Actress and Activist
If you think the glory days are long behind you, these fabulously famous senior citizens should prove you wrong. Some are famous for acting or singing while others are known for activism and philanthropy, but they all have something in common: they reached their prime after the age of 50.
Jane Fonda has done a bit of everything. She started her career as a model and actress and later became a writer and fitness star. Her biggest controversies, however, involve her outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Fonda is also a feminist who protests gender stereotypes and violence against women.
Controversial South African leader and political activist Nelson Mandela is proof that life doesn't end in the senior years.
Mandela was released from prison at the age of 72. Rather than rest and enjoy his golden years, he returned to the political and activism arena, earning the Nobel Prize at the age of 75 and becoming president of South Africa at 76. At age 80, he was married for the third time.
Animal Rights and Conservation
Dr. Jane Goodall has devoted much of her life to the study and protection of chimpanzees. She established the Jane Goodall Institute, an organization committed to the environment and conservation. Although some of her work has been criticized, Goodall has received many awards for her animal welfare and humanitarian work. Among other things, she has earned:
- United Nations Messenger of Peace
- Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
- Montana State University Medal for Global and Visionary Leadership
With experience both on the screen and the stage, Dame Judi Dench is known as one of Britain's best actresses. Although Dench has been a working actress from a young age, some of her greatest accomplishments came after the age of 70. In 2006, at the age of 72, she was nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA, Academy, and Screen Actors Guild awards.
Actor and Famous Senior Citizen
Sir Sean Connery was born Thomas Sean Connery and went on to play James Bond. He also had notable roles in Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Finding Forrester.
At the age of 70, Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Dustin Hoffman has been a star since he appeared in The Graduate in 1967. His long career has included starring roles in Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Lenny, Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, and Rain Man.
In his later years, Hoffman took on some interesting roles, such as Roscuro in the animated film Despereaux and a psychiatrist in rapper 50 Cent's video.
Show Business Legend
Kris Kristofferson has had a diverse career, with roles as songwriter, singer, actor, and later, activist. His early movies include Cisco Pike, Heaven's Gate, and A Star is Born. More recent roles include Dreamer, The Wendell Baker Story, and Blade: Trinity.
A member of Veterans for Peace, Kristofferson has been a vocal opponent of the Iraq War.
First Lady to Secretary of State
Born in 1947, Hillary Rodham Clinton first took center stage for her brilliant legal mind and later as the First Lady and long-suffering wife of President Bill Clinton. Her strength and dignity during trying times earned her the respect of women around the country.
Later, she made political news all on her own as the first First Lady to run for office. Clinton served as a U.S. senator for eight years and lost the Democratic Presidential Nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. She now serves as President Obama's Secretary of State.
Television and Movie Actress
Born in 1946, Candace Bergen found early movie and television success with roles in such shows as The Sand Pebbles, The Group, and Murphy Brown. Bergen has won Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.
One of Bergen's greatest roles came after the age of 50: she joined the cast of Boston Legal at the age of 59.
Sexy Actor and Activist
Richard Gere's roles in Pretty Woman, American Gigolo, and An Officer and a Gentleman, along with a turn as the "Sexiest Man Alive", made women's hearts flutter.
However, it is through his activism that Gere will truly leave his mark. A Buddhist, Gere fights for human rights in Tibet and has founded multiple foundations for that purpose.
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