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Raigmore
10-12-2006, 19:11
The current thread about Kirk Douglas in the Classics forum set me wondering if he was the oldest surviving major Hollywood star - he turned 90 yesterday! But I have just found out that Richard Widmark, 2 years senior to KD, is also still alive. Any others you know of?

Wowbagger
10-12-2006, 19:17
Eli Wallach turned 91 a few days ago, and Ernest Borgnine will (hopefully) be 92 next month.

Raigmore
10-12-2006, 19:22
Eli Wallach turned 91 a few days ago, and Ernest Borgnine will (hopefully) be 92 next month.

Wow! I did not realise that Eli Wallach was that old! Still, Widmark turns 92 this coming Boxing Day and unless other names come up, seems to be leading the field.

Spooky_uk
10-12-2006, 19:45
Elvis.

Person A
10-12-2006, 19:55
The actress Anita Page is still very much alive (and 96).

Whether you consider her 'major' or not depends on how much you like silent cinema.

jackal
10-12-2006, 20:25
Karl Malden is still around - 94 according to IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001500/)

DrZarkov
10-12-2006, 20:57
For a Major (Dundee) star it has to be Charlton Heston

Raigmore
10-12-2006, 21:27
For a Major (Dundee) star it has to be Charlton Heston

Heston is only 83 years old, so he has got some guys ahead of him. Karl Malden certainly is a 'major' star, but I don't think we can consider Anita Page as one; she falls into the 'lesser known' category like Gloria Stuart (97 & still going strong) of the 'Titanic' fame.

So Malden should now be considered the Senior Statesman unless some other name comes up. Incidentally, Karl Malden probably holds the record for the longest surviving Hollywood marriage. He has been married to his wife - Mona Greenberg - for 68 years.

Aardvark
10-12-2006, 21:41
According to IMDB Olivia de Havilland is 90, and her sister Joan Fontaine is 89.

Must have good genes.

DrZarkov
10-12-2006, 22:06
Heston is only 83 years old, so he has got some guys ahead of him. Karl Malden certainly is a 'major' star, but I don't think we can consider Anita Page as one; she falls into the 'lesser known' category like Gloria Stuart (97 & still going strong) of the 'Titanic' fame.

So Malden should now be considered the Senior Statesman unless some other name comes up. Incidentally, Karl Malden probably holds the record for the longest surviving Hollywood marriage. He has been married to his wife - Mona Greenberg - for 68 years.

No not really Heston was a 'major' star... Malden was a good actor (helped by a fantastic nose) but imo cant really be considered the same when you consider the leading roles of the respective actors in their careers.

Raigmore
11-12-2006, 06:52
No not really Heston was a 'major' star... Malden was a good actor (helped by a fantastic nose) but imo cant really be considered the same when you consider the leading roles of the respective actors in their careers.

OK, even if you consider Charlton Heston as more 'major' than Malden, there are several other 'major' stars older than the former. Richard Widmark, Kirk Douglas, Joan Fontaine etc

DrZarkov
11-12-2006, 08:50
OK, even if you consider Charlton Heston as more 'major' than Malden, there are several other 'major' stars older than the former. Richard Widmark, Kirk Douglas, Joan Fontaine etc

I would agree with that

SIMON ADEBISI
11-12-2006, 17:06
What age is Paul Newman?

nwgarratt
11-12-2006, 17:58
What age is Paul Newman?

81

Rollo_Tomassi
11-12-2006, 21:57
Not a major Hollywood star, more of a character actor really, Charles Lane is 101. He's been in 329 films! :eek:

http://imdb.com/name/nm0485272/

spearce8
11-12-2006, 22:13
Joseph Wiseman (Dr No) is still around at 88, not really a Hollywood great though :)


Nice thread, got me thinking of British Film/TV Greats still with us.

thomasc1982
11-12-2006, 22:41
Tony Curtis is still alive (81)

corkbouy
11-12-2006, 23:52
Nice thread, got me thinking of British Film/TV Greats still with us.

Dickie Attenborough is 83, and Christopher Lee is 84.

Boink!
12-12-2006, 09:45
Eli Wallach turned 91 a few days ago, and Ernest Borgnine will (hopefully) be 92 next month.
I thought Ernest had died some time ago. Sorry, Mr. Borgnine. :(

Raigmore
12-12-2006, 10:33
I thought Ernest had died some time ago. Sorry, Mr. Borgnine. :(

Surprising that you should say that; I too thought the same for some reason.

Mickey Rooney, another actor that I thought had died, is doing well at 86.

BTW, Wikipedia states that Karl Malden is the oldest living male Hollywood star to date, and Charles Lane as the "oldest living American Actor". I suppose the difference is in the wording 'star'.

Summerisle
12-12-2006, 13:39
I thought Ernest had died some time ago. Sorry, Mr. Borgnine. :(

Borgnine was pictured, with Keith Carradine, at the Torino Film Festival (10-18/11/06), for a screening was printed in Screen International a couple of weeks or so ago!

DeadKenny
12-12-2006, 13:51
Surprising that you should say that; I too thought the same for some reason
Same here. I'd swear I remember a 'RIP' thread or a news article about it :thinking:

Raigmore
12-12-2006, 14:18
Same here. I'd swear I remember a 'RIP' thread or a news article about it :thinking:
I am sure that someone posted something to this effect by mistake - even if is not in these forums. I now recall that a few months ago - after reading this somewhere - I felt sorry for Borgnine and thought about his role as the Janitor in 'Gattaca'

But looking at his photo taken less than 2 months ago on the Wikipedia site, he looks hale and hearty as ever.

gZa
12-12-2006, 16:57
Just thought I'd mention Jack "Quincey" Klugman's (84) still knocking about too! :)

SIMON ADEBISI
12-12-2006, 16:59
Christopher Lee must be up there too and considering he has been in some exceedingly successful films of late could he be the oldest major star?

Raigmore
12-12-2006, 17:11
Christopher Lee must be up there too and considering he has been in some exceedingly successful films of late could he be the oldest major star?

Lee is only 84 years old, I'm afraid. He had got several others older than himself eg Widmark, Douglas etc.

British actors often make their debut at a younger age than their American counterparts and that might be the reason why some of them seem older than they really are.

SIMON ADEBISI
12-12-2006, 17:16
Are Richard Widmark & Kirk Douglas major stars though anymore? They were in their day but when was either last in a film?

Raigmore
12-12-2006, 17:31
Are Richard Widmark & Kirk Douglas major stars though anymore? They were in their day but when was either last in a film?

That is not a fair comment. As along as an actor/actress has been a major star for a substantial period of time leaving themselves in the public's imagination, they should qualify for the Hall of Fame as it were. Christopher Lee, unlike some of his contemporaries, is probably fit enough to continue acting at his age; while that is admirable, it should not reduce the merits of those who have retired due to health or other issues.

PS: Look at the example of people like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley. All died relatively young, but are still considered major stars.

SIMON ADEBISI
12-12-2006, 17:33
Im just saying is all. People are fickle.

spearce8
12-12-2006, 22:42
Kevin McCarthy at 92 is still very busy.

Raigmore
13-12-2006, 07:32
Kevin McCarthy at 92 is still very busy.

Yes, he is! He is going to turn 93 in Feb, which makes him older than Widmark and perhaps second only to Karl Malden in Hollywood seniority.

DeadKenny
13-12-2006, 14:33
Kevin McCarthy at 92 is still very busy.
Major star though? I had to look him up and only recognise him now because of what he's been in, but don't recognise the name.

MaxNutter
13-12-2006, 15:24
Major star though? I had to look him up and only recognise him now because of what he's been in, but don't recognise the name.

so you only want old duffers who are still starring in big movies? ... if so, Christopher Lee prolly wins ...

DeadKenny
13-12-2006, 15:36
No. I just thought that "major star" would be anyone most people have heard of. Christopher Lee counts as a major star yes, but Kirk Douglas would be bigger and yet he's done nothing particularly amazing since the 70s. That he's been in many big films a long time ago and is instantly recognisable everywhere makes him a major star. Kevin McCarthy is not.

MaxNutter
13-12-2006, 16:03
No. I just thought that "major star" would be anyone most people have heard of. Christopher Lee counts as a major star yes, but Kirk Douglas would be bigger and yet he's done nothing particularly amazing since the 70s. That he's been in many big films a long time ago and is instantly recognisable everywhere makes him a major star. Kevin McCarthy is not.

why would Kirk Douglas be bigger? Lee has probably been seen on-screen by more punters than Douglas, and probably been in films that have grossed more combined than Douglas's have ...

Raigmore
13-12-2006, 16:57
why would Kirk Douglas be bigger? Lee has probably been seen on-screen by more punters than Douglas, and probably been in films that have grossed more combined than Douglas's have ...

I would agree that it terms of Star rating, vague though the term is, Kirk Douglas scores over Christopher Lee. There is no simple definition for this 'rating' except to say the manner in which they have captured the public's imagination. In that sense, Marilyn Monroe, who's been dead for over 40 years, would come out ahead of a hardworking contemporary actress like Cameron Diaz.

As for Kevin McCarthy, he might not have left a major mark like some others, but has done enough good work (in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, for example) to just about be considered a 'star'. In supportive roles, he is not that far behind the likes of Karl Malden or Ernest Borgnine.

MaxNutter
13-12-2006, 19:18
I would agree that it terms of Star rating, vague though the term is, Kirk Douglas scores over Christopher Lee. There is no simple definition for this 'rating' except to say the manner in which they have captured the public's imagination. In that sense, Marilyn Monroe, who's been dead for over 40 years, would come out ahead of a hardworking contemporary actress like Cameron Diaz.

As for Kevin McCarthy, he might not have left a major mark like some others, but has done enough good work (in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, for example) to just about be considered a 'star'. In supportive roles, he is not that far behind the likes of Karl Malden or Ernest Borgnine.

i guess virility comes into it, Lee's roles in the biggest films have come as an older man, whereas Douglas was a star in his youth ...

Raigmore
13-12-2006, 20:33
i guess virility comes into it, Lee's roles in the biggest films have come as an older man, whereas Douglas was a star in his youth ...

Virility might be one of the factors. In most cases star rating is hard to explain. Laurence Olivier for example, was a megastar whereas someone like John Mills, while still a big star in his own right, might be considered some rungs below the stardom ladder. It all depends on that "something" that some actors have, making them larger than life characters while others don't have 'it' to the same degree.

DeadWalk
13-12-2006, 21:06
Agreed.

To me, the 'major stars' were actors like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda and, more recently, Clint Eastwood. These are all 'larger than life' figures - actors as epic as the characters they often played. Even today, they have a mysterious, legendary aura around them - not many of our modern stars have that same quality - only someone like Harrison Ford springs to mind (who, to me, is as close to a James Stewart or a Henry Fonda as we're ever likely to see again).

I also think that television, certainly from the 1950s onwards, confuses matters with who is a 'star'. Often, the movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s became tv stars with their own shows - Robert Young, Robert Stack, Donna Reed, Lucille Ball, Abbott and Costello, to name but a few. It's interesting that Clint was a tv star before becoming a bonafide film star, just as people like James Garner or Roger Moore, and more recently Bruce Willis have.

At the end of the day, I haven't a clue what makes someone a 'star' or not - it's more than having their name first in the credits!!! What I will say is that all the names mentioned - Borgnine, Malden, Lee, Mills, etc - all were/are bloody good actors!!!

MaxNutter
13-12-2006, 22:10
Agreed.

To me, the 'major stars' were actors like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda and, more recently, Clint Eastwood. These are all 'larger than life' figures - actors as epic as the characters they often played. Even today, they have a mysterious, legendary aura around them - not many of our modern stars have that same quality - only someone like Harrison Ford springs to mind (who, to me, is as close to a James Stewart or a Henry Fonda as we're ever likely to see again).

I also think that television, certainly from the 1950s onwards, confuses matters with who is a 'star'. Often, the movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s became tv stars with their own shows - Robert Young, Robert Stack, Donna Reed, Lucille Ball, Abbott and Costello, to name but a few. It's interesting that Clint was a tv star before becoming a bonafide film star, just as people like James Garner or Roger Moore, and more recently Bruce Willis have.

At the end of the day, I haven't a clue what makes someone a 'star' or not - it's more than having their name first in the credits!!! What I will say is that all the names mentioned - Borgnine, Malden, Lee, Mills, etc - all were/are bloody good actors!!!

i'd also say that whether someone is a star can be subjective ... if you're a big Hammer fan, actors such as Lee or Cushing would be considered stars, although certainly not 'Hollywood' stars ...

i think people such as Arnie, Stallone, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Tom Cruise can all be / have been considered stars ...

MR.P
02-01-2009, 01:51
Isn't Harry Morgan still with us? He should be in his mid 90's.

DanWilde1966
04-01-2009, 07:17
Isn't Harry Morgan still with us? He should be in his mid 90's.He'll be 94 in April. And of course, since this thread was started, a lot of the "competition" has died off, though Borgnine (coming up 92) and Malden (approaching 97) are still about.

Raigmore
04-01-2009, 08:16
He'll be 94 in April. And of course, since this thread was started, a lot of the "competition" has died off, though Borgnine (coming up 92) and Malden (approaching 97) are still about. That's right. Most significantly, Richard Widmark (RIP) passed away in March 2008. But along with those others you mentioned, Karl Malden (approaching 97) and Kevin McCarthy (95) seem to be the senior statesmen and as far as I know, both are doing well. One or both of them might emulate Bob Hope while Kirk Douglas (92) is not far behind.

What about the women? Are there any famous 90+ actresses still about?

jackal
04-01-2009, 11:56
What about the women? Are there any famous 90+ actresses still about?


Maureen O'Hara is 88.
Sisters Olivia DeHavilland and Joan Fontaine are 92 and 91 respectively.
Gloria Stuart (probably best known nowadays as 'old Rose' in Titanic) is 98.

spearce8
04-01-2009, 12:04
Joseph Wiseman (Dr No) is 90

Raigmore
04-01-2009, 14:30
Sisters Olivia DeHavilland and Joan Fontaine are 92 and 91 respectively. Thanks for that. I knew about Maureen O'Hara being 88 but had forgotten about these two. I like them both, especially Fontaine, who was attractive when young and had some good roles.

SIMON ADEBISI
04-01-2009, 14:32
Karl Malden is still alive?? What size is his nose now??

Raigmore
04-01-2009, 14:39
Karl Malden is still alive?? He is very much alive and reportedly quite fit for his age. Not only that, last year he and his wife (also alive and well, last I heard) celebrated 70 years of wedded bliss.

After reading Jackal's post, I looked up Joan Fontaine out of interest on her IMDB bio. Apparently, she and Olivia de Havilland, both of whom were born in Tokyo, were quite sickly as children and the then British family moved to California hoping that their health would improve. Looks like it worked :D.

DanWilde1966
04-01-2009, 15:15
Sisters Olivia DeHavilland and Joan Fontaine are 92 and 91 respectively.As a sub-thread, I'd be interested to know how many of the Gone With the Wind personnel are still about. Is Olivia the only one?

General Zod
04-01-2009, 15:38
As a sub-thread, I'd be interested to know how many of the Gone With the Wind personnel are still about. Is Olivia the only one?

The last of the main cast. There's still two or three of the supporting cast alive.

Dear Mr Echo
05-01-2009, 18:03
Not the oldest but Doris Day will be 87 in April.

DanWilde1966
10-01-2009, 15:42
Coming up at the rear (so to speak) is Dick Van Dyke. He's still a relative youngster (and it's arguable whether or not he ranks as a full-blown "star"), but he's just turned 83, amazingly.

pet42
10-01-2009, 18:30
What about the women? Are there any famous 90+ actresses still about?No mayor Hollywood star but she got 2 Oscars: Luise Rainer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luise_Rainer) is almost 99.