PDA

View Full Version : Oldest actor to play a teenager?


DaveRaver
04-22-2001, 09:44 PM
Macaulay Culkin (20 years old) is currently playing a 15 year old on Broadway. The actors in the movie Grease were generally in their 20's when they played high school students. Who is the oldest actor ever to take on the challenge of playing the role of a teenager?

(I'd like to see Dustin Hoffman give this a try, and seal his reputation as the greatest actor ever!)

astro
04-22-2001, 09:54 PM
Olivia Newton John in Grease - not really a "serious" portrayal


The entire cast of 90210


The "high school" cast of Starship Troopers -
all mid late 20's at least

Kat
04-22-2001, 09:54 PM
I think I read somewhere that one of the Beverly High 90210 stars was 30 or so and the characters were what? High school juniors?

Muffin
04-22-2001, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by DaveRaver
(I'd like to see Dustin Hoffman give this a try, and seal his reputation as the greatest actor ever!)

Nah. As a 30 year old his playing a 21 year old in The Graduate was not convincing. He did a great job of the role, but simply did not look like a 21 year old.

Johnny L.A.
04-22-2001, 10:06 PM
I saw a film once called I Was a Teenage Alien that featured a character called Leo who was a 40-year-old guy who was supposed to be a teenager. Of course it was part of the joke. Does that count? (Or would he be considered a 40-year-old guy playing an alien who's playing a teenager?)

Scarlett67
04-22-2001, 10:10 PM
I understand that in an upcoming biography of the Bee Gees, they are going to play themselves from childhood on up. :eek:

Also, let's not forget Tom Hanks in Big. :D They had the child actor film some of Tom's scenes, and he studied those so he could imitate a kid's mannerisms. One of my favorite movies.

katiekilldare
04-22-2001, 10:29 PM
How about Kathleen Turner in "Peggy Sue Got Married"? I realize that high school was a flashback for her character, but ain't no way the voluptuous Kathleen could pass for 16, no how. She must have been 35 at the time.

Ell
04-22-2001, 10:30 PM
How about Robin Williams in Jack

Sam Stone
04-22-2001, 10:30 PM
Michael J. Fox was 29 years old when "Back to the Future III" came out, and he starred as a high school student.

Judge Reinhold was 26 when he played a high school student in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'.

That movie was full of old guys playing young guys. Sean Penn was 22, playing a HS Junior. Brian Backer (who played 'Rat') was also playing a Junior, and he was 26.

Matthew Broderick was 24 when he played a high school student in 'Ferris Beuler's Day Off'. He also played a high school student two years later in 'Project X'. He also played a college freshman in "The Freshman", when he was 28.

John Cusack has also played a lot of younger roles. He was already 23 when he starred as a teenager in 'Say Anything'.

But the oldest person to play a teenager that I know of was Sabu, who played "Sabu the Stable Boy" when he was 34 years old.

Gotta love the Internet Movie Database...

MentalGuy
04-22-2001, 11:13 PM
On almost any "teen" movie shown on MST3K the actors portraying the teens usually looked as if they had just been through their mid-life crisis. Movies such as "Ring of Terror" and "Daddy-O".

AWB
04-22-2001, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by katiekilldare
How about Kathleen Turner in "Peggy Sue Got Married"? I realize that high school was a flashback for her character, but ain't no way the voluptuous Kathleen could pass for 16, no how. She must have been 35 at the time.

She was 32 in 1986 when PSGM was released. She certainly didn't look 18.

Catherine Hicks, who was also in PSGM, was 35 when it was released. She's better known as Dr. Gillian Taylor from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

astorian
04-22-2001, 11:47 PM
Stockard Channing was 34 when she played Rizzo, the supposed high school junior in "Grease."

In the 1983 TV miniseries, "The Winds of War," 39 year old Jan-Michael Vincent played a young Navy hotshot pilot fresh out of training... so he SHOULD have been 18-22. But then EVERYBODY in that series was 10-20 years too old for his/her part! Heck, a BIG subplot involved family disapproval of Vicnent's affair with the "older woman!" How scandalous could that have been, when the "younger" man is almost 40?

Of course, if you count flashbacks, there's "The Natural," where 47 year old Robert Redford had to play himself as a teen!

MovieMogul
04-22-2001, 11:49 PM
Olivia Newton John in Grease - not really a "serious" portrayal

She was 30 years old, but Stockard Channing was 34.

Goose
04-22-2001, 11:50 PM
Malcolm Mcdowell was 28, I believe, when he played a 14 year old in A Clockwork Orange.

Arken
04-22-2001, 11:57 PM
Kids today... never watchin' movies made before 1975. Yeesh.

My vote goes out to not one, but two actors... Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall, the most famous of the Bowery Boys. These guys started in Dead End in 1937. Leo last played Slip in 1956 in the film, 'Crashing Las Vegas' and Huntz last played Satch two years later in 'In the Money'.

The Bowery Boys were, of course, teenagers the entire time. According to the IMDB, Leo was born in 1917 and Huntz in 1919 making both of them *39* the last time they played a teenager. IIRC, Leo was already a grandfather.

And there was no convoluted time-travel plot involved. They were just supposed to be teenagers.

Lance Turbo
04-23-2001, 12:30 AM
I don't know exactly how old Hamlet is supposed to be, but I always thought it was late teens or very early twenties.

Mel Gibson was 34 when he played Hamlet in 1990.

Kenneth Brannagh was 36 in 1996 when he played hamlet.

However, Lawrence Olivier beat them both by playing Hamlet at age 41 in 1948. Olivier was 13 years older than the actress who played Hamlet's mother Gertrude.


In other news, Gabrielle Carteris was 34 years old during her last season as a teenager on Beverly Hills 90210.

TV time
04-23-2001, 02:03 AM
Leslie Howard was easily in his mid 40s when he played Romeo (supposedly 14 or 15).

Sal Mineo played teens well into his 30s as did Annette and Frankie Avalon.

Character actor Richard Jackel played a recent draftee (18 or 19)in "The Devil's Brigade" when he was in his 50s.

Yeah Arken, you're right.

TV

elfkin477
04-23-2001, 02:28 AM
Hamlet was 30, he just acted like a child. This came to a shock all of use in my Crit. Lit. class, because we thought he was young. The only part of the play that actually gives an indication of his age is the grave digger's scene(act V) in which he is talking to the clowns and Horatio about having played with Yorick as a child; Yorick had been dead for 23 years.

Oddly, this scene was left out of the 2000 version of Hamlet- a strange modernized version staring Ethan Hawke and Julia Stiles. Hawkes is actually 30.

Katisha
04-23-2001, 03:27 AM
Leslie Howard was in fact 43 when he played Romeo. Costar Norma Shearer was 34, more than 20 years older than her character (Juliet is about to turn fourteen). The other actors playing the younger characters were similarly mature: Basil Rathbone (Tybalt) was 44, Reginald Denny (Benvolio) was 45, and John Barrymore (Mercutio) was 54!

kawliga
04-23-2001, 04:03 AM
William Bendix was 42 when he played a teenaged Babe Ruth in "The Babe Ruth Story."

The Dorsey brothers were in their 40s when they played themselves as teenagers in "Those Fabulous Dorseys."

Fern Forest
04-23-2001, 07:24 AM
I still get a chuckle every time I remember that Peter Pan, who's supposed to be what? 9, is played by a woman who's usually well past 20. Let's see Sandy Duncan was born 1946. The 34 year old revived the role of the prepubescent lad in 1979 or 80. Presumably she played it for a few years at least. Although I guess nitpickers could say that although Peter Pan wsa physically 9 or so he was temporally much older since he did not grow older. (side note, I'm a nitpicker myself, out out damn nit!)

As per Arken's complaint. Does 26 count as a kid? Anyway Doris Day, born April 3, 1924. I believe the teenager she played in On Moonlight Bay in 1951 was 15. There was a sequel a two years later that I've never heard of before. Don't know is the character was still a teenager then.

Tapioca Dextrin
04-23-2001, 07:29 AM
In the Railway Children, Jenny Agutter played an eight year old, despite being 21. That has to count for something :D

ElvisL1ves
04-23-2001, 08:13 AM
Robert Redford and Glenn Close playing themselves in a flashback scene in "The Natural" (1984). He was 47, she was 37, and the fog filters were set at maximum power.

Eve
04-23-2001, 08:49 AM
I gotcha all beat—Sarah Bernhardt was still playing Joan of Arc when she was well into her sixties.

Ethilrist
04-23-2001, 09:31 AM
Jamie Farr was 38 when he played Klinger in M*A*S*H*; his character was supposed to be a draftee, so probably 18-19. Farr had actually served in Korea at age 18, 20 years earlier.

BiblioCat
04-23-2001, 09:33 AM
Vivian Leigh playing 16-year-old Scarlett O'Hara.
She was 27 or so at the time (IIRC).


Might be a nitpick:
Sam Stone said:
Matthew Broderick was 24....he also played a high school student two years later in 'Project X'.
Wasn't he in the Air Force in "Project X" ? Not a high schooler. I thought he was playing pretty close to his true age in that one.

Sauron
04-23-2001, 10:58 AM
Ralph Macchio (sp?) played a high-school junior when he was in his late 20s for the movie "The Karate Kid." He continued to play that role for the next two movies.

handy
04-23-2001, 12:12 PM
What about those 30ish people playing teenagers on Saved By da Bell? Those kids are old!

Arken
04-23-2001, 12:18 PM
AFAIK, the kids on Saved By the Bell really were kids. This is especially obvious if you see early episodes when they are supposed to be high school freshmen. (I can't believe I am admitting to watching that show)

SpoilerVirgin
04-23-2001, 02:01 PM
For some reason I feel compelled to correct a common misconception about Beverly Hills, 90210. Although the characters were teenagers when the show began (mostly played by people in their early 20's), they aged as it progressed. All of them graduated first from high school, and then from college. When Gabrielle Carteris left the show at age 34, she was playing a medical student, not a teenager. I've seen this "thirty-year-old teenagers" stuff about 90210 before. While a few of the actors were in their thirties by the time the show ended, none of them were still playing teenagers.

hibernicus
04-23-2001, 06:17 PM
Charisma Carpenter was 27 years old when playing Cordelia Chase in the 1st season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her character was in the 3rd-last year of high school at that time, presumably 16 years old. By the time her character stopped being a teenager (in season 1 of Angel), the actress was 30.

aseymayo
04-23-2001, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by brother rat
I still get a chuckle every time I remember that Peter Pan, who's supposed to be what? 9, is played by a woman who's usually well past 20.
Heh - that's just what I was thinking! Mary Martin was 47 when she played Peter in 1960.

Did anyone catch the recent production of South Pacific with a 52-year-old Glenn Close playing a 20-something Nellie Forbush? It wasn't too bad, but they did use an awful lot of soft focus.

Protesilaus
04-23-2001, 06:37 PM
In Slaughter High, Caroline Munro played a high school student at 36.