F. Murray Abraham
Born in Pennsylvania and brought up in Texas, Abraham was from a simple household — his dad was a mechanic and his mother, a housewife.
In his teens, the then rebellious Abraham became involved with a local gang, before he moved to New York City to study acting. While he had a steady stream of work, the majority was minor roles in films, commercials, or voice-over work.
About to give up and quit acting altogether at age 45, he finally got his chance to shine in the role of Antonio Salieri in the movie “Amadeus.” His career has only gotten better since, with Abraham now 78 years old and a regular cast member on Showtime’s thriller series, “Homeland.”
[Image: Orion Pictures]
2005 was a good year for Steve Carell. After six years on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, he finally got the big break that would take him into the comedy actor hall of fame.
At the age of 42, he was given the leading role in Judd Apatow’s comedy flick, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” where he plays a socially awkward man whose colleagues find out about his inability with women, and head off on a mission to get him laid.
It was Carell’s first, big starring role, which brought on a stream of success, including his role on the now famous US version of “The Office” that same year.
He was even nominated for the title of “America’s Funniest Man Alive” by Life magazine.
[Image: Universal Pictures]
Before “Friday Night Lights” shot her to fame, the singer, actress and producer was best known for smaller TV roles. This included a regular spot on ABC’s sitcom “Spin City,” in which she played Nikki Faber from 1996 - 2000, opposite Michael J. Fox.
But, Britton’s real breakthrough moment didn’t arrive until 2006, when she took on the role of Tami Taylor on “Friday Night Lights.” She was 39 at the time.
Just a few days ago, it was also announced that the now 51-year-old Britton would be starring in Bravo’s true crime series, “Dirty John.”
While Guillermo Del Toro and “The Shape Of Water” walked away with the Best Director and Best Picture gongs at this year’s Academy Awards, Michael Stuhlbarg was arguably the individual that deserved the most acclaim.
That’s because Stuhlbarg played a prominent part in three of the Best Picture nominees, appearing in “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Post” and the eventual winner. It has been a long journey for Stuhlbarg, though, who only made his big-screen debut in 1998’s “A Price Above Rubies” at the age of 30.
Before then Stuhlbarg had worked his work up through the theater. But it was his role as Dr Larry Gopnik in the Coen Brothers’ 2009 dark comedy “A Serious Man” that brought him to the movie industry’s attention, and since then his incredible CV has included “Boardwalk Empire,” “Hugo,” “Lincoln,” “Steve Jobs,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Arrival” and “Doctor Strange.”
[Image: Focus Features]
Samuel L. Jackson
Jackson is mostly known by audiences for his multiple collaborations with the legendary director, Quentin Tarantino, which has included parts in "The Hateful Eight," “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained.
But before he achieved critical acclaim, Jackson was heavily involved in civil rights and black power movements; he was even an usher at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral.
He also worked as a social worker, before eventually rising to acting fame at the age of 43, in director Spike Lee’s movie, “Jungle Fever,” in 1991.
[Image: Universal Pictures]
Although we can’t imagine a day where Morgan Freeman didn’t soothe minds across the world with his velvety voice, he actually didn’t get shoot to fame until 1989.
At the age of 52, Freeman was cast as the chauffeur, Hoke Colburn, in “Driving Miss Daisy.” The movie turned Freeman into an overnight sensation.
Following this success, he was offered bigger roles in critically acclaimed films such as “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Invictus” and “Seven.”
To show his range, Freeman also appeared in box office hits, such as “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Deep Impact” and “Now You See Me.”
For his performance in “Million Dollar Baby”, he received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.
[Image: Warner Bros]
The original Golden Girl, Betty White (top right in the picture) is an institution with eight Emmy awards, three Screen Actors Guild awards and an Emmy award under her belt.
The star, now aged 96, defies all Hollywood age rules.
White didn’t catch her big break until age 51, relatively unheard of for female actors. She was cast as the “happy homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1973.
It would be yet another few years until she appeared as Rose Nylund on the cult TV show, “The Golden Girls,” in 1985 — a role White played for seven years.
Since then, White, known for her comic timing, has appeared in multiple blockbuster movies, such as “Lake Placid” and “The Proposal,” as well as receiving regular spots on TV shows.
Those of you looking for proof that the old proverb, ‘Good things come to those who wait,’ is still applicable today got just that earlier this year when Dorothy Steel made her big-screen debut in Black Panther as a Merchant Tribe Elder.
Not only was the Marvel blockbuster just Steel’s fifth IMDB credit, but she achieved this success just four years after starting her acting career at the age of 88.
Now 92, Steel was able to watch herself starring opposite Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan in the worldwide pop culture phenomenon, which has so far grossed over $1.244 billion worldwide.
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But that almost wasn’t the case, as Steel originally told her agent to turn down the offer because she had never heard of the “comic strip” movie that was after her, and she had no intention of learning the South African accent that they demanded.
It was only after Steel’s 26-year-old grandson had educated her on “Black Panther” and the importance of the film that she reconsidered. Steel auditioned again for the role, landed it, and thus created yet another reason for fans to both adore and be inspired by the Marvel blockbuster.
Steel isn’t the only actress to have found fame late in life. In fact, you can take a click through our gallery above to learn about seven other actors that prove it is never too late to make it in show businesses.
While, if you’re feeling down about your own career and fancy a change, our good friends over at the UK Domain have complied an extensive timeline of some of the world’s most successful people who also rose to fame later in their lives.
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