Actors who look older than their actual ages (at least to me)

by harry_ryan92 | created - 28 May 2014 | updated - 15 Jun 2016 | Public

They look(ed) their age and then some!)

1. Walter Brennan

Actor | To Have and Have Not

In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and ...

I read in one of the tabloids that his face was attacked by mustard gas in WWI and that this accounted for his premature aged look. But since it was one of the supermarket tabs, I can't vouch for the story's authenticity.

2. Jim Backus

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Jim Backus was born James Gilmore Backus on February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was one of the few actors to do it all: radio, Broadway, movies, television and cartoons. After attending preparatory school in his hometown Cleveland, Backus enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, to ...

Was a decade younger than Natalie Schafer, who played Mrs. Howell to his Mr. Howell on "Gilligan's Isand".

3. Andy Clyde

Actor | Texas Masquerade

Andy Clyde's more than 40-year film career started on the vaudeville stages and music halls in his native Scotland in the 1920s. He made his way to Hollywood and began as an extra in Mack Sennett comedies, but he was soon moved up to featured player, usually the sidekick or second banana to the ...

Was playing grandfatherly types as far back as his 20s.

4. Victor Buono

Actor | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Larger than life, Laughtonesque, and with an eloquent, king-sized appetite for maniacal merriment, a good portion of the work of actor Victor Buono was squandered on hokey villainy on both film and television. Ostensibly perceived as bizarre or demented, seldom did Hollywood give this cultivated ...

Appeared on an episode of "Taxi" as Christopher Lloyd's father. They were both born in 1938. Featured several times on "Batman" as King Tut, it's hard to believe he was slightly younger than Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl.

5. Alan Napier

Actor | Marnie

Alan Napier was born on January 7, 1903 in Kings Norton, Worcestershire, England. Tall, distinguished-looking English character actor with aristocratic bearing and precisely modulated voice. A cousin of the former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, he studied at the Royal Academy of ...

6. Richard Deacon

Actor | The Birds

Richard Deacon was the bald, bespectacled character actor most famous for playing television producer Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) from 1961 to 1966. In the first season of that show he also continued to appear on the series he was already appearing on, Leave It to Beaver (1957), ...

7. Edgar Buchanan

Actor | Shane

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...

8. Whitman Mayo

Actor | Sanford and Son

Noted for portraying characters older than his actual age, Whitman Mayo was in his early 40s in the early 1970s when he first played the sexagenarian "Grady" on "Sandford & Son" -- a role that popularized the expression "Good Goobily Goop!" Nearly thirty years later his "Grady" role had just about ...

In "Sanford and Son" his character Grady was a retiree on Social Security. Whitman Mayo was only in his 40s when he played Grady.

9. William Conrad

Actor | Cannon

William Conrad became a television star relatively late in his career. In fact, the former Army Air Corps World War II fighter pilot began his screen career playing heavies. He was Max, one of The Killers (1946) hired to finish off Burt Lancaster in his dingy lodgings. He was the corrupt state ...

Looked the same in his 20s as he did in his 60s

10. Angela Lansbury

Actress | The Manchurian Candidate

British character actress, long in the United States. The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States as the Second World War began. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated ...

See above comment on Wm. Conrad

11. Margaret Hamilton

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Margaret Hamilton was born December 9, 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jennie and Walter Hamilton. She later attended Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and practiced acting doing children's theater while a Junior League of Cleveland member. Margaret had already built her resume with several...

12. 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...

Hard to believe he ever looked young

13. Art Carney

Actor | Harry and Tonto

Art Carney was born on November 4, 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York, USA as Arthur William Matthew Carney. He was an actor, known for Harry and Tonto (1974), Firestarter (1984) and Last Action Hero (1993). He was married to Jean Wilson Myers (remarried), Barbara Carney and Jean Wilson Myers. He died ...

14. Al Lewis

Actor | Super Scary Saturday

In the late 1920s, Lewis worked as a circus performer, but ultimately decided on college, earning a Ph.D. in child psychology from Columbia University. He taught school and wrote two children's books. In 1949, at the suggestion of a friend, Lewis turned to acting and joined the Paul Mann Actor's ...

15. Lewis Stone

Actor | The Sin of Madelon Claudet

By the time that he was 20, Lewis Stone had turned prematurely grey. He enlisted to fight in the Spanish American War and when he returned, he returned to be a writer. This turned to acting and he began to appear in films during the middle teens. His career was again interrupted by war as he served...

16. Vivian Vance

Actress | I Love Lucy

She was born Vivian Roberta Jones, with a brother and four sisters. After the family moved from Cherryvale to Independence, Kansas, she studied drama under Anna Ingleman and William Inge. Their next move, to Albuquerque, New Mexico brought her to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, which provided her ...

17. Carroll O'Connor

Actor | All in the Family

Carroll was born in Manhattan and raised in Forest Hills, a heavily Jewish community in New York City's borough of Queens. After graduating from high school in 1942, O'Connor joined the Merchant Marines and worked on ships in the Atlantic. In 1946, he enrolled at the University of Montana to study ...

18. Frank Morgan

Actor | The Wizard of Oz

Jovial, somewhat flamboyant Frank Morgan (born Francis Wuppermann) will forever be remembered as the title character in The Wizard of Oz (1939), but he was a veteran and respected actor long before he played that part, and turned in outstanding performances both before and after that film. One of ...

19. Willis Bouchey

Actor | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Willis Bouchey appeared in almost 150 movies and television shows over a 30-year period from 1951 to 1979. He was one of those wonderful character actors who would be a crooked judge in one film and a humorous cavalry officer in another. He appeared in many of John Ford's movies as well as James ...

20. Keenan Wynn

Actor | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The talented scion of a show-business family, Keenan Wynn's father was the great burlesque and television buffoon Ed Wynn while his maternal grandfather, Frank Keenan, earned distinction on the other side of the entertainment ladder as a Shakespearean tragedian. Mother Hilda Keenan was also a minor...

21. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

22. David White

Actor | Bewitched

American stage actor who appeared frequently on television and occasionally but impressively in films. A Marine Corps veteran of the Second World War, he worked on Broadway and on tour in stage productions after the war. In the late 1950s, he became an increasingly familiar face on American ...

23. Irene Ryan

Actress | The Beverly Hillbillies

Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Irene Ryan was already an established vaudeville, radio and movie actress, though not as famous prior to her television stint. She accompanied Bob Hope on his famous military tours and she was known as "the gal who makes...

24. Frank Cady

Actor | Rear Window

Although Frank Cady's most famous role would be that of general-store owner Sam Drucker, one of the less nutty residents of Hooterville in both Green Acres (1965) and Petticoat Junction (1963), he had a history as a film, stage and television actor long before those shows. Cady also appeared on ...

25. Edward Platt

Actor | North by Northwest

Forever and fondly remembered as Don Adams' foil on the popular Mel Brooks/Buck Henry spy series Get Smart (1965), character actor Ed Platt (also billed as Edward C. Platt) had been around for two decades prior to copping that rare comedy role. Born in Staten Island, New York, he inherited an ...

26. Lionel Barrymore

Actor | Key Largo

Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography. In 1944, he joined ASCAP, and composed "Russian Dances", "Partita", "Ballet Viennois", "The Woodman and the Elves", "Behind the Horizon...

27. Lorne Greene

Actor | Bonanza

Lorne Greene was born Lyon Himan "Chaim" Green on February 12, 1915, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He began acting while attending Canada's Queen's University, and after graduation got a job in radio broadcasting. His rich, deep, authoritarian voice quickly propelled him to prominence as Canada's top...

Pa Cartwright was approximately a dozen years older than his "sons", Adam (Pernell Roberts) and Hoss (Dan Blocker). In the film "Earthquake" he played Ava Gardner's father, though only six years separated them.

28. Hans Conried

Actor | Peter Pan

Hans Conried was born in Baltimore and raised both there and in New York City. He studied acting at Columbia University, and played many major classical roles onstage. After having been a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre Company, he was heard as Prof. Kropotkin on the radio show "My Friend ...

Played Danny Thomas's uncle on "Make Room For Daddy" despite being older than Danny. Also played WWI fighting ace "Wrong-Way" Corrigan on "Gilligan's Island" in 1964.

29. Beulah Bondi

Actress | It's a Wonderful Life

Character actress Beulah Bondi was a favorite of directors and audiences and is one of the reasons so many films from the 1930s and 1940s remain so enjoyable, as she was an integral part of many of the ensemble casts (a hallmark of the studio system) of major and/or great films, including The Trail...

30. Broderick Crawford

Actor | All the King's Men

Broderick Crawford is best remembered for two roles: his Oscar-winning turn as Willie Stark in All the King's Men (1949), and as Chief Dan Mathews on the syndicated TV series Highway Patrol (1955). He was also memorable as Judy Holliday's boisterous boyfriend in Born Yesterday (1950).

He was born ...

31. Lee J. Cobb

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the...

Played Frank Sinatra's father even though he was only a couple years older than Frank. In "Golden Boy" he played Wm. Holden's aging father although he was still in his 20s.

32. Rod Steiger

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

Rodney Stephen Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, to Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, both vaudevillians. He was of German and Austrian ancestry. After his parents' divorce, Steiger was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He dropped out of Westside High school at...

33. Fred Clark

Actor | Sunset Blvd.

This popular, baggy-eyed, bald-domed, big lug of a character actor had few peers when called upon to display that special "slow burn" style of comedy few others perfected. But perfect he did -- on stage, film and TV. In fact, he pretty much cornered the market during the 50s and 60s as the dour, ...

34. David Janssen

Actor | The Green Berets

David Janssen was born David Harold Meyer in 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska, to Berniece Mae (Graf) and Harold Edward Meyer, a banker. He was of German, and some Swiss-German and Scottish-Irish, descent. David took the surname of his stepfather, Eugene Janssen. The Janssen family settled in Hollywood ...

35. Laird Cregar

Actor | I Wake Up Screaming

Seemingly suave, cultivated actor by nature, definitely huge in both talent and girth, and capable of playing much older than he was, Hollywood of the early '40s tragically lost Laird Cregar before it could fully comprehend on how to best utilize his obvious gifts. He was born Samuel Laird Cregar ...

36. Will Wright

Actor | The Blue Dahlia

One of those familiar character actors who seems to have been born old, Will Wright specialized in playing crusty old codgers, rich skinflints, crooked small-town politicians and the like. A former newspaper reporter in San Francisco, he switched careers and entered vaudeville, then took to the ...

37. John Anderson

Actor | Psycho

A tall, sinewy, austere-looking character actor with silver hair, rugged features and a distinctive voice, John Robert Anderson left an impressive legacy of literally hundreds of film and TV credits. Immensely versatile, he was at his best submerging himself in the role of historical figures (he ...

Thanks to the viewer who viewer who recommended this actor.

38. Burl Ives

Actor | The Big Country

Burl Ives was one of six children born to a Scottish-Irish farming family. He first sang in public for a soldiers' reunion when he was age 4. In high school, he learned the banjo and played fullback, intending to become a football coach when he enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College ...

39. Abe Vigoda

Actor | The Godfather

Tall, dour-faced and slouch-shouldered character actor Abe Vigoda proved himself in both gritty dramatic roles, and as an actor with wonderful comedic timing.

Vigoda was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Lena (Moses) and Samuel Vigoda, both Russian Jewish immigrants. His father was a tailor on the ...

40. Redd Foxx

Actor | Sanford and Son

Redd Foxx began doing stand-up comedy on the infamous "Chitlin' Circuit" in the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx was one of the premier "blue humor" comedians. Blue humor was very dirty, too dirty for white audiences. For years his party albums were not available in white record stores. In the 1960s his ...

He was only in his 50s when he played Fred Sanford.

41. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

42. Wilford Brimley

Actor | Cocoon

Wilford Brimley was born on September 27, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA as Anthony Wilford Brimley. He is known for his work on Cocoon (1985), The Thing (1982) and Hard Target (1993). He has been married to Beverly Berry since October 31, 2007. He was previously married to Lynne Brimley.

43. Jo Van Fleet

Actress | East of Eden

Jo Van Fleet was born on December 30, 1914 in Oakland, California. She established herself as a notable dramatic actress on Broadway over several years, winning a Tony Award in 1954 for her skill in a difficult role, playing an unsympathetic, even abusive character, in Horton Foote's "The Trip to ...



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