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Actors Who Didn’t Get Famous Until They Were Older

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It might seem cut-throat, but conventional Hollywood wisdom says that if an actor hasn’t had a breakthrough role by their mid-thirties, chances are it’s never going to happen. Hollywood’s problem with ageism has been a hot topic in recent years, with iconic stars like Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren describing the treatment of older actresses in Tinsel Town as outrageous. But there are some who defy the odds. Here’s who’s proving that really good things come to those who wait…

Jeremy Renner | 0:28
Samuel L. Jackson | 1:08
Christoph Waltz | 1:52
Jon Hamm | 2:21
James Gandolfini | 2:54
Alan Rickman | 3:35
Bryan Cranston | 4:12
Melissa McCarthy | 5:05
Morgan Freeman | 5:29
Billy Bob Thornton | 6:18

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25 thoughts on “Actors Who Didn’t Get Famous Until They Were Older

  1. While ageism is a huge problem in Hollywood, that self-same ageism is also extremely sexist. What this video proved to me was that, if you want to break into Hollywood after you turn 30, you’d damn well better have a penis. Sure, you put Melissa McCarthy on this list, but surely she can’t be the only female to have a career-making role after her 35th birthday. And, sure, you briefly mention Dame Helen, but where was her blurb? So, while I say “bravo” to people who break through the bigotry of Hollywood, I’d really also like to say “brava” as well. And not just to one or two females.

  2. I agree about coming into it a little bit older and being able to handle it better. I'm 37 and about to hit my "break" and I know that I probably would've just ruined it 10 years ago…

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