Celebrities Who Got Late Success in Their Career


Many individuals lose their aspirations because they fear they're too old. In other words, how old do you have to be before you can say with certainty that you've missed out on the success? So, if you're in your twenties, you're likely a late bloomer, and that success is still on the horizon for you. However, this isn't always the case, especially in a society where it seems like everyone has a successful profession by the time they reach the age of 25.

To illustrate that it might take some time to achieve greatness, we at Bored Panda compiled a list of some of the world's most renowned and successful people. Check out their tales below to learn more about how to become famous in old age!

1. Alan Rickman

Famous for his portrayal of Professor Snape in Harry Potter, actor Alan Rickman began his career in unrelated sectors. Before becoming a well-known actor, he worked as a graphic designer. Rickman even founded a graphic design firm named "Graphiti" after he finished filming.

Rickman enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 26 to pursue a career in acting. After starring in Die Hard in 1988, when he was 42 years old, his abilities were finally appreciated. After playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films in 2001, he became a household name when he was 55 years old.

2. Stan Lee

Stan Lee, the legendary comic book writer, entered the field at seventeen. As an assistant in the comic book department for Timely Publications, he started the industry back in the 1980s. There were several bumps on the road for him even after being promoted from inkwell filler and eraser to department head. At the age of 39, in 1961, Stan Lee released his first comic book success.

3. Samuel L. Jackson

Known as one of the most successful performers, Samuel L. Jackson, 70, has appeared in more than 100 films. Samuel had a passion for acting since he was in his early twenties, but it wasn't until he was 46 that his performance in Pulp Fiction made him a household name.

4. Morgan Freeman

One of Hollywood's most admired actors, Morgan Freeman, has always wanted to be an actor, but he enlisted in the Air Force to become a jet pilot after high school. After leaving the Air Force, the actor had to work hard to establish himself as an actor. It wasn't until he was 50 that he had his first major role in the film Street Smart.

5. Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford struggled to support his family as a self-taught carpenter early in his career because he was dissatisfied with his jobs. However, he was able to earn a role in a Star Wars picture thanks to one of his previous appearances. Ford's career was launched at the age of 35 with the picture's success.

6. Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders, the guy behind the world's most popular fried chicken company, KFC, had difficulty finding work. Due to his multiple professions, he was always busy. When he was younger, he worked as an insurance salesman, a firefighter, and even a lawyer, all of which he was dismissed from.

When he opened a roadside shop serving fried chicken in the 1930s, the guy found his place and purpose. When Sanders was 62, he mastered his fried chicken recipe and built the first KFC location.

7. J. K. Rowling

The best-selling book series in history was born out of J.K. Rowling's struggle with melancholy and poverty and her need to provide for her kid following a divorce. Rowling began creating Harry Potter during this difficult time. When she was 32, the first book in the series was released in 1997, and it launched an incredible writing career for her.

8. Viola Davis

Viola Davis began her acting career in high school and acted in various films until landing her first major part in Doubt at the age of 43 in 2008. Even though she only appeared in one scene, Davis's performance was so strong that it earned her an Oscar nomination and helped launch her career.

9. Julia Child

Julia Child is most famous for her best-selling cookbooks and television program, but she didn't find cooking until she had already made several other adjustments. She was very terrible at cooking in her 30s. When she graduated, she immediately got a job as a copywriter, and she also served as a spy during World War II.

When she went to Cordon Bleu in 1948, everything was different. When she was 50, she published her first cookbook and began her career as a chef.

10. Jonathan Daniel Hamm

It was difficult for Jonathan Daniel Hamm, then a waiter, to break into the acting industry in the 1990s. Hamm has vowed to give up if he doesn't win by the time he's 30. Fortunately for the actor, he continued working as an actor after receiving a few offers. When he was 37, he got his big break playing Don Draper in Mad Men.

11. Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone was once forced to sleep on the streets as a struggling actor. He even starred in a pornographic film to make ends meet. When he was 30, he landed a starring part in the box office sensation Rocky.

12. Martha Stewart

Before her debut cookbook in 1982, Martha Stewart, a renowned entrepreneur, and media personality, had not achieved popularity. Stewart had previously worked on Wall Street as a stockbroker, but she left to start her own catering business. Since then, she has sold over a million copies of her books and an annual print run of more than 638 million and a variety of other media outlets.

13. Lupita Nyong'o

The short film East River, followed by the Kenyan television series Shuga, was Lupita Nyong'o's acting début in 2008. She went on to win an Academy Award for her portrayal in 12 Years an enslaved person, which she portrayed at the age of 31, at the end of 2009.

14. Ava DuVernay

Ava Duverney left her lucrative public relations agency to pursue a career in movies, and she hasn't looked back since. Her first documentary, This is the Life, was published in 2008 at the age of 35, and she went on to make Selma at the age of 42.

15. Liam Neeson

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Liam Neeson was predominantly a stage actor, but he appeared in a few movies, including Mel Gibson's "The Bounty," starring Anthony Hopkins. The lead character's performance in Steven Spielberg's 1993 movie "Schindler's List," released when Neeson was 42, was what made him a household figure in the entertainment world.

16. Betty White

Many people forget that Betty White had a career before her role as Rose on "The Golden Girls" because of the strong association with the lovable, ditzy character she played on the iconic television program. When she played Sue Ann on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" at 51, the actor's career took off in a big way. She has gained a cult following among millennials in the twenty-first century thanks to the online jokes she created about her uncanny childhood. A few weeks shy of her 100th birthday, she died on New Year's Eve, 2021.

17. Toni Morrison

Before she became a celebrated novelist, Toni Morrison worked as an English professor and ' editor at Random House Publishing. According to a Guardian interview, she used to get up at 4 a.m. to write, meeting with writing groups at Howard University regularly during this period.

At nearly 40, she released her debut novel, "The Bluest Eye," in 1970. When "Beloved" was released in 1987 at 56, she went from being a minor author to a household name in the literary world. A self-described trilogy, Morrison's first novel spent 25 weeks on the best-seller list, and the third one earned her the Nobel Prize in Literature—the first African American to receive the honor. In 2019, the author passed away at the age of 88.

18. Bryan Cranston

It wasn't until Bryan Cranston was 43 years old and already a late bloomer that he landed his first significant break-out role as Hal on "Malcolm in the Middle," a Fox TV sitcom that debuted in 2000. In reality, his career took off when "Breaking Bad," an AMC mega-hit, premiered when he was 51. Cranston portrayed Walter White, a chemistry instructor who became addicted to narcotics and spiraled into a life of crime and depravity.

19. Jane Lynch

"Best in Program" and "Glee" made Jane Lynch a cult film star at the age of 40, but she wasn't widely recognized until she was almost 50 for her part as Sue Sylvester, the high school cheerleader coach in the Fox show. "I know now that whatever is there in front of me is where I am intended to be," she said in an interview with the Huffington Post. This fear of missing out on the best of the present moment kept me from fully participating in it.

20. Ang Lee

For his work in films such as "Brokeback Mountain," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," and "Life of Pi," Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee has become a household name in Hollywood. That wasn't always the case, of course! Before "Sense and Sensibility," Lee made his first English-language film, "Crouching Tiger," at the age of 41 and was nominated for 10 Oscars for "Crouching Tiger."

21. Helen Mirren

Early in her career, British performer Helen Mirren was a well-known name in the theatre, but the rest of the world had never seen her face. It wasn't until her forties and playing Jane Tennison in "Prime Suspect" that she became a household name in the British television industry.

At the age of 61, she became a mega-celebrity after being nominated for two Academy Awards and winning the "Triple Crown of Acting" for her role in the 2006 drama "The Queen" (Tony, Emmy, and an Oscar). When she was young, a palm reader prophesied her destiny, according to Mirren: "He said, 'You will have success in your life—you will be extremely successful—but you will not reach your peak of achievement until later on in your life when you are 40... and he was correct."

22. Judi Dench

British actor Judi Dench, like Helen Mirren, was a huge success on stage but was virtually recognized outside of that arena until 1995's James Bond picture "Goldeneye," when she played M, the head of MI6. At the time, she was 60. After that, Dench's career took off, earning her seven nominations for Academy Awards, including one for Best Supporting Actress in a Leading Role at the age of 64.

23. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres, the world-famous daytime talk show presenter, didn't start "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" until she was 45 years old. "Ellen," her comedy, made her a household name in the United States before becoming the first openly homosexual character to appear on primetime television. However, the first episode of that show aired in 1998, when the comic was 36 years old.

24. Lucille Ball

In the same way that Lucille Ball is a household name, it's hard to think there was a period when she wasn't renowned. Then then, Ball did not appear in "I Love Lucy." "till the age of 40. As a result, she received 13 Emmy nominations (four of which she won), a Governor's Award, and a Golden Globe nomination.

25. Stan Lee

For those who don't know, legendary comic book writer Stan Lee, the guy responsible for much of Marvel Comics, didn't produce his first "Fantastic Four" comic until he was 38 years old. In the first place, he tried for more than a decade without much success and came near to giving up. After 20 years in the comic book business, Stan Lee was ready to quit when his wife famously advised him to try making a comic book that he would appreciate. It was the Fantastic Four that emerged as a result.

26. Vera Wang

When Vera Wang wasn't designing haute couture, she led two different lives. She began her career as an ice skater, training for the Olympics. As a result, she turned her attention to journalism and worked as an editor at Vogue for most of her twenties and thirties. Their successful career as an independent bridal designer began when she was 40 when she created her wedding gown. This was the turning point in her life.

Copyright © 2022