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Long Movie Careers

Here’s a study I did on especially long movie careers.

This list goes from first identifiable movie appearance to most recent, including television; it is unlikely that anybody now alive except for Mickey Rooney will beat Milton Berle's record, as both were child stars who remained well-known and working well into dotage. Some of the names still alive but inactive on this list may well be looking for work, or working behind the scenes; after all, George Burns was in vaudeville long before his first movie appearance, Charles Lane went ten years without a credit before being hired again at well over 100, and Gloria Stuart was inactive on-screen for close to thirty years. This is only a measurement of their longevity on film.

Longest Careers that I know of:
Milton Berle: 1914-2000 (Deceased; 86 years)
Mickey Rooney: 1926-2008 (Still working; 82 years)
John Gielgud: 1924- 2000 (Deceased; 76 years)
Lillian Gish: 1912-1987 (Deceased; 75 years)
Rose Marie: 1929-2004 (Still alive; 75 years)
Charles Lane: 1931-2006 (Deceased; 75 years)
Gloria Stuart: 1932-2004 (Still alive; 30 year gap; 72 years)
John Mills: 1932-2000 (Deceased; 68 years)
Angelo Rossito. 1927-1992. (Deceased, 65  years).
George Burns: 1929-1994 (Deceased; 63 years)
Who is Angelo Rossito? He’s the little person who chanted “One of Us! One of Us!“ in the classic horror movie FREAKS, and who also appeared as the Master in MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME.

Two special names that deserve mention. Julius Epstien, co-writer of CASABLANCA, appears to have been the longest-lived screenwriter, with credits in 1934 and 1983, a span of not quite fifty years. And one of the world's great directors, Sidney Lumet, started as an actor, with credits in 1939, a great film released only a couple of months ago, and more on the way. He's coming up on seventy years.

Thursday Feb 7 2008



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