birdsofprey (birdsofprey) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

ONTD Original: 25 Living Old Hollywood Stars

This list includes old Hollywood performers who were active in or before 1950. As always, I tried to include popular and lesser-known stars, though, of course, there are many, many more living celebrities from this era that were not included. You can find a longer list here.

1. Julie Gibson

Birthday: September 6, 1913 [Spoiler]Happy birthday queen of living! 🎉
Age: 105
Occupation: Actress, singer
Years active: 1937-1984
Fun facts:
• Gibson is the oldest living performer from the Golden Age of Hollywood
• Also worked as an accent coach
• Dubbed vocals for Betty Hutton and Diana Lynn in some of their films and also supplied English voices for foreign stars in Italian and French cinema

2. Norman Lloyd

Birthday: November 8, 1914
Age: 103
Occupation: Actor, director, producer
Years active: 1932-present
Fun facts:
• Lloyd is currently the oldest working Hollywood actor as of 2018
• Was married to his wife, Peggy Lloyd, for seventy-five years until her death in 2011
• Was close friends with Alfred Hitchcock

3. Olivia de Havilland

Birthday: July 1, 1916
Age: 102
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1935-1988
Fun facts:
• Had a legendary feud with younger sister Joan Fontaine that lasted until Fontaine's death in 2013
• Was the first actress to successfully sue Warner Brothers in the mid-1940s
• Holds the record for thanking the most people (27) in her Oscar acceptance speech

4. Kirk Douglas

Birthday: December 9, 1916
Age: 101
Occupation: Actor, producer, director, author
Years active: 1946-present
Fun facts:
• Douglas received $50,000 for saying "coffee", the only English word in a 1980s Japanese commercial
• In 1991, he survived a helicopter crash that killed the two other occupants; he was left with a debilitating back injury
• Costar and friend Burt Lancaster angered him when he hid Douglas' shoe lifts that he wore to make him appear taller in his films

5. Marsha Hunt

Birthday: October 17, 1917
Age: 100
Occupation: Actress, model, activist
Years active: 1935-2008
Fun facts:
• Hunt is very liberal and became an activist for progressive causes after she was blacklisted
• She and her husband became foster parents after her only daughter, born prematurely, died a day after her birth

6. Fay McKenzie

Birthday: February 19, 1918
Age: 100
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1918-1981
Fun facts:
• McKenzie's parents were both in show business
• Made her screen debut when she was ten weeks old as Gloria Swanson's baby in Station Content (1918)

7. Dusty Anderson

Birthday: December 17, 1918
Age: 99
Occupation: Actress, pin-up model
Years active: 1944-1951
Fun facts:
• Became a painter after retiring from making films
• Also after retiring, she moved from Beverly Hills to Majorca with her director husband and their two adopted daughters

8. Sono Osato

Birthday: August 29, 1919
Age: 99
Occupation: Dancer, actress
Years active: 1933-1959
Fun facts:
• Is of mixed descent: Irish/French Canadian mother and Japanese father
• Osato began her dancing career at 14 before becoming a theater and later a film actress

9. Norma Miller

Birthday: December 2, 1919
Age: 98
Occupation: Dancer, choreographer, comedian, writer, actress, singer, songwriter, creative director
Years active: 1932-present
Fun facts:
• Known as the "Queen of Swing"
• Is named after her father, Norman, who died from pneumonia a month prior to her birth
• Joined the dance group Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in 1934 when she was only 15

10. Carol Channing

Birthday: January 31, 1921
Age: 97
Occupation: Actress, dancer, singer, comedian
Years active: 1941-present
Fun facts:
• Is of mixed descent: German/Jewish mother and African American/German father
• Allergic to bleach so she uses wigs to achieve her trademark poofy blonde hair
• Said being included on Richard Nixon's Enemies List was the highest honor of her career

11. Betty White

Birthday: January 17, 1922
Age: 96
Occupation: Actress, comedian
Years active: 1939-present
Fun facts:
• White is the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live (she hosted in 2010 at 88 years old)
• Was originally offered the role of Blanche in The Golden Girls (Rue McClanahan was offered the role of Rose) but they switched roles after the pilot's director suggested they do so since they had already played similar roles before

12. Carl Reiner

Birthday: March 20, 1922
Age: 96
Occupation: Comedian, actor, director, writer
Years active: 1947-present
Fun facts:
• Is one of the oldest celebrities who is active on Twitter (where he mostly rants about Trump so #NotAllMen?)
• Reiner married Estelle Lebost, who was about eight years his senior, in 1943 (at the time, it was frowned upon for the woman to be older) and they remained married for sixty-four years until her death in 2008

13. Doris Day

Birthday: April 3, 1922
Age: 96
Occupation: Actress, singer, activist
Years active: 1939-2012
Fun facts:
• Day is the last surviving person mentioned in the Grease (1978) song "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee"
• Briefly dated Ronald Reagan after his divorce from Jane Wyman
• A car accident in 1937, which badly damaged her legs, ruined her dream of being a dancer; she was wheelchair-bound during most of her teenage years

14. Janis Paige

Birthday: September 16, 1922
Age: 95
Occupation: Actress, singer
Years active: 1944-2001
Fun facts:
• Was hired as a singer at the Hollywood Canteen during World War II after graduating from high school and moving from Tacoma to Los Angeles
• Paige's voice was nearly irreparably damaged in 2001

15. Machiko Kyō

Birthday: March 25, 1924
Age: 94
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1936-2006
Fun facts:
• Trained as a dancer before going into acting
• Received a Golden Globe nomination for her only role in a non-Japanese film as a geisha in The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)

16. Eva Marie Saint

Birthday: July 4, 1924
Age: 94
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1946-present
Fun facts:
• Behind only Olivia de Havilland, Saint is the second oldest female Oscar recipient
• Was married to her producer and director husband, Jeffrey Hayden, for sixty-five years until his death in 2016

17. Angela Lansbury

Birthday: October 16, 1925
Age: 92
Occupation: Actress, singer, songwriter, producer, writer
Years active: 1943-present
Fun facts:
• Former husband Richard Cromwell (who was sixteen years her senior) married her in the hopes that it would turn him heterosexual; Lansbury maintains she had no idea Cromwell was gay until after they separated
• Married her second husband, actor Peter Shaw, in 1949; they were married for fifty-four years until his death in 2003
• Her daughter was a follower of Charles Mansion's cult/gang but Lansbury took her daughter to Ireland to help her overcome her drug problems following Sharon Tate's murder

18. Dick Van Dyke

Birthday: December 13, 1925
Age: 92
Occupation: Actor, comedian, singer, dancer, writer, producer
Years active: 1947-present
Fun facts:
• Because of his notoriously, hilariously awful attempt at a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins (1964), the "Dick Van Dyke accent" became a slang term for unsuccessful British accents by Americans
• Overcame alcoholism in the 1970s and later quit smoking; he admitted quitting smoking was harder than quitting drinking
• Made his acting debut playing baby Jesus in a church Christmas pageant where he apparently cried the whole way through

19. Sidney Poitier

Birthday: February 20, 1927
Age: 91
Occupation: Actor, director, author, diplomat
Years active: 1947-present
Fun facts:
• Was the first black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in 1963
• The name Poitier actually came from Charles Leonard Poitier, an English planter who immigrated to Cat Island from Jamaica in the early 1800s; in 1834, his wife's estate had 86 slaves who ended up taking the surname

20. Harry Belafonte

Birthday: March 1, 1927
Age: 91
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, actor, activist
Years active: 1949-present
Fun facts:
• Performed at John F. Kennedy's inaugural gala in 1961
• Guest hosted The Tonight Show in February 1968, substituting for Johnny Carson, and two of his interviewees were Martin Luther King, Jr. and senator Robert F. Kennedy
• Refused to perform in the South from 1954 to 1961 due to racial discrimination

21. Ann Blyth

Birthday: August 16, 1928
Age: 90
Occupation: Actress, singer
Years active: 1933-1985
Fun facts:
• Blyth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Joan Crawford's scheming, ungrateful daughter in Mildred Pierce (1945)
• Sustained and recovered from a back injury after tobogganing in Snow Valley in 1945

22. Jane Powell

Birthday: April 1, 1929
Age: 89
Occupation: Actress, singer, dancer
Years active: 1944-present
Fun facts:
• Sang at Harry Truman's inaugural ball in 1949
• Due to her fear of needles and after discovering she was pregnant, Powell got her ears pierced while delivering her daughter so she could wear the diamond earrings her husband bought her

23. Robert Wagner

Birthday: February 10, 1930
Age: 88
Occupation: Actor, producer, suspected murderer
Years active: 1950-present
Fun facts:
• Admitted to having affairs with Yvonne De Carlo, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Anita Ekberg, Shirley Anne Field, Lori Nelson, and Joan Collins in his memoirs
• Allegedly had a four-year relationship with Barbara Stanwyck, who was more than twenty years his senior; they kept it a secret to avoid potential damage to their careers
• Named a person of interest in Natalie Wood's drowning case in February 2018 because investigators concluded that his story "just doesn't add up"

24. Julie Andrews

Birthday: October 1, 1935
Age: 82
Occupation: Actress, singer, author
Years active: 1945-present
Fun facts:
• In 1950, Andrews discovered she was conceived as a result of her mother's affair with a family friend
• Walt Disney wanted her for the role of Marry Poppins and allegedly told her he was willing to wait for her to give birth after she informed him of her pregnancy

25. Dean Stockwell

Birthday: March 5, 1936
Age: 82
Occupation: Actor
Years active: 1945-2014
Fun facts:
• Began his career as a child actor under contract to MGM during the 1940s
• Stockwell is an accomplished artist; he creates digitally enhanced photographs and original collages, and also wrote several small compositions while attending college
• Has one of the worst Wikipedia pictures I've ever seen

SOURCES: Julie Gibson 1 | Norman Lloyd 1 | Olivia de Havilland 1 & 2 | Kirk Douglas 1 & 2 | Marsha Hunt 1 | Fay McKenzie 1 | Dusty Anderson 1 & 2 | Sono Osato 1 | Norma Miller 1 | Carol Channing 1 | Betty White 1 | Carl Reiner 1 | Doris Day 1 & 2 | Janis Paige 1 | Machiko Kyō 1 | Eva Marie Saint 1 & 2 | Angela Lansbury 1 & 2 | Dick Van Dyke 1 & 2 | Sidney Poitier 1 | Harry Belafonte 1 & 2 | Ann Blyth 1 & 2 | Jane Powell 1 & 2 | Robert Wagner 1 & 2 | Julie Andrews 1 & 2 | Dean Stockwell 1
Tags: old hollywood, ontd original

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