Search

iPOP Insight: The Top 10 Actors Who Found Success Later in Life

It's never too late to make a difference in this world. It's only a matter of developing the right attitude and staying committed.

Here is a list of successful actors and actresses who prove that sometimes it takes a little longer to reach the top of your career.


1. Morgan Freeman

Freeman was 50 years old when he starred as a pimp in the 1987 film "Street Smart," and the performance led to his first Oscar nomination. Freeman further gained fame in "Driving Miss Daisy" and stunned Hollywood with his poignant performance in the 1994 film "The Shawshank Redemption." Finally, with an iconic voice, Freeman won the Academy Award for his role in "Million Dollar Baby" in 2004.


2. Samuel L Jackson

Now known as one of the most entertaining actors in Hollywood, Jackson made his acting debut in 1972. It was until 1994, when he featured in "Pulp Fiction" at 43 years, that he became internationally recognized. Till to date, no other actor has equaled Jackson's box office success.


3. Taraji P Henson

Over the last few decades, Taraji has become one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood. She made her break in 2001 at age 31 when she appeared in John Singleton's "Baby Boy." After that, Taraji has risen to play strong leads in films such as " Hidden Figures" and " Empire " TV drama series "Empire."


4. Steve Carell

Before his big break, Steve did not get any major roles. His career took a turn when he received a role in the series "The Office" when he was 43 years old.


5. Judi Dench

Judi Dench was primarily a stage performer before she got her breakthrough role in "Golden Eye", where she played James Bond's boss in 1998 at age 61. Later on, she won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for "Shakespeare in Love."


6. Kathy Bates

Kathy began her acting career in 1963, but it was until she played in the 1990 horror film "Misery" that she got her Hollywood breakthrough. She was 42 years old at the time.


7. Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington is one of the best actresses of this generation, but her first big break did not happen until she starred in the TV series "Scandal" at 35 years.


8. Viola Davis

Viola Davis had appeared in many films before getting her breakthrough in 2008 when she received a role in"Doubt" at the age of 43. Davis got her first Oscar nomination for the film, which paved the way for her success. She later took on major roles in the 2015 TV drama series "How to Get Away with Murder", and the 2021 film "Suicide Squad".


9. Liam Neeson

When Liam was fresh out of university, he took a variety of casual jobs. After getting his first acting role at age 25, Liam had to wait until he was 40 years old to receive his break in the 1993 film "Schindler's List."


10. Alan Rickman

At the age of 26, Rickman decided to be an actor, but his talents were recognized in 1988 after starring in "Die Hard" at 42 years old. His fame skyrocketed when he played in the Harry Potter series.