So I’d say after thier forties.
Are there any famous (or semi-famous) examples of people who got into showbiz (movies, scripting for movies, directing) at a late age and became a “success”?
I mean dudes(ettes) who were doing something else up until around the age of forty, decided to get in on the showbiz act and then actually became successful in doing so?
Of special interest are any recent examples.
Sydney Greenstreet (Casablanca, Maltese Falcon) had his film debut at 62.
Rodney Dangerfield is the first one to come to mind. He made it big in his 50’s. His first movie hit was Caddyshack when he was 58.
Greenstreet doesn’t count as a showbiz late bloomer; he’d been a stage actor since 1902.
Maybe not incredibly famous, but character actor Burt Musitn appeared in his first film at age 67.
Peg Phillips, who played Ruth-Anne on Northern Exposure , was 65 when she started taking acting lessons, and was 66 or 67 when she got her first TV role.
I think John Mahoney of Frasier didn’t start acting until his late 30s.
According to this you’re right. He seems to have been around 36 or 37 when starting out.
Wow. Didn’t even know he passed away.
Harrison Ford was in his 30’s when he made Star Wars. Yeah, he’d made American Graffiti earlier, but wasn’t quite a household name like he was after he played Han Solo.
Edgar Buchanan gave up a career in dentistry at age 36 to go into acting.
Ellen Albertini Dow, the “rapping granny” in THE WEDDING SINGER, had her first screen role at 68.
Fred Dalton Thompson, the former Senator best known as the Law and Order D.A. didn’t start acting until he was 45.
Rodney Dangerfield spent his entire 20s in show business. He didn’t make it big until the second time around, but he sure tried hard at an early age.
Ben Stein. Born 1944. His first film appearance was in the 1984 film “The Wild LIfe.”
He was a consultant to a TV series in 1978, however. All dates from IMDB.
Though not all that recent, Paul Ford is an example of a late starter. According to the IMDB he was 54 when he hit it big in TV’s Bilko. He had done some radio work before that but was by no means a household name.
How about Calvert DeForest? Born in 1921, his earliest credit on the IMDB is from 1972, and he first came to prominence as Larry “Bud” Melman on David Letterman’s show in the 1980’s.
I was going to mention her – she was in Wedding Crashers, too.
Also, Linda Gray of Dallas fame was in her 30s before she broke into the biz.
Former cop Dennis Farina got into acting in his later 30s.
Anne Ramsey made her first movie at age 52, and became a star in “Throw Momma From the Train” when she was 60.
John Houseman became a movie star with The Paper Chase at age 71. He was a producer and acting teacher up to that point.
Harold Gould was also an acting teacher when he decided to practice what he taught. He first appeared in movies at age 40 in bit parts, and made a solid career of it.
Clifton Webb was 55 when he vaulted into stardom in Laura, though he had appeared in a few silent films before then.
Clara Peller became an overnight sensation at the age of 82, with her appearance in the Wendy’s “Big Fluffy Bun” commercial (better known for her catchphrase, “Where’s the beef?”)
I think you’re underestimating John Houseman’s career prior to The Paper Chase. He was considerably more than a producer and acting teacher.