We are definitely in another golden era of film and television. In any given month, there are a handful of extraordinary major studio and indie releases that are readily available for viewers to consume. The advance in technology and an abundance of talented actors, directors and screenwriters are all driving forces for this new entertainment landscape. With regards to actors, here are some of the most experienced and talented ones who have been plying their trade for many, many decades. And it doesn’t look like they are going to slow down any time soon. See below …
10 Ben Kingsley
At the sprightly age of 70, Ben Kingsley is certainly an actor’s actor. He’s the type of thespian who sinks his teeth into a movie role and completely immerses himself until the filming is done. There are so many films to list that depict his spectacular craftsmanship: Gandhi, House of Sand and Fog, Sexy Beast, Schindler’s List and the list goes on and on. Coming up, he’s slated to appear in movies like Ridley Scott’s Exodus and Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. One thing you can be sure of is that Sir Kingsley will be a tour de force actor for many more years to come. We certainly look forward to it.
9 Judi Dench
The regal Judi Dench is like your proverbial fine wine. She only gets better with time. The aspect that consistently makes her standout from all her peers, and even the younger actresses coming up, is her boundless versatility. She is the type of actress who can turn in an amazing nuanced depiction in a movie like Notes From a Scandal and then pivot right around a deliver a poignant, heartfelt performance in a film like Philomena – that’s not even mentioning her excellent turns in the recent James Bond movies. The vaunted Lady Dench is going to be turning 80 this year, and you can expect to see her in next year’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Part II. She doesn’t know when to stop and we totally love her for that.
8 Morgan Freeman
One of the best movies ever made is The Shawshank Redemption, and a huge reason for that movie being so successful is the superb performance turned in by Morgan Freeman. Even at the age of 77, Mr. Freeman continues to be one of the hardest working actors alive. In the last few years, he has appeared in movies like The Bucket List, The Batman Dark Knight movies, Invictus, Dolphin Tale, the upcoming Lucy (starring Scarlett Johanssen) – and the list goes on and on. It’s been often reported how Morgan Freeman didn’t get his break in Hollywood till later in his life, but one thing is for certain – he is certainly making up for lost time.
7 Sir Michael Caine
6 Jon Voigt
The really cool thing about Jon Voigt is that he’s the father of Angelina Jolie, one of the biggest Hollywood stars on earth – and yet, he continues to remain relevant in the movie landscape. Actually, his newest project, the gritty and raw Ray Donovan on Showtime, is a current favorite for critics and fans alike. Voigt has had a long and distinguished career – he has starred in biopics like Ali to television movies like The Five People You Meet in Heaven and even action adventures like National Treasure. And let’s not forget that he has even appeared in films with his daughter (Lara Croft). At the age of 75, this actor actually seems to have just hit his stride. Well Done!
5 Betty White
There’s no other way to call it. Betty White is certainly America’s sweetheart. If there is one actress who can claim to have seen it all – it’s definitely her. She is 92-yrs-old with a whip smart sense of humor and she is still as sharp as a tack. From her role in The Golden Girls up till her more recent casting in Hot in Cleveland, Betty White has proven time and time again that she’s an extraordinary entertainer. Who else do you know that has received a personal best wishes card from President Obama on their 90th birthday? We hope we see her acting and making us laugh till she’s 100 and beyond.
4 Sir Ian McKellen
From Broadway to television to starring in the biggest blockbusters, Sir Ian McKellen has constantly proven his uncanny and superb acting skill. He’s great at playing the wise old sage like he did with his portrayal of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. He also brought his magic touch to the epic role of Magneto in the very successful and highly lucrative X-Men films. One thing is for certain when you see him work: his passion for acting and theater hasn’t diminished in the least over his long and distinguished career. He just turned 75 this year, and for this acting maestro, there is no such thing as retirement in his future plans.
3 Donald Sutherland
2 Helen Mirren
The great thing about being a wonderful actor is that there will always be roles for you to play as long as you continue honing your craft. It’s an extremely age-appropriate profession. Sure younger and more beautiful stars pop up on the scene every year, but the great ones always stand the test of the time. Helen Mirren is on the verge of turning 70, and she’s probably the most decorated artist on this list. She has won an Academy award, four BAFTA awards, 3 Golden Globes and 4 Emmy awards, just to name a few. She is definitely one of the elite actresses of her generation, and we’d love to see her gracing the silver screen for many more years to come.
1 Clint Eastwood
Has there ever been anyone in Hollywood who has made the transition from actor to talented director as well as Clint Eastwood? After being known for so many years as the stone-cold action star Dirty Harry, he deftly switched lanes and stepped behind the camera. In that role, he has directed so many extraordinary films, Unforgiven, Bridges of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, Invictus etc. This year, he already put out Jersey Boys and next year, he has a new movie American Sniper that will star Luke Grimes, Sienna Miller and Bradley Cooper. He turned 84 this year, and Mr. Eastwood is likely to keep on working till the very end.