Film Centenarians and Entertainers

by aladdinsane85 | created - 04 Feb 2011 | updated - 24 Apr 2011 | Public

This is a list of notable people in the entertainment and acting fields who attained the age of 100 years or more. This list is incredibly incomplete, and more people will be added in the coming days.

1. George Burns

Actor | Oh, God!

George Burns was born on January 20, 1896 in New York City, New York, USA as Nathan Birnbaum. He was an actor and producer, known for Oh, God! (1977), Going in Style (1979) and The Sunshine Boys (1975). He was married to Gracie Allen and Hannah Siegel. He died on March 9, 1996 in Beverly Hills, Los...

(January 20, 1896-March 9, 1996): American vaudevillian, radio, film and television actor who gained recognition along with his wife Gracie in the Burns and Allen comedy team. In 1975, George Burns was nominated for and won the Academy award for best supporting actor for his role opposite Walter Matthau in the Sunshine Boys.

2. Bob Hope

Actor | The Ghost Breakers

Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents...

(May 29, 1903-July 27, 2003): The English born world renowned comedian, vaudevillian, film actor, Oscar host and friend to American servicemen died two months after his 100th birthday in 2003.

3. Hal Roach

Director | One Million B.C.

Hal Roach was born in 1892 in Elmira, New York. After working as a mule skinner, wrangler and gold prospector, among other things, he wound up in Hollywood and began picking up jobs as an extra in comedies, where he met comedian Harold Lloyd in 1913 in San Diego. By all accounts, including his own,...

(January 14, 1892-November 2, 1992): American film and television producer who was instrumental in developing the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang comedies.

4. Irving Berlin

Soundtrack | Blue Skies

Irving Berlin was born Israel Isidor Baline on May 11, 1888 in Mogilev, Belarus, Russian Empire. Towering composer, songwriter, ("God Bless America", "Always", "Blue Skies", "White Christmas") author and publisher, he came to the United States at age 5 and was educated in New York's public schools....

(May 11, 1888-September 22, 1989): Famed Russian born American lyricist and songwriter. He provided the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films, with his songs nominated eight times for Academy Awards, among them "White Christmas".

5. Charles Lane

Actor | The Music Man

Mean, miserly and miserable-looking, they didn't come packaged with a more annoying and irksome bow than Charles Lane. Glimpsing even a bent smile from this unending sourpuss was extremely rare, unless one perhaps caught him in a moment of insidious glee after carrying out one of his many nefarious...

(January 26, 1905-July 9, 2007): American character actor of both film and television whose face is familiar, but his name may not be. His career spanned over sixty years.

6. George Abbott

Writer | The Pajama Game

Legendary Broadway writer/producer/director George Abbott was born in 1887 in Forestville, New York. His father was mayor of Salamanca, New York, for two terms. In 1898 his family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Abbott attended Kearney Military Academy. The family returned to New York, where Abbott...

(June 25, 1887-January 31, 1995): American Broadway playwright, producer and film director who lived to be 107.

7. Luise Rainer

Actress | The Great Ziegfeld

Luise Rainer, the first thespian to win back-to-back Oscars, was born on January 12, 1910 in Dusseldorf, Germany, into a prosperous Jewish family. Her parents were Emilie (Königsberger) and Heinrich Rainer, a businessman. She took to the stage, and plied her craft on the boards in Germany. As a ...

(January 12, 1910- ): The oldest living Oscar winner, as well as the first actress to when back-to-back Best Actress Oscars in 1936 (The Great Zeigfeld) and 1937 (The Good Earth.)

8. Gloria Stuart

Actress | Titanic

Gloria Stuart was born on a dining room table on 4th Street in Santa Monica, California on July 4, 1910. Her early roles as a performing artist were in plays she produced in her home as a young girl. She was the star of her senior class play at Santa Monica High School in 1927. Attending the ...

(July 4, 1910-September 26, 2010): American actress who starred opposite Claude Rains in the 1933 film "The Invisible Man". She is best known to modern audiences as the 100 year old Rose DeWitt Bukater in the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic". Ironically Stuart herself lived to be 100, after playing a centenarian in the aforementioned film.

9. Robert F. Boyle

Production_designer | North by Northwest

Robert F. Boyle was born on October 10, 1909 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Robert Francis Boyle. He was an art director and production designer, known for North by Northwest (1959), Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and Marnie (1964). He was married to Bess Boyle. He died on August 1, 2010 in Los ...

(October 10, 1909-August 1, 2010): Art director for numerous Hitchcock films, including "North By Northwest" and "The Birds". He received an honorary Academy award in 2008 at age 98.

10. Leni Riefenstahl

Actress | Das blaue Licht

Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...

(August 22, 1902-September 8, 2003): German director of such films as "Olympia" and "Triumph of the Will." Hailed by some as the greatest female film director of the twentieth century, Riefenstahl's film career suffered because of her associations with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

11. Carla Laemmle

Actress | The Adventures of Frank Merriwell

Carla Laemmle was born on October 20, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Rebekah Isabelle Laemmle. She is known for her work on The Adventures of Frank Merriwell (1936), The Gate Crasher (1928) and A Sad State of Affairs (2013). She died on June 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

(October 20, 1909- ): American silent film actress and the niece of Universal pictures film mogul Carl Laemmle. She spoke the first lines of dialogue in the 1931 film "Dracula" and appeared in the 1925 silent classic "Phantom of the Opera", and is the last surviving cast member of both movies.

12. Adolph Zukor

Shanghai Express

Adolph Zukor's success began with penny arcades, offering moving peepshows that evolved into nickelodeon theaters that offered longer, larger moving pictures. On July 12, 1912, he premiered the first feature-length film, Les amours de la reine Élisabeth (1912), featuring French actress Sarah...

(January 7, 1873-June 10, 1976): Hollywood film mogul who was the founder of Paramount Pictures. He lived to be 103.

13. Manoel de Oliveira

Director | Je rentre à la maison

Manoel de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908 in Oporto, Portugal as Manoel Candido Pinto de Oliveira. He was a director and writer, known for Je rentre à la maison (2001), Os Canibais (1988) and Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997). He was married to Maria Isabel Brandão de ...

(December 11, 1908- ): Portuguese film director who released his first full length picture in 1942. Notable for being the oldest active film director in the world.

14. Gwen Ffrangcon Davies

Actress | Tudor Rose

Gwen Ffrangcon Davies was born on January 25, 1891 in London, England. She was an actress, known for Nine Days a Queen (1936), The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1991) and Paul Krüger (1956). She died on January 27, 1992 in Essex, England.

(January 25, 1891-January 27, 1992): British actress who appeared with Christopher Lee and Charles Gray in the overlooked Hammer film classic "The Devil Rides Out" (1967.)

15. Barbara Kent

Actress | Lonesome

A pretty, diminutive (4'7") actress of the silent and early sound era, Barbara Cloutman (later Kent) was born in Gadsby, Alberta, Canada on December 16, 1907. Upon graduating from Hollywood High School in 1925, Kent won the Miss Hollywood Pageant, and set her sights on a career in the movies. She ...

(December 16, 1906- ): Canadian born actress who is among the last living actors to have achieved fame as an adult during the silent film era. Today, at the age of 104, she refuses to grant interviews or acknowledge her past film career.

16. Frederica Sagor Maas

Writer | The Shocking Miss Pilgrim

Frederica Sagor Maas was born in America, the youngest daughter of Russian immigrants. Feeling no great desire to complete her course in journalism at Columbia University, New York, she found film an exciting new artistic medium, and was hired by Universal Studios as a story editor, and later MGM ...

(July 6, 1900- ): Frederica Sagor Maas is an American screenwriter and playwright who attained the age of 110 years in 2010. She is, as of this writing, considered one of the oldest people in the world.

17. Bruce Bennett

Actor | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Herman Brix was a star shot-putter in the 1928 Olympics. After losing the lead in MGM's Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) due to a shoulder injury, he was contracted by Ashton Dearholt for his independent production of The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935), a serial and the only Tarzan film between the ...

(May 19, 1906 - February 24, 2007) American actor and Olympian who appeared as "Cody" in the 1948 John Huston classic "Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

18. Sol Saks

Writer | Bewitched

Sol Saks, the screenwriter and TV executive who became a millionaire for writing the pilot for the TV series Bewitched (1964), was born on December 13, 1910 n New York City, though he was raised Chicago from the time he was two-years-old.

A radio actor as a child, Saks started out his professional ...

(December 13, 1910-April 16, 2011): Creator of the "Bewitched" television show, television writer and producer. He turned 100 in December 2010.

19. Claire Du Brey

Actress | The Reward of the Faithless

Lovely brown-eyed, brunette Claire Du Brey enjoyed a rich, four-decade film career in all. Born Clara Violet Dubrey on August 31, 1892, in Bonner's Ferry Idaho, her family traveled the rugged Sierra Madre terrain by covered wagon in their move to California when she was 13.

Educated in a convent ...

(August 31, 1892-August 1, 1993): American silent film actress whose career spanned into the late 1950s.

20. Athene Seyler

Actress | Night of the Demon

Athene Seyler was born on May 31, 1889 in Hackney, London, England. She was an actress, known for Curse of the Demon (1957), The Franchise Affair (1951) and April Blossoms (1934). She was married to Nicholas Hannen and James Bury Sterndale-Bennett. She died on September 12, 1990 in Hammersmith, ...

(May 31, 1889-September 12, 1990): English actress who appeared in the 1960 Bitish comedy "Make Mine Mink", with Terry-Thomas and Billie Whitelaw. Seyler was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1959.

21. Doris Eaton

Actress | Man on the Moon

Doris Eaton was born in Norfolk, Virginia, into a show business family. The young Doris began appearing on stage with her brothers Charles and Joseph and her sisters Mary and Pearl when she was five years old. She made her Broadway debut aside her brother Charles in "Mother Carey's Chickens" in ...

(March 14, 1904-May 11, 2010): Doris Eaton Travis was the last surviving Zeigfeld Girl,and a Broadway and film actress. She appeared in the film "Man On the Moon" with Jim Carrey as Eleanor Gould, the old lady who pretends to die on stage.

22. Señor Wences

Final Approach

The Spanish born ventriloquist Senor Wences was one of the highest paid vaudeville acts in the world. Hugely popular with American TV audiences Wences was also a top nightclub favorite.

Born Wenceslao Moreno in Peñaranda de Bracamonte, Salamanca (Spain), Wences began performing ventriloquism as a ...

(April 17, 1896-April 20, 1999): Spanish ventriloquist who made numerous appearances on the Ed Sullivan show during the 1960s.

23. Estelle Winwood

Actress | The Producers

When Estelle saw the girl on a white horse at the circus, she then decided that she wanted to be an actress. And she was from the age of 5, to the disapproval of her father. Her mother had her train with the Liverpool Repertory Company, and Estelle performed in many plays and many roles in the West...

(January 24, 1883-June 20, 1984): English actress who appeared in the original production of "The Producers" (as "Hold Me, Touch Me" and as the ancient nurse in "Murder By Death" in 1976.

24. Tullio Pinelli

Writer | La dolce vita

Tullio Pinelli was born on June 24, 1908 in Turin, Piedmont, Italy. He was a writer, known for La Dolce Vita (1960), The Nights of Cabiria (1957) and La Strada (1954). He was married to Madeleine Lebeau. He died on March 7, 2009 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

(June 24, 1908-March 7, 2009): Italian screenwriter who helped write the now famous Federico Fellini films "La Dolce Vita" and "8½."

25. Francis Lederer

Actor | Terror Is a Man

Frantisek Lederer was born on November 6th, 1899, in Czechoslovakia. His father was a leather merchant, and young Frantisek began his working life as a department store delivery boy in Prague. He fell in love with acting from a young age, and was soon on stage touring Moravia and then all over ...

(November 6, 1899-May 25, 2000): Austrian-American actor who appeared in the G.W. Pabst film "Pandora's Box" in 1929. Lederer died in 2000 at age 101.

26. Audrey Munson

Actress | Purity

Audrey Munson was born on June 8, 1891 in Rochester, New York, USA as Audrey Marie Munson. She was an actress and writer, known for Purity (1916), Inspiration (1915) and The Girl o' Dreams (1918). She died on February 20, 1996 in Ogdensburg, New York.

(June 8, 1891-February 20, 1996): American silent film actress and model who appeared in the first known movie in which a woman appeared nude "Inspiration" (1915.)

27. Florence Lee

Actress | Illusion of Love

Florence Lee was born on March 12, 1888 in Jamaica, Vermont, USA. She was an actress, known for Illusion of Love (1929), Tee Time (1921) and Fight and Win (1924). She was married to Dell Henderson. She died on September 1, 1962 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.

(March 12, 1858-September 1, 1962): American actress who appeared in the Charlie Chaplin film "City Lights" in 1931.

28. Kathleen Harrison

Actress | Scrooge

Although British actress Kathleen Harrison was born in 1892 in the Lancashire town of Blackburn, she was fondly known for her cockney characters throughout her career. Trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art she first married and lived overseas in Argentina for nearly eight years...

(February 23, 1892-December 7, 1995): British character actress who appeared as Mrs. Dilber in the 1951 film version of "A Christmas Carol", with Alastair Sim.

29. Irving Rapper

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Irving Rapper was one of the last surviving directors from the "Golden Age of Hollywood", passing away on Dec. 20, 1999, at the age of 101, four weeks shy of his 102nd birthday. Rapper is best remembered for the films he made with Bette Davis, including the classics Now, Voyager (1942) and The Corn...

(January 16, 1898-December 16, 1999): British director who helmed such films as "Now, Voyager" and "The Glass Menagerie."

30. Kurt Maetzig

Director | Das Kaninchen bin ich

Kurt Maetzig was born on January 25, 1911 in Berlin, Germany. He was a director and writer, known for The Rabbit Is Me (1965), Marriage in the Shadows (1947) and Ernst Thälmann - Sohn seiner Klasse (1954). He was married to Bärbel and Yvonne Merin. He died on August 8, 2012 in Wildkuhl, ...

(January 25, 1911- ): East German film director who's career spanned thirty years. From 1954-64, Maetzig was the first president of the German University of Cinema.

31. Pola Illéry

Actress | Le tigre du Bengale

Pola Illéry was an exotic silent film star in France and Romania during the 1920s and made a modest transition to sound films in the 1930s. She was known for portraying sexually liberated women and was considered the most glamorous film star in Romania. After she left films feeling she achieved her...

(October 15, 1908- ): Silent film actress active in European cinema during the twenties and thirties. This woman may not have made it to 100, but all indications point to her being alive.

32. Jean Delannoy

Director | La symphonie pastorale

Jean Delannoy began his film career in the 1920s as an actor. By the 1930s he had switched careers and become an editor, then a short-subjects director. By the mid-'30s he was a full-fledged director, and soon garnered a reputation as a sensitive, understated craftsman with a thorough command of ...

(January 12, 1908-June 18, 2008): French film director who won a Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946 for his film "La Symphonie Pastorale."

(April 26, 1902-January 5, 2005): French film editor and director who helmed fifteen films between 1929 and 1950.

34. Risto Orko

Producer | Herrat täysihoidossa

Risto Orko was born on September 15, 1899 in Rauma, Finland as Risto Eliel William Nylund. He was a producer and production manager, known for Herrat täysihoidossa (1933), Aktivistit (1939) and VMV 6 (1936). He was married to Liisa Orko. He died on September 29, 2001 in Helsinki, Finland.

(September 15, 1899-September 29, 2001): Referred to by some as the "Last Finnish Film Tycoon", Orko was head of production and chief director at the Suomi Filmi film company during the 1930s. He eventually became its CEO in 1945.

35. Rosa Albach-Retty

Actress | Geld auf der Straße

Rosa Albach-Retty was born on December 26, 1874 in Hanau, Hesse, Germany as Rosa Clara Franziska Helene Retty. She was an actress, known for Geld auf der Straße (1930), Episode (1935) and Hotel Sacher (1939). She was married to Karl Albach. She died on August 26, 1980 in Baden, Lower Austria,...

(December 26, 1874-August 26, 1980): German actress who's career spanned from 1890s stage work to her last film appearance in 1956. She was also the grandmother of famed actress Romy Schneider (1938-1982.)

36. Liane Haid

Actress | Marquis d'Eon, der Spion der Pompadour

Liane Haid was a prima ballerina, dancer, singer, stage and film actress. As a child, she studied voice and dancing and played at the Viennese Open Ballet. She worked in Budapest and Vienna as a dancer. On stage, she was in Berlin and Vienna. She also made close to a hundred movies - silents and ...

(August 16, 1895-November 28, 2000): Mentioned by some as "Austria's first film star", Haid was a pin-up girl, dancer and actress during the 1920s and 30s. She escaped the Nazis in 1942 and quietly made her last film appearance in 1953's Die fünf Karnickel.

37. Otakar Vávra

Writer | Kladivo na carodejnice

Otakar Vávra was born on February 28, 1911 in Hradec Kralove, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. He was a writer and director, known for Witchhammer (1970), Romance pro kridlovku (1967) and Dny zrady (1973). He died on September 15, 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic.

(February 28, 1911- ): Czechoslovakian film director who helmed over fifty films from 1931 to 2003. He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2011.