Actors who started acting in their 30s or later

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George Wendt
Actor, Cheers
George Robert Wendt III was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA, to Loretta Mary (Howard) and George Robert Wendt, who was a realtor and navy officer. He attended a strict Jesuit prep school and then dropped out of Notre Dame University after a few uneventful years. He worked with the Windy City's famed Second City comedy troupe from 1974-1980...
“ Age 30 ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
David Strathairn
David Russell Strathairn was born on January 26, 1949 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Mary Frances (Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He has two siblings, Tom and Anne. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and one sixteenth Chinese (the latter three from his paternal grandmother)...
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Denis Leary
Denis Leary was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Nora (Sullivan) and John Leary, Irish immigrants who had grown up together. His mother was a maid and his father was an auto mechanic. After a childhood in the 1960s, Leary went to Emerson College in Boston, where he tried his hand at acting and writing...
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Emil Jannings
His real name was Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, and in the early 1900s, he was already working in the theater under Max Reinhardt's company. Important movies where he defined himself as a convincing actor were Madame DuBarry and Quo Vadis?, followed by The Last Laugh(aka The Last Laugh) in 1924 and Variety (aka Variety) in 1925...
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Ed Lauter
Actor, The Artist
Edward Matthew Lauter II was born on October 30, 1938 in Long Beach, New York. In a film career that extended for over four decades, Lauter starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western Dirty Little Billy. He portrayed an eclectic array of characters over the years...
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 30. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 31. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Jason Statham
Jason Statham was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, to Eileen (Yates), a dancer, and Barry Statham, a street merchant and lounge singer. Statham has done quite a lot in a short time. He has been a Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished 12th in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model...
“ Age 31. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Billy Bob Thornton
Actor, Armageddon
Billy Bob Thornton was born on August 4, 1955 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Virginia Roberta (Faulkner), a psychic, and William Raymond (Billy Ray) Thornton, an educator, high school history teacher, and basketball coach (now deceased). He is the older brother of James Donald (Jimmy Don) (born in 1958 and now deceased) and John David (born in 1969)...
“ Age 31. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Peter Boyle
A bold, blunt instrument of hatred and violence at the onset of his film career, Peter Boyle recoiled from that repugnant, politically incorrect "working class" image to eventually play gruff, gentler bears and even comedy monsters in a career that lasted four decades. He was born on October 18, 1935...
“ Age 31. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 31. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
George C. Scott
Best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, and as Ebenezer Scrooge in Clive Donner's 1984 film A Christmas Carol. He was the first actor to refuse the Academy Award for Best Actor (for Patton in 1970)...
“ Age 31. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old...
“ Age 32. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Ray Romano
Ray Romano grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. He performed in the NYC comedy club circuit before landing a guest spot on The Letterman Show. It was here that he propelled his TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. He was also the voice of the Mammoth in the extremely successful Ice Age Series Movies. He is also the inspiration for the character'Paul'...
“ Age 32. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and worked there until he was injured...
“ Age 32. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Erick Avari
Actor, Mr. Deeds
Erick Avari was born on April 13, 1952 in Darjeeling, India. His credits include leading roles in films from Kevin Reynolds' cult classic The Beast of War to commercial megahits such as Stargate, Independence Day, The Mummy and Planet of the Apes. His comedic skills have landed him starring roles in the Adam Sandler remake Mr. Deeds...
“ Age 32. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 32. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham was born on October 24, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in El Paso, Texas. Primarily a stage actor, Abraham made his screen debut as an usher in the George C. Scott comedy They Might Be Giants. By the mid-1970s, Murray had steady employment as an actor, doing commercials and voice-over work...
“ Age 32. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Danny Glover
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. Glover was born in San Francisco, California, to Carrie (Hunley) and James Glover, postal workers who were also active in civil rights. Glover trained at the Black Actors' Workshop of the American Conservatory Theater...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Danny Trejo
Actor, Machete
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Callum Keith Rennie
Callum Keith Rennie was born in England, raised in Alberta, Canada and came late to acting - he discovered theatre in Edmonton at the age of 25. Starting out in university radio and working his way to the renowned Shaw Festival, Callum moved to Vancouver and quickly caught the eye of producers and directors. Currently he lives in Vancouver.
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Ty Burrell
Tyler Gerald Burrell was born on August 22, 1967 in Grants Pass, Oregon, where his family owned a business. He is the son of Sheri Rose (Hauck), a teacher, and Gary Gerald Burrell, a family therapist, and is primarily of English and German ancestry. He earned a BA from Southern Oregon University and...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Bill Pullman
William James Pullman was born in Hornell, New York, one of seven children of Johanna (Blaas), a nurse, and James Pullman, a doctor. He is of Dutch (mother) and English, Northern Irish, and Scottish (father) descent. After high school, Bill went into a building construction program at SUNY Delhi in New York...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Kathy Baker
For someone who has made an award-winning impact in all three mediums (stage, film and TV), actress Kathy Baker has been strangely denied all-out stardom, yet continues to demonstrate her versatility in whatever material comes her way. The comely blonde was born Katherine Whitton Baker in Midland, Texas...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Tess Harper
Tess Harper attended Southwest Missouri State University, now known as Missouri State University, in Springfield, MO. During the late 1960s, she did "street" acting in the theme parks, Dogpatch, USA, in Jasper, AR, and Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. She was discovered while doing theater work in Dallas...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
M. Emmet Walsh
Wonderfully talented, heavyset character actor (from New York, but regularly playing Southerners) M. Emmet Walsh has made a solid career of playing corrupt cops, deadly crooks, and zany comedic roles since the early 1970s. Michael Emmet Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, to Agnes Katharine (Sullivan) and Harry Maurice Walsh...
“ Age 33. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett, which eventually led to him performing in his high school play production of "Waiting for Godot"...
“ Age 34. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 34. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Anne Haney
Actress, Liar Liar
Anne Haney held prominent roles acting on stage, on the screen, and on TV. All these achievements came in her mid 40s, after she had raised a daughter and buried a husband. It wasn't until after she had packed her daughter off to college and "the maid quit", as she said, that she decided to try her hand at acting...
“ Age 34. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Patrika Darbo
Actress, Rango
“ Age 35. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Beah Richards
Beah Richards left her native Vicksburg, Mississippi, for New York City in 1950. She would not acquire a significant role on stage until 1955, when she appeared in the off-Broadway show "Take A Giant Step" convincingly portraying an 84-year-old grandmother without using theatrical makeup. In 1962 she...
“ Age 35. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal is a striking and somewhat boyishly handsome (often with ponytail) action star who burst onto the martial arts film scene in 1988 in the fast-paced Warner Bros. film Above the Law. Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Patricia Anne (Fisher), a medical technician...
“ Age 36. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Chris Cooper
Christopher Walton Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Mary Ann (Walton), a homemaker, and Charles Sherwood Cooper, a cattleman and internist who served as a doctor in the US Air Force. His parents were from Texas, where Cooper was raised. Educated at the University of Missouri school of drama...
“ Age 36. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Rondo Hatton
An only child, Rondo Hatton was born to Stewart and Emily Hatton in Hagerstown, Maryland. The family moved to Tampa, Florida, in 1912, when he was a high-school senior, and his father joined a family-owned business there. Rondo was apparently popular and a good athlete, especially in football. After leaving high school...
“ Age 36. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Edgar Buchanan
At the age of seven, he and his family moved to Oregon. After studying at the University of Oregon, he followed in his father's footsteps and became a dentist, graduating from North Pacific Dental College. From 1929 to 1937, he practiced oral surgery in Eugene, Oregon. He then moved his practice to Altadena...
“ Age 36. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Margo Martindale
Margo Martindale was born July 18, 1951 in Jacksonville, Texas, to Margaret (Pruitt) and William Everett Martindale, a lumber company owner and dog handler. She is the youngest of three children, and the only daughter. Margo attended Lon Marris College, and later transferred to University of Michigan at Ann Arbor...
“ Age 36. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Dennis Farina
Actor, Snatch
Dennis Farina was one of Hollywood's busiest actors and a familiar face to moviegoers and television viewers alike. Recently, he appeared in the feature films, "The Grand," a comedy about a Vegas poker tournament with Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines and Ray Romano; "Bottle Shock," also starring Alan Rickman...
“ Age 37. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Marshall Manesh
Marshall Manesh was born in Iran. He lost his father at an early age and was raised by his beloved mother, whom he feels he got his strength from to make it in show biz. He came to America in the mid "70s" and joined the Persian Theater Group and traveled extensively through out The United States, Canada and Europe for 8 years...
“ Age 37. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
John Mahoney
Actor, Frasier
John Mahoney is an award-winning American actor who was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. The seventh of eight children, Mahoney's family had been evacuated to the sea-side resort to avoid the Nazi bombing of their native Manchester. The Mancunian Mahoneys eventually returned to Manchester during the war...
“ Age 37. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Burt Mustin
Actor, Cat Ballou
Burt Mustin was a salesman most of his life, but got his first taste of show business as the host of a weekly radio variety show on KDKA Pittsburgh in 1921. He appeared onstage in "Detective Story" at Sombrero Playhouse in Phoenix Arizona, and played the janitor in the movie version, (Detective Story)...
“ Age 37. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Grace Zabriskie
Actress, The Grudge
"Amazing Grace" Zabriskie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She wrote her own original poetry, then performed at coffee shops and various artist hangouts in Atlanta. She was also a wonderful silk-screen printmaker. She moved to Hollywood and made her acting debut in Norma Rae. She went on to appear in over 80 movies...
“ Age 37. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Michael Clarke Duncan
Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let him, afraid that he would get hurt. He then turned to acting, dreaming of becoming a famous actor...
“ Age 38. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Brian Dennehy
Imposing, barrel-chested and now silver-haired Brian Dennehy is a prolific US actor, well respected on both screen and stage for the best part of 25 years. He was born in July 1938 in Bridgeport, CT, and attended Columbia University in New York City on a football scholarship. He majored in history, before moving on to Yale to study dramatic arts...
“ Age 39. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 39. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Noble Willingham
Noble Willingham has appeared in more than 30 feature films, including Up Close & Personal, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Chinatown, Good Morning, Vietnam, City Slickers, City Slickers II, and The Distinguished Gentleman. He was born in the small town of Mineola, Texas, east of Dallas. After graduating from North Texas State College...
“ Age 39. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Kathryn Joosten
Kathryn is best known for her portrayals of "Karen McCluskey" on Desperate Housewives on ABC and of "Mrs. Landingham", secretary to the President (Martin Sheen), on the critically-acclaimed NBC drama, The West Wing. She has also recurred on Dharma & Greg, and guest-starred on many hit television series...
“ Age 43. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Gertrude Hoffman
German-born Gertrude Hoffman began her film career in Germany in 1918, but she didn't start her Hollywood career until she was past 60 years of age, making her American film debut in 1933. She worked steadily and made quite a few films over the next 20 years, though many of her parts were unbilled. She is probably best remembered as Mrs...
“ Age 46. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 46. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Zelda Rubinstein
Actress, Poltergeist
A marvelously quirky and distinctive 4' 3" character actress, with a larger-than-life presence on film and TV, Zelda Rubinstein gave up a long and stable career in the medical field as a lab technician in order to strive for something more self-fulfilling as middle age settled in. At the age of 45, the feisty lady gave up the comfort of a stable paycheck and attempt an acting career...
“ Age 47. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 47. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Victor Wong
Eccentric looking Chinese-American actor with a slightly drooping face (the result of a bout of Bell's palsy) who studied political science, art & journalism before becoming a news reporter for a San Francisco public TV station in the late 1960s. Apart from a brief stint in the mid-1970s on the TV soap opera Search for Tomorrow...
“ Age 48. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Florence Bates
Actress, Rebecca
The American character actress, Florence Rabe, was the daughter of an antique store owner. She gained a degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas in 1906 and went on to a career in teaching and social work. She changed course after being persuaded by a friend to study law, and, passing her bar exam in 1914...
“ Age 49. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 49. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 50. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 53. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Estelle Getty
She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman-like one-liners...
“ Age 55. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Peg Phillips
Margaret "Peg" Phillips was a retired accountant when she began taking acting classes at age 65. In 1990 she was cast in the role of Ruth-Anne Miller, the shop keeper in the series Northern Exposure. The role was supposed to be only intermittent, but Peg's portrayal won the hearts of viewers, and Ruth-Anne became a regular role...
“ Age 67. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
“ Age 79. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon
Adeline De Walt Reynolds
She survived the death of her husband in 1905, the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and raising four children with no money. In 1926, when she was 64 she became one of the most mature freshman ever to enter the University of California. She graduated 6 years later with her B.A. degree. In 1940 she went to Hollywood...
“ Age 79. ” - PopperTheKungFu-Dragon