It’s a known fact that women live longer than men, but according to an interesting scientific study, Oscar winners live four years longer than non-winners. The study, which took place at the University of Toronto, states that the average Oscar winner lives an average 79.7 years, and those who were nominated but didn’t win, only live an average of 75.8 years. And for Americans who aren’t Oscar nominees, the average U.S. life expectancy is 78.8 years old. Looking at all of the actors included on this list, they have not only way exceeded the longevity for living Oscar nominees and winners, but they’ve exceeded life expectancy by decades, in some cases. These actors show that winning a major award can lead to a long and healthy life, and despite getting old, many of the actors listed here continue to act in award-nominated movies and TV shows.
10. Ellen Burstyn – 82 Years Old
Next to Robert Duvall, Ellen Burstyn is one of the hardest active working older actors in Hollywood, which is impressive considering how Hollywood has a tendency to discard actresses after they reach 40. Burstyn received her first of six Oscar nominations, for the 1971 movie, The Last Picture Show. A nomination for The Exorcist soon followed, but it was her work in 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, that won her that coveted Oscar. Her award streak continued: in 2002, she received an Oscar nomination for Requiem for a Dream; in 2013, she won an Emmy for Political Animals; she appeared in this season’s Louie; and in January, she’s up for a SAG Award for Flowers in the Attic.
9. Robert Duvall – 83 Years Old
Robert Duvall made a name for himself, starring in The Godfather, Apocalypse Now and his Best Actor Oscar-winning role in 1983’s Tender Mercies. At almost 84 years old, he’s still quite prolific to the point where in January, he’s poised to be nominated for his seventh Oscar. Duvall’s won a slew of critics Awards and received a Golden Globe nomination for The Judge, where he plays Robert Downey Jr.’s dad. If he gets an Oscar nomination or a win, he will set the record as the oldest male actor to be nominated and/or win an Oscar in an acting category.
8. Joanne Woodward – 84 Years Old
Joanne Woodward may be most recognized for her 50-year marriage to fellow actor Paul Newman, but like her husband, Woodward’s also an Oscar winner. In 1958, she received her first Oscar nomination and only win, for The Three Faces of Eve. The same year, she married Newman, who won his first Oscar a year later. She didn’t receive her second nomination until 1969, and her fourth and final nomination in 1991, for Mrs. & Mr. Bridge. In the past couple of decades, Woodward’s turned her attention from films to TV. Her last nominated role was 2005’s Empire Falls, for which she received an Emmy nomination.
7. Gene Hackman – 84 Years Old
Before retiring from acting a decade ago, this almost 85-year-old tough guy received five Academy Award nominations and won a total of two: one for Best Actor in 1971’s The French Connection, and a Best Supporting Oscar for 1992’s Unforgiven. Throughout his long film career, which started in the 1960s, Gene Hackman appeared in everything from Bonnie and Clyde (his first Oscar nod) to Superman movies to The Royal Tenenbaums, and his last film appearance, 2004’s Welcome to Mooseport. Instead of acting, Hackman’s opted to focus on publishing novels and slapping homeless people.
6. Sidney Poitier – 87 Years Old
Fifty years ago, Sidney Poitier made history when he became the first African American to win a Best Actor Oscar (he was previously nominated for 1958’s The Defiant Ones). He rode that success into other socially-charged films, such as In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. In 2002, Poitier received his second Oscar, this time a honorary Oscar for being a great humanitarian. He hasn’t acted in a movie since the 2001 TV movie, The Last Brickmaker in America, but he’s still an active figure in the Hollywood community.
5. George Kennedy – 89 Years Old
To younger generations, George Kennedy is best known as playing Captain Ed Hocken in those silly Naked Gun movies, but Kennedy is also a serious actor. Since his TV debut in the 1950s and his film debut in the 1960 film Spartacus, Kennedy’s acted in about 200 film and TV productions, including a recurring role on Dallas. In 1968, he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Dragline in the Paul Newman film, Cool Hand Luke. Kennedy will appear in the upcoming Mark Wahlberg movie The Gambler, hitting theaters soon.
4. Eva Marie Saint – 90 Years Old
Eva Marie Saint was nominated and won an Oscar for her 1954 role in the Marlon Brando classic film, On the Waterfront (Brando also won an Oscar for his role in the classic film). Marie Saint continued her hot acting streak in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, in 1959. Since her film debut 60 years ago, Saint has never put her acting on hold. She appeared as Tom Hanks’ mother in Nothing in Common, she won an Emmy in 1990, and appeared in this year’s Winter’s Tale movie.
3. Kirk Douglas – 98 Years Old
The Spartacus actor, who was born Issur Danielovitch, just turned 98 years old. Douglas has never won a Best Actor or Supporting Oscar, but in 1996, he received an honorary Oscar for his 50-year career, so technically he is an Oscar winner. Douglas received his first Oscar nomination in 1950, for a movie called Champion. Throughout the 1950s, he received two more nominations with no wins (he did win a Golden Globe Award, though). After almost a 100 acting credits under his belt, Douglas retired from acting in 2008 and now writes poetry books. A couple of weeks ago, People Magazine accidentally leaked an obit on Douglas, but rest assured (as of this writing), Douglas is still alive.
2. Olivia de Havilland – 98 Years Old
Olivia de Havilland received her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Melanie Hamilton in the 1939 film, Gone with the Wind, but she wouldn’t win an Oscar until 1946’s To Each His Own, when she won for Best Actress. She won another Oscar in 1950, and appeared in a smattering of films and TV shows until 1988. Longevity must run in the family because Joan Fontaine, de Havilland’s sister, died in 2013, at age 96. Despite her delicate age, de Havilland occasionally makes public appearances, and receives special Awards.
1. Luise Rainer – 104 Years Old
At the young age of 26, the German-born actress won her first Oscar and also became the first actor to not only win two Oscars, but also the first to win back-to-back Oscars. Her first award came for her role in the 1936 film, The Great Ziegfeld, and it was followed by her Award for her role on the 1937 film, The Good Earth. Now 104 years old, after becoming dismayed with Hollywood, she retired from acting in the 1940s and made only one more film appearance, which came later, in 1997.
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