts about Mary Steenburgen are that Bill and Hilary Clinton both attended her wedding to her husband in 1995, her next-door neighbour in Manhattan was Steve Martin and although her surname is Dutch, she has English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry.

Career highlights:

  • Step Brothers (2008)
  • Elf (2003)
  • Back To The Future Part III (1990)
  • The Proposal (2009)

Denzel Washington

Age: 65


Denzel Washington, an icon for many years with a portfolio unlike any other was born on December 28th, 1954 in New York, just after Christmas. According to IMDB, he wasn’t intending on being an actor: “After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University, intent on a career in journalism. However, he caught the acting bug while appearing in student drama productions and, upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled at the American Conservatory Theatre.”

Manny from The Wandering Mother loves Denzel’s films and can’t believe he is now 65: “Denzel’s filmography list is longer than a giraffe’s neck! There are so many films he’s in but my faves are his action type films such as Man on Fire, The Inside Man and American Gangster. The award-winning movie, Fences is one of the most emotional roles I’ve seen Denzel play and it’s nice to see him in a more vulnerable character.”

Career highlights:

  • American Gangster (2007)
  • Training Day (2001)
  • The Equalizer 1 and 2 (2014, 2018)
  • Man on Fire (2004)

Bruce Willis

Age: 65


Although known for being an American actor, Bruce Willis was actually born in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany in March 1955. Known for being worth over an estimated $2.5 billion USD, he has played starring roles in films like Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, Armageddon and Sixth Sense. 

“Like Denzel, Bruce Willis has starred in so many films that are amazing. If I had to choose my favourite movies starring Bruce, it has to be the cult classics; The Sixth Sense and Pulp Fiction.” Manny explains.

Rachel from the blog Rachel Bustin loves Bruce Willis and the films he has starred in, she explains how she didn’t realise he was 65: "I honestly didn't realise that Bruce Willis is over 65 now. He has always been one of my favourite action film actors. I loved him in the Die Hard films, it only seemed like he was in them around 10 years ago but in fact, the original film came out in 1988, over 30 years ago!" 

Career highlights:

  • The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Armageddon (1998)
  • Die Hard (1988)
  • Red (2010)

Movies can bring happiness to many of us, especially those who are spending a little more time at home and find it hard to get out and about without the use of mobility aids and stair lifts or those who rely on equipment like mobility baths and showers solutions. Why not watch some of the films mentioned and re-live some of the acting memories of those mentioned above?

Actors you won’t believe are over 65:

  • John Travolta
  • Dame Helen Mirren
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Meryl Streep
  • Jackie Chan
  • Mary Steenburgen
  • Denzel Washington
  • Bruce Willis

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.