If we seniors are looking for over-60 personalities to entertain us, we don’t have far to look. Whether it’s in film or television, we seniors are well-represented. Talent and experience are a winning combination when it comes to acting and entertaining audiences of all ages.
Here are five favourites and a bit of their professional histories.
This lovely actress began her career in the lofty realm of Shakespeare where she played Cleopatra. Born in 1945, Helen is still a compelling figure on stage and screen. She worked for years with the Peter Brook Theatre Company. Some remember her best as a British spy in the film Red Z. Helen has been awarded many honors for her excellent work in theatre and film including three Golden Globes and four BAFTAS. She has also gained recognition for her role on television including her portrayal of police detective Jane Tennison on Prime Suspect. One of her latest projects is a reprisal of her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. She has been nominated for an Olivier Award for this latest work.
Born in 1937, this elegant African American actor has gained great respect for his sensitive portrayals of a variety of characters including his role as Nelson Mandela in Invictus. Freeman’s deep voice have gained him roles in both film and as a narrator in movie and television roles. Some of his most celebrated works include leads in Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption. Some later films include The Bucket List and Bruce Almighty. Freeman impresses with his ability to play a wide variety of characters with grace and ease.
Dame Judy Dench was born in 1934. Her career spans seven decades, having begun her professional work in 1957. Dench, like Mirren, did a lot of Shakespeare in her early career and played the roles of Ophelia, Juliet and Lady Macbeth. Not primarily a singer, she got rave reviews for her lead in Cabaret in 1968. She worked for both the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has done years of successful work on television and is remembered for A Fine Romance and As Time Goes By. Two or her most famous films are Shakespeare in Love and Chocolat. A recent film receiving high acclaim is Philomena.
Michael Douglas, eldest of four sons born to actor father Kirk Douglas was born in 1944. He is a well-honored actor and producer and is the recipient of two academy awards and four golden globes. One of his first roles was in The Experiment done in 1969. He also played on the television series, The Streets of San Francisco. Noted films include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and his role as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. He played opposite Glenn Close in the unforgettable Fatal Attraction. Other films of note include Wonder Boys, The Jewel of the Nile, and Romancing the Stone. In 2013 Douglas played Liberace in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra.
Margaret Natalie Smith was born in 1934. She made her stage debut in 1952 and has played in over fifty films. She was awarded the title of Dame in 1990 for her services to the performing arts. Her first major film was Nowhere to Go, a crime film which earned Smith high marks. Another favorite with audiences was her portrayal of Desdemona in Othello in 1965. For this performance she received her first of six academy award nominations. Some of her most memorable film include The Pride of Miss Jean Brody, Death on the Nile, A Room with a View and Gosford Park. She has earned seven BAFTA awards, two academy awards, three golden globe and three Emmys. More recently Smith played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter series and Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey. Smith also had a role in the 2012 movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.