Weirdest Age Discrepancy Between Characters and the Actors Who Play Them

Example: On “MAS*H”: Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III is an experienced doctor; Cpl. Radar O’Reilly is a teenaged (or every early 20’s) geeky company clerk.

In real life, David Ogden Stiers and Gary Burghoff are only 7 months apart in age.

Your turn.

Shannon Doherty’s Brenda Walsh and Gabrielle Carteris’s Andrea Zuckerman were both high school juniors on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” But Doherty was 19, not too far away from high school junior-dom, and Carteris was 29.

In City of Ember Harry Treadaway (aged 24) was playing Doon Harrow (aged 12). :eek: His costar, Saoirse Ronan, was only 14 and also playing a 12 yr old.

Shirley Henderson was in her 40s when she played school-age ghost “Moaning Myrtle” in 2 of the Harry Potter movies.

And got to leer at Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), born 24 years later than her, in the bath pool in the process.

Well know – Jesse Royce Landis played Cary Grant’s mother in North by Northwest despite being only seven years older than he was.

I think there was a case where Agnes Moorhead played the mother of an actress who was younger than she was.

Roger Moore is almost three years older than Sean Connery, but you wouldn’t know it by comparing the way Sean looked in “Diamonds Are Forever” and Roger’s youthful appearance in “Live and Let Die”.

In The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Frodo Bagginsis supposed to be 50. FIFTY. the day he sets out on his adventure in The Lord Of the Rings. Strangely, they chose to use Elija Wood, who looked even younger than all of the 18 years he was when filming began.

Anne Bancroft was only 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman.

I never would have guessed this…

The actresses who played Weezie on The Jeffersons and Florida on Good Times were about 18 years older than the actors who played their husbands.

Ann-Margret played the mother, Mrs. Walker, in the 1975 film version of Tommy. She was 34 at the time. In the later part of the movie, her adult son is played by Roger Daltrey, who was 31. This is far from the weirdest thing in the movie, though.

In fairness, Tommy covers a pretty large period of time from before Tommy’s birth to his early adulthood, so if the same actress is going to play the mother the whole time then her age is going to be “off” for part of the story. A new film version of Tommy would probably cast someone in their early to mid 20s in the title role, but Daltrey was the person best qualified to sing the part and in 1975 wasn’t that much past the ideal age for the role. But between his being a bit too old and Ann-Margret being a bit too young, there’s only a three year age gap between “mother” and “son”. Even a 10 year difference would have seemed more natural onscreen.

In The Graduate Anne Bancroft (then 36) wasn’t that much younger than her character. Mrs. Robinson became pregnant with Elaine while in college and at the time of the movie Elaine is herself in college, so Mrs. Robinson can’t be older than about 43 and could plausibly be only 39 or 40. Dustin Hoffman, however, was already 30 and thus a good eight years older than his character. Katharine Ross was 27, so at least five years older than her character and only nine years younger than her “mother”.

Katharine Hepburn in *Little Women. *Early in her career she tended to look older than her real age. In this film she looks like a woman in her 30s . . . yet she’s still calling her mother “mommy.”

Well, if we’re going to go after supernatural or mythical creatures, this thread is going to be pretty long. Aragorn was supposed to be 87 and was played by 40 something Viggo Mortinsen, and of course Hugo Weaving was a little younger then the 6000 year old Elrond.

And on the other side, Gandalf the White was arguably only a couple weeks old in Twin Towers, but was played by 60 something Ian McKellan.

Not as weird as the others, but perhaps still noteworthy: Ten years separate Sally Field (b. 1946) who played the mother of Forrest Gump; from Tom Hanks (b. 1956) who played the character.

Since I watched one of my all-time favorite movies last night, The Ten Commandments, I’ll add that Charlton Heston (Moses) and Ann Baxter (Nefretiri) were the same age. Nina Foch, who played Bithia (the one who rescues Moses from the bull rushes) was a year younger than Heston and Baxter.

I mentioned this in a recent thread on Barney Miller, but Abe Vigoda was 53 when he was playing Fish, the “old man” of the precinct. In reality, Jack Soo was three years older than Vigoda.

Another unlikely parent/child casting was from the recent series Kath & Kim. Molly Shannon, 44, played the mother of Selma Blair, 36.

I don’t know what roles but Lillian Gish used to say when she started in movies, Lionel Barrymore first played her grandfather. Later he played her father and then husband. If he had lived longer, he probably would have played her son.

Olivia Newton-John was about 30 when she played a high school student in “Grease”

The movie version of Bye Bye Birdie in which (from IMdB): “Despite portraying the mother of Dick Van Dyke’s character in the film, Maureen Stapleton is just six months older than Van Dyke.”