Eileen Essell has to be one of the oldest film débutantes of all time. She became a stage actress when she left university and spent thirteen years in theatrical productions in Britain. However, when she was in her early thirties she got married to a writer and abandoned her career to raise her son. She did later earn a living as a teacher at the Central School of Music and Drama and the City University. After the death of her husband in 1998, a family friend lured her back on stage for a play he was producing and an agent just happened to be in the audience. He was keen to represent her and got her employment in television. An appearance in the film Duplex (2003) led to her becoming a Hollywood actress in her 80s with roles in Finding Neverland (2004), The Producers (2005) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).