There’s a group of Hollywood celebrities who have seen it all — and that’s because they’ve been around for a long, long time. Meet Hollywood’s oldest and most prestigious stars, some of whom are over 100 years old!
From Harry Belafonte — the baby of the bunch, born in 1927 — all the way to Julie Gibson who was born in 1913 (before World War One!), these 16 pillars of Hollywood society stand to show that talent, grace and lots of luck are three of the main ingredients to a long-lasting, successful career.
Can you guess who makes the list? As of writing, all these stars are still alive and show no signs of stopping any time soon even if their careers have slowed down a bit. These are people to be treasured while still with us. Respect to each one of them.
1. Harry Belafonte: D.O.B. March 1, 1927.
Born in Harlem, Harry Belafonte had to deal with poverty and a very bumpy family life, according to Newsweek. He shot to fame as an actor in 1954 upon starring in Carmen Jones and musical fame followed shortly thereafter with hits like The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) and Jamaica Farewell.
2. James Lipton: D.O.B. Sept. 19, 1926.
James Lipton, the host of Inside the Actor’s Studio got his break, according to Portable Press, in the 1940s, on the radio version of The Lone Ranger (he played the Lone Ranger’s nephew). In the 2000s he played a recurring role on Arrested Development.
3. Tony Bennett: D.O.B. Aug. 3, 1926.
According to Axs, Tony Bennett first found success in 1951 with his hit “Because Of You.” Bennett grew up in the depression and served as an Infantry Rifleman in World War II — even helping liberate a concentration camp in Landsberg, Germany. Early in his career, Bennett was a singing waiter at a number of Italian restaurants in his native Queens.
4. Mel Brooks: D.O.B. June 28, 1926.
Mel Brooks was born not that far away from Tony Bennett — in neighboring Brooklyn just a couple of months before. According to Mental Floss, he was born Melvin James Kaminsky and fell in love with entertainment when he was taken to see a Broadway musical as a child. At just 14 years old, Brooks was making money as a percussionist in the Catskills.
5. Cloris Leachman: D.O.B. April 30, 1926.
Cloris Leachman’s impressive resume includes gems like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Twilight Zone, Phyllis and The Facts of Life. According to MeTV, Leachman, as Miss Chicago, placed in the Top 16 at the 20th Miss America pageant. She also has eight Primetime Emmy Awards — more than any other actor.
6. David Attenborough: D.O.B. April 9, 1926.
British-born Sir David Attenborough is considered a national treasure in his homeland where Attenborough’s status is a wildlife documentary creator and presenter with no peers. According to NatGeoKids, Attenborough — who was knighted in 1985 — is the only person to have won a BAFTA for shows made in black and white, color, HD and 3D.
7. Dick Van Dyke: D.O.B. Dec. 13, 1925.
According to Country Living, Dick Van Dyke was already over 6-foot by the time he was 11. Van Dyke’s breakout role on his self-titled TV show almost went to Johnny Carson, but he snatched it at the last minute. People who knew him seemed to always think he was a born entertainer; in 1944, his high school newspaper wrote "Danville High School wishes you the best of luck, Dick Van Dyke, and hopes your post-war career will see you right at the top of the entertainment world."
8. Angela Lansbury: D.O.B. Oct. 16, 1925.
Born in London in 1925, Angela Lansbury moved with her family to the US in the 1940s to escape the war before moving to Ireland in the 1970s. According to MeTv, Lansbury landed her first movie at just 17 (Gaslight), and that was immediately followed by an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Role. Lansbury also holds the record for most Emmy losses ... she’s had 18 nominations but has won zero.
9. Cicely Tyson: D.O.B. Dec. 18, 1924.
According to Biography, Cicely Tyson was born in NYC in 1924 but some think it was 1933. Regardless, her stunning career has seen three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, and in 1977 she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. It began at 18 when she left a typing job to become a model and upon getting her first acting gig, Tyson was kicked out of her family house by a religious mother who thought it was sinful.
10. Eva Marie Saint: D.O.B. July 4, 1924.
According to Brittanica, Eva Marie Saint began her career as a radio actress in the 1940s slowly making the transition to Broadway, TV and later, film. It was her turn as Marlon Brando’s sister in On The Waterfront that led to an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She’s also been acting well into the 21st century with appearances in films such as Superman Returns.
11. Bob Barker. D.O.B. Dec. 12, 1923.
The former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, was a fighter pilot during World War II. According to Throwbacks, Barker is also a big animal lover who has donated millions to advocacy groups over the years and was the guy responsible for The Price Is Right no longer giving away fur coats as prizes. He’s won 19 Daytime Emmy Awards.
12. Carl Reiner: D.O.B. March 20, 1922.
Legendary funny man Carl Reiner was born in the Bronx to a watchmaker and a homemaker. According to CNN, Reiner has won 12 of 20 Primetime Emmy Nominations and one of eight Grammy award nominations. He credits President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his break into show business thanks to a government-funded drama class he took after serving in World War II. He hit Broadway for the first time in 1948.
13. Betty White: D.O.B. Jan. 17, 1922.
From legendary funny man to legendary funny woman, Betty White is just a few months older than Carl Reiner. Betty was born in Oak Park, Illinois and, according to Mental Floss, holds the Guinness World Record of Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female) for her over 70 years of work. She maintains that had she not gone into acting she would loved to have been a zookeeper.
14. Kirk Douglas: D.O.B. Dec. 9, 1916.
Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in New York, the son of immigrants. According to ReelRundown, he changed his name to Kirk Douglas when he began attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. He fought in World War II, won two Academy Awards and fathered Michael Douglas.
15. Olivia de Havilland: D.O.B. July 1, 1916.
The star of Gone With The Wind, Olivia de Havilland found her big break acting in a local theater production where she was spotted by a movie director. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she helped take down the old studio system in 1944 when she sued to get out of her contract with Warner — and won. According to TVOverMind, de Havilland had a public feud with her sister Joan Fontaine, but it was the feud between de Havilland and FX over their series Feud: Bette and Joan that took her to court again in 2017 when she sued over claims of infringement of common law right of publicity, false light and unjust enrichment.
16. Julie Gibson: D.O.B. September 6, 1913.
According to IMDB, Julie Gibson was born on September 6, 1913 in Grant County, Washington. Gibson made a name for herself as a recurring actress to perform with The Three Stooges. According to The Lewiston Tribune, Gibson began her career singing and ended it in 1979 with her last screen credit in Hot Rod.