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« Oscars vs. Blockbusters? No, It Isn't That Simple. | Main | Elizabeth Banks' 2015 World Domination Tour Continues. Next Stop Venice »
Monday
Jul272015

200 Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note 

In December 2013 we first starting publishing a list of the Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note. The comments were more robust than any other post in the blogs history... pages and pages of comments. Over the years Olivia de Havilland, one of our all time favorite movie stars, replaced Luise Rainer as the poster girl for Oscars-are-forever immortality, but the list is not meant as a "who goes next?" morbidity but a celebration of talent. So send out telepathic waves of appreciation to these talents while they're still with us. Rent one of their movies! [DISCLAIMER: Not all screen actors who are old enough for this list are here, but we were as thorough as we could be when it came to people with notable careers. Apologies if we missed someone you love!]

The list is updated as of 3/1/2018 and now located here. 

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Reader Comments (173)

I heart this post so much! I also love that two of these women (Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson) got this year's Kennedy Center Honor!!!

Random Fact about Mary Carlisle: she is the oldest living person to have appeared in a Silent Movie. Fay McKenzie, however, had a film that was made chronologically before Carlisle's, but Carlisle is older.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Also, Carlisle is the last living WAMPAS Baby Star.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Wow, I was just researching #200, Inga Swenson, yesterday (and wishing Benson was available to stream somewhere - it's such a great forgotten show of the '80s). Thank you for compiling this wonderful list!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I can hardly believe that Cicely Tyson was almost 50 when she made 'Sounder' and 90 now. She looks 20 years younger than that.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Gena <3

Could anyone in this world giver her another killer role, like, you know, Emmanuelle Riva in Amour?

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Cal -- you'd think so. filmmakers are failing us.

July 27, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nos. 98 and 170 are Drusilla's parents...

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

This was a truly wonderful post. The memories of some amazing performances by some great actors came flooding back. I can't believe to this day the Academy STILL has not honored Doris Day with a honorary Oscar!! It's really crazy.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Great post! It's nice to see so many terrific performers are still around.

Love the inclusion of Connie Sawyer who I first noticed as the blackmailing madame in the Susan Hayward prostitute to Governor 60's melodrama Ada. I've read different interviews with her online and the woman has done pretty much everything there is to do in show business and she's still going! Amazing.

I recently saw a documentary on Baby Peggy on TCM called The Elephant in the Room which was fascinating since it covered her whole life not just her brief star period and they were able to interview her which added extra depth.

I've read Lee Grant's autobiography. It was quite engrossing, she talks in depth about her blacklisting, and the ridiculous hoops she had to jump through to have her name removed and the entirety of the rest of her career in both acting and directing.

Within the last month I also read Kaye Ballard's bio "How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years". It was so much fun and rich with memories of a kind of show biz that really doesn't exist anymore, which having read her book is obviously a real loss.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Love to see Silvia Pinal on this list. To anyone who has not seen her work, especially the 3 films she made with Buñuel, should do it as fast as is humanly possible.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFernando Moss

Paul Outlaw--Wait! What? You blew my mind. How did I not know that considering I was a huge fan of that weird sci-fi show filmed with a fuzzy filter, and Buffy?

Wow-since I just watched Working Girl, that pic of Tippi looks like Melanie got lost, and then her picture got posted everywhere with the words "age progression" underneath.

And damn, when did Gigi, Pepper, and Trevor Graydon get to be in their 80s? Gawd.

Thanks for this fun post!

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Amazing how most of the cast of the old 'Dick Van Dyke Show' are still around; Carl Reiner, Rose Marie, Dick Van Dyke, Ann Morgan Guilbert and the "baby", Mary Tyler Moore. I can't think of a early 60's show that could even match that number of surviving players.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGian

Cicely Tyrson looks so much younger it's jaw-dropping ...

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Barbara Bain and Martin Landau were on the original Mission Impossible. I always thought of her as an American Mrs Peel

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie19

I love you.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

A lovely lovely list.
Well done. Very proud of you.

Some additional names to consider:
Shep Houghton - born June 4 1914.
Information on his career here: http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/last-great-nobodies/

Irwin Corey - born July 29 1914
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irwin_Corey

Jean Rouverol - born July 8 1916.
Blacklisted actress.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Rouverol

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter@DialMForMovies

Betty White MUST be given Kennedy Center Honors soon. Let's petition this! We haven't got much time left people, she's 93 goddamit.

And it's a total travesty that Gena Rowlands have never won an Oscar. A Woman Under the Influence is the single best acting performance ever. Please give her an Honorary Oscar at the very least. Wake up Hollywood!

"Tippi Hedren (1/19/30), feathered Hitchcock heroine & Mother O' Melanie. Which is scarier?" I'm dead. The latter is decidedly much scarier nowadays.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFadhil

Well done, and thank you! What a delightful read.

I love that all of the age brackets read "...years young" *except* Cicely Tyson's ("90 years old")...and she may be the most youthful looking of all! LOL

Has it really been 12 years since Gene Hackman and Sean Connery both retired? Wow. It's a shame that Welcome to Mooseport and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had to be, respectively, their swan song, but I guess another Unforgiven or The Untouchables just wasn't in the cards.

Anyway, long may they live and reign!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

P.S. "Tippi Headren, feathered Hitchcock heroine & Mother O' Melanie. Which is scarier?" FTW!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

@ Leslie: In my parents' house, Mission Impossible Barbara Bain was considered the '60s incarnation of Lauren Bacall.

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Thank you so much for all this work! A Long and Wonderful Memory Lane!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

"Emmanuelle Riva: Victim of Jennifer Lawrence Larceny"
LOL

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Maureen O'Hara - all I can see is her standing on the stepladder in a green dress with that beautiful red hair in Parent Trap. Stunning!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn K.

Pam, Trevor Graydon! I must have seen that movie 20 times LOL

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Don't forget Steven Hill was the cornerstone of classic Law & Order for a decade!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLimbsKing

Get it, Cicely! Good black don't crack, baby!

Steven Hill is always that "Law & Order" guy to me.

I wouldn't have guessed that Norman Lloyd was 100! That's insane. He certainly didn't seem that old in "Trainwreck."

I really was wondering about George Gaynes recently. He's been in so much as a similar kind of acting presence. Loved, loved, loved him in "Tootsie"!

I can't imagine how much of a mess I'm going to be when some of these legends pass. Betty White! Miss De Havilland! Angela Lansbury! Sidney Poitier! Dick Van Dyke! And on and on.

July 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDorian

Shouldn't Nancy Davis Reagan (born 1921) be on this list?

July 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoberto

I would pay good money to see any number of these actors in a big-screen production worthy of their talents and legends that doesn't sideline them as grumpy or eccentric parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents -- something that doesn't solely or mainly revolve around their age.

And I'll tell you that watching MeTV regularly has given me the biggest retroactive crushes on some of them too.

July 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Other French icons missing : Suzy Delair actress and singer (born in 1917) and Micheline Presle (born in 1922) from Falbalas

August 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPascal Le Duff

I love your soundbites for the actors, especially Debbie Reynolds (#179), but poor Robert Vaughn (#193).

August 3, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRalph

As an eighty-six year old film buff, they were all seen and remembered with few exceptions...and all loved.

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Beall

Dennis Beall -- happy to hear it!

August 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

did you leave nancy davis Reagan off the list?

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermichael grow

I might add Elena Verdugo (4/20/1925): 1940s Universal horrors mainstay, gorgeous as the Orange Girl in "Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), and famous as Consuelo, receptionist to 1970s TV "Marcus Welby, M.D."

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDolores

Noel Neill of The Adventures of Superman was born in 1920, Jack Larson and Phyllis Coates are getting up there also.

August 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Peck

Hey, what about Andy Griffith! His show was a classic!

August 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

Annie -- unfortunately Andy Griffith died three years ago.

Michael Grow - not intentionally!

Dolores & Pascall -- thanks for the suggestions. On the next update i shall add.

August 18, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Angie Dickinson (#172) is on the list ("Policewoman, Tough Broad") but how about her equally tough, slightly older co-star, the wonderful Earl Holliman (9-11-1928), also in "Forbidden Planet", "Giant", "The Rainmaker" (Golden Globe support winner).

August 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLance D.

What an awesome walk down Memory Lane! Thank you so much for this beautiful post and the many, many hours it took to put it together.
Your efforts have brought many smiles and warm feelings to more folks than you can imagine.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

September 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMolly McKnight

You might consider including two fine British film actresses: Sheila Sim (1922) and Muriel Pavlov (1921) and one French one: Madeleine Lebeau (1923) on your amazing list.

September 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoberto

Male Beauties: One-Hit Wonder Richard Davalos (11/05/1930) who played James Dean's brother in "East of Eden" (1955), father of actress Elyssa Davalos, grandfather of actress Alexa Davalos.
Fair-haired, blue-eyed John Ericson (9/23/1926), "Bad Day At Black Rock" (1955), "Pretty Boy Floyd" (1960), co-star to "Honey West" (1965) TV series, many other credits.
Dark-haired, blue-eyed William Reynolds, Douglas Sirk dramas, science-fiction classics, but best known for TV series, "The F.B.I." (1967-1974).

September 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

William Reynolds was born 12/9/1931.

September 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

Margaret Anne Mary "Mag" Mundy Born January 4, 1915 is still alive.

September 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMDJ

Sadly, Coleen Gray passed away on August 3, 2015 at 92. Also though, Lee and Lyn Wilde a.k.a "The Wilde Twins," were twin sisters who starred in a few musical and comedy films in the 1940's. They acted with Mickey Rooney in the "Andy Hardy" series, and were also part of Bob Crosby's big band during that time. They are both 93, as of now, born on October 9th and 10th, 1922.

October 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Lola Albright — most notably Edie Hart in Peter Gunn — is age 91 as of today (10/26/2015).

October 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve L

Renee Simonot Deneuve, French actress, 104 years young.
Born September 10, 1911
Mother of Catherine Deneuve
Grandmother of Christian Vadim and Chiara Mastroianni

November 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Cuesta

L.Q. Jones (8/19/1927): Battle Cry (1955), The Wild Bunch (1969), Casino (1995), all sorts of stuff.

November 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErik

Virginia McKenna born 1931
Petula Clark born 1932

December 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoberto

roberto -- added. thanks

December 20, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The British actress June Whitfield should be on here. Born November 11 1925, has just finished filming Absolutely Fabulous (the film version), has worked non-stop since the early fifties and star of numerous TV comedy series (and Carry On films). And she is still as fit as a fifty year old.

December 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndyB

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