Oldest Celebrities in the world

8 Oldest Celebrities in the World (Updated 2020)

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It may be hard to believe, but several famous celebrities who were born near the start of the 20th century are still alive today. While most of the celebrities on this list are retired, a few of them are still working and don’t have plans to stop anytime soon. Among this list of long lived celebrities are Academy Award winning actors and actresses, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and a world famous choreographer. Although their lives and careers differed, the one thing they all have in common is that they’ve lived for over a century and left lasting impacts in their respective industries.

As of March 2020, this list is accurate and will be updated as needed.

10. Elisabeth Waldo (June 18, 1918 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  101 years, 9 months, 1 day
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Profession: Violinist, songwriter, composer, conductor, and ethnomusicologist
 Years Active:  1940 – Present
Notable Works: Maracatu (1959); Realm of the Incas (1961); Land of Golden Dreams (2004); and Heartstrings Soul of the Americas (2008)

Elisabeth Waldophoto source: elisabethwaldomusic.com

Elisabeth Waldo is an accomplished violinist, songwriter, composer, conductor, and ethnomusicologist. Waldo has been interested in music her entire life and began to play the violin when she was only five years old. At the recommendation of world-renown concert Violinist Jascha Heifetz, Waldo received a scholarship to attend the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

In addition to her own work, Waldo has extensively studied the music of other cultures, especially those found in Central and South America. Waldo has also composed music inspired by the ancient songs of China.

Did You Know?

n 1987, Elisabeth Waldo founded the New Mission Theatre, a 150-seat venue for use by the Multi-Cultural Music and Art Foundation of Northridge on the north side of Los Angeles

9. Marsha Hunt (October 17, 1917 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  102 years, 5 months, 2 days
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Profession: Actress, model, and activist
 Years Active:  1935 – 2008
Notable Works: Born to the West (1937); Pride and Prejudice (1940); The Happy Time (1952); and Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

Marsha Huntphoto source: Wikimedia Commons (with Born to the West co-star John Wayne)

Marsha Hunt is a former actress and model, who has been heavily involved with humanitarian and activism work. Hunt began her long career when she was only 17 years old. Initially, she started out as a model and was actually hesitant to start an acting career. However, in the summer of 1935, Hunt landed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures.

After acting for several years, Hunt became a blacklisted actor in the 1950s during McCarthyism. During her semi-retirement, Hunt became active in the humanitarian cause of world hunger. Hunt’s career bounced back in the late 1950s and she has remained an activist for various causes, including climate change awareness and supporting same-sex marriage.

Did You Know?

Marsha Hunt has starred in two films that received an Academy Award for Best Production Design: Pride and Prejudice and Blossoms in the Dust.

8. Vera Lynn (March 20, 1917 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  103 years
Birthplace: East Ham, Essex, England
Profession: Singer, songwriter, and actress
 Years Active:  1924 – Present
Notable Works: “We’ll Meet Again” (1939); “The White Cliffs of Dover” (1942); “My Son, My Son” (1954); and “I Love This Land” (1982)

Vera Lynn (1962)photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Vera Lynn, who just turned 103, is best known for her musical recordings and performance during World War II. Lynn is called “the Forces’ Sweetheart” as her songs boosted the morale of British and American troops. She held concerts for the troops in Egypt, India, and Burma during the war.

After World War II, Lynn remained popular for many years. Lynn’s last single, “I Love This Land” was released to mark the end of the Falklands War. While Lynn hasn’t made new music in several decades, she still performs her songs today and has appeared on TV.

Did You Know?

In 2014, at the age of 97, Vera Lynn became the oldest person to top the UK Albums Chart with the collection Vera Lynn: National Treasure.

7. Olivia de Havilland (July 1, 1916 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  103 years, 8 months, 18 days
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Profession: Actress
 Years Active: 1935 – 1988
Notable Works: Captain Blood (1935); The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); Gone with the Wind (1939); To Each His Own (1946); The Snake Pit (1948); The Heiress (1949)

Olivia de Havilland photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Olivia de Havilland is an Academy Award winning actress best known for her roles in Gone with the Wind, To Each His Own, and The Heiress – she won an academy award for the latter two movies. De Havilland appeared in her first film in 1935 as Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which also earned her a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers.

De Havilland first worked with Errol Flynn in the 1935 movie Captain Blood and the two would go on to star in numerous together and become a popular on-screen couple. In June 2017, a few weeks before her 101st birthday, de Havilland was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours for her services to drama.

Did You Know?

Olivia de Havilland’s sister, who went by the stage name Joan Fontaine, is also an Academy Award winning actress who had a career spanning over five decades; the sisters are the only siblings to have won Academy Awards in a lead acting category.

6. Beverly Cleary (April 12, 1916 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  103 years, 11 months, 7 days
Birthplace: McMinnville, Oregon, USA
Profession: Author and librarian
 Years Active: 1942 – 1990s
Notable Works: Henry Huggins (1950); Ribsy (1964); Ralph S. Mouse (1982); and Beezus and Ramona (1955)

Beverly Clearyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Beverly Cleary is one of the most beloved children’s authors in the world. Cleary has many popular book series and characters, including Henry Huggins, Beezus and Ramona, and Ralph S. Mouse. For her contributions to the literary world, Cleary has won a number of awards, including the 1984 Newbury Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, a National Medal of Arts, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and is recognized as a Library of Congress Living Legend.

Most of Cleary’s books are set in the neighborhood of Grant Park in Oregon, which is where Cleary grew up. Cleary had always wanted to be a children’s librarian and she achieved this dream after graduating from the University of Washinton in 1939. In 1942, Cleary decided to pursue a writing career as a children’s author full time.

Did You Know?

Beverly Cleary has sold over 91 million copies of her books since they were first published in 1950.

5. Jean Erdman (February 20, 1916 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  104 years, 28 days
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Profession: Choreographer and dancer
 Years Active: 1938 – 1990s
Notable Works: Every Soul is a Circus (1939); Punch and the Judy (1941); Daughters of the Lonesome Isle (1945); and Ophelia (1946)

Jean Erdmanphoto source: University of Hawai’i Manoa

Jean Erdman is an American dancer and choreographer who had a prolific and long career starting in the late 1930s. Erdman became interested in dance at a young age and first started taking hula lessons as a child – Erdman’s family lived in Hawaii. Along with hula, Erdman also studied Isadora Duncan interpretive dance when she was a kid and Erdman says that her early dance education inspired her lifelong passion.

Erdman continued to study dance throughout her adolescence and attended Sarah Lawrence College to further her studies. There she met Joseph Campbell, a well-known professor of literature whose works influenced George Lucas’ Star Wars. Erdman married Campbell in 1938 just before joining the Martha Graham Dance Company, which kicked off her professional dancing career.

Did You Know?

Jean Erdman was nominated in 1972 for the Tony Award for Best Choreography for her work on The Two Gentleman of Verona.

4. Mary Ward (March 6, 1915 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  105 years, 13 days
Birthplace: Fremantle, Western Australia
Profession: Stage, television, and film actress; and radio announcer
 Years Active: 1933 – 1989; 1994 – 2000
Notable Works: Prisoner (1981); Sons and Daughters (1983); Blue Heelers (1999 – 2000); and Amy (1997)  

Mary Wardphoto source: The Senior

Mary Ward is a former Australian stage, television, and film actress. Ward very recently turned 104 years old and appears to be going strong. While Ward appeared in a number to TV shows, she is best known for her role on the Australian soap opera Prisoner, where she played the role of “Mum” Jeanette Brooks. Ward also played Dee Morrell on a number of episodes of another soap opera Sons and Daughters.

Ward had studied as a stage actress in England before World War II, but returned home to Australia prior to the start of the war. When she came back home, Ward became one of the first female radio announcers for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as “The Forces Sweetheart.” In 1948, Ward moved back to England to work in theatre again and even did some work for the BBC. Ward started acting full-time on TV in the mid-1970s.

Did You Know?

Although Mary Ward’s Prisoner character was very popular, Ward only stayed on the show as a regular for two years, but did appear from time to time until the character died off-screen in 1983.

3. Norman Lloyd (November 18, 1914 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  105 years, 4 months, 1 day
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey
Profession: Actor, Director, Producer
 Years Active: 1932 – Present
Notable Works:  Saboteur (1942); Spellbound (1945); Limelight (1953); and Dead Poets Society (1989)  

Norman Lloydphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Norman Lloyd is an American actor, director, and producer who has worked in the entertainment industry since the 1930s. Even though he is over 100 years old, Lloyd is still active in the industry, which makes him the oldest working Hollywood actor.

Lloyd has had a very successful career and has worked with Hollywood legends like Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock and he even played tennis regularly with Charlie Chaplin – he only quit playing tennis in 2015 (at age 100) after he had a fall. Since his acting career began in 1932, Lloyd has never stopped working and his most recent film role was in Judd Apatow’s 2015 film Trainwreck.

Did You Know?

One of Norman Lloyd’s longest roles was as Dr. Daniel Auschlander on the popular series St. Elsewhere. Lloyd appeared in nearly every episode of the six-season series.

2. Renée Simonot (September 10, 1911 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  108 years, 6 months, 9 days
Birthplace: Le Havre, France
Profession: Stage and voice actress
 Years Active: 1918 – 2001
Notable Works: Les Misérables (1921); Jeanne d’Arc (1934); Le Favori (1932); and La Belle Adventure (1928)  

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Box-Off-Dreams

Renée Simonot is a former French stage and voice actress. Simonot began her theatre career at the age of 7 and continued to work for the next 28 years. In addition to her stage work, Simonot was one of the first French actresses to dub American films when the talkies made their debut in 1929. Simonot was the voice of Olivia de Havilland (who is also on this list) in most of her films, as well as Silvia Sidney, Judy Garland, and Esther Williams.

Simonot was married to actor Maurice Dorléac and had three daughters with him. Two of their daughters, Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuvue became actors. Unfortunately  Françoise died in an accident just before her career took off. However, Catherine Deneuvue went on to become one of France’s most famous actresses.

Did You Know?

Renée Simonot, whose real name is Jeanne Renée Deneuve, chose her stage name in honor of Monsieur Simonot, a lyric artist and her godfather.

1. Ruthie Tompson (July 22, 1910 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020):  109 years, 7 months, 28 days
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, USA
Profession: Disney Animator
 Years Active: 1935 – 1975
Notable Works: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938); Sleeping Beauty (1959); Pinocchio (1940); Dumbo (1941); and Fantasia (1940)

Ruthie Tompsonphoto source: The Hollywood Reporter

Ruthie Tompson is currently 109 years old, which makes her the oldest living celebrity in the world. Tompson spent 40 years (1935 – 1975) as a Disney animator and worked on many notable films, including Disney’s very first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Tompson had first met the Disney family as a child after her family moved to the same block as Robert Diseny, who was Walt Disney’s uncle. When Tompson was 18, she began working at Dubrock’s Riding Academy, where Roy and Walt Disney often played polo. Walt Disney recognized Tompson from when she was younger and ended up offering her a job as an inker and scene planner. Eventually Tompson worked her way up to become the supervisor of Disney’s Scene Planning Department.

Did You Know?
As a child, Ruthie Tompson often visited the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, which was close to her house and she even appeared in the Alice Comedies,

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