- By John Stark
There’s no star at any age who’s more prolific than Clint Eastwood, 82— and he shows no signs of slowing down. Since 2000 he has been involved in 14 major films, as actor, director, producer or composer — or various combinations of the four.
And Eastwood isn't the only male star over the age of 80 who's not ready to give up the spotlight. There are at least 20 others, a reminder that one’s prime doesn’t always have a cut-off date. For them, working isn’t “work” — it’s stimulation on every level.
Forget 80, some are over 90.
The following list does not include older male celebs who are still alive but retired, or whose pubic appearances are limited to accepting awards and honors — a list that would include the stellar likes of Sean Connery, 82; Mickey Rooney, 92; Harry Belafonte, 85; and Sidney Poitier, 86. Nor is Woody Allen in this group. He’s a mere 78, after all (as is the amazing Leonard Cohen).
Besides Eastwood, here are today’s oldest, hardest working male performers.
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Irving Fields, 97 The world-class pianist and composer gave Liberace his big break, has recorded more than 90 albums and still performs five nights a week at Nino’s Steak House on West 58th Street in New York.
Pete Seeger, 93 The world's most famous folk singer has a new a music video about the BP oil spill, "God's Counting on Me, God's Counting on You," and a new biography, Pete Seeger in His Own Words. He also just released an audio-book, Pete Seeger: The Storm King, in which he tells stories of his life against the background of music performed by more than 40 musicians of various genres. In 2012 he marched in New York in support of Occupy Wall Street.
Sir Christopher Lee, 91 The British actor achieved stardom for playing Count Dracula in a string of 1950's British horror films. More recently he has starred in such epics as the Star Wars prequel trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Martin Scorcese's 3-D Hugo. He's also in two yet-to-be-released Hobbit films. A singer, he just put out his first 100 percent heavy metal album, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death.
Carl Reiner, 91 This happy tweet just in from the writer, producer, director and comedian: "Wouldn't U smile if U've been told that your bio, 'I Remember Me,' has sold thousands of E Books and hard cover on Amazon? Sure you would." You can catch him on the late-night talk shows. And check out his website, where he reminisces about The Dick Van Dyke Show and offers free writing advice.
Charles Aznavour, 89 The French-Armenian singer, songwriter, actor, political activist and diplomat told The New York Times in 2006: "There are some people who grow old and others who just add years. I have added years, but I am not old yet." C'est vrai. He was in the United States last year giving concerts, and has two new CDs, Always, Aznavour and La Coffret (The Boxset).
Hal Holbrook, 88 In 1954 Holbrook began playing Mark Twain in his one-man stage show. Twelve years later he made his first film (The Group). At age 82 he garnered a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Into the Wild. His latest films include Water for Elephants (2011), Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (2012), and Gus Van Sant's Promised Land. (2012). He also pops up in the Sundance TV series, Rectify. Any rumors of this actor's retirement are greatly exaggerated.
Don Rickles, 87 You can catch the lovable insult artist at the Orleans Showroom Theater in Las Vegas Sept. 28-29 and at Prudential Hall in Newark on Oct. 17. Besides doing stand-up he provides voices for numerous animated films, including Toy Story 3 and Partysaurus Rex.
Jerry Lewis, 87 In May the Cannes Film Festival paid homage to the comic with a special debut screening of his newest film, Max Rose, directed by Daniel Noah. Lewis stars as an aging jazz singer who recalls his 65-year marriage to his late wife. It's his first leading role since 1981's The King of Comedy. Last year he directed the world premiere of the musical adaptation of The Nutty Professor in Nashville. On Sept. 12 you can see him on Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio. FYI: Lewis is one year older than the show's host, James Lipton.
Dick Van Dyke, 87 He's not as active as he once was, but you can still catch him making appearances on late-night talk shows, and popping up on such daytime fare as Rachael Ray and The Doctors. In 2011 he released a memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, and this year a new album of children's songs, Dick Van Dyke: Put On a Happy Face. He's also very active on Twitter @iammrvandy, commenting on the Malibu scene.
Tony Bennett, 86 He's still leaving his heart on every concert stage and recording booth in the world. In 2011 he became the oldest living artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with the release of his album, Duets II, which featured the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Josh Groban. He followed that up with Viva Duets, performing with such Latin stars as Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony and Christina Aguilera. You can catch the 16-time Grammy Award winner live at the Hollywood Bowl on Aug. 2.
Sir Roger Moore, 85 The ever-dapper British model-turned-007 has just released a book, Bond on Bond: Reflections on 50 Years of James Bond Movies. You can catch him on talk shows and in an upcoming TV film version of The Saint. So sorry, he won't be playing Simon Templar – the younger Adam Rayner will. But at Moore's age he could still qualify for People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive."
Martin Landau, 85 At age 66 he won a Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. Since then, Landau has made some three dozen feature films. In 2006 he played a washed-up producer on Entourage and stole the show. Last June he played Anna Nicole Smith's oil tycoon husband, Howard Marshall, in the Lifetime TV movie, Anna Nicole.
Max Von Sydow, 84 The 6-foot-4-inch Swedish-born actor made his first film 64 years ago. In the last few years he has appeared in such prestigious movies as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Emotional Arithmetic, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, for which he won a 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Last year he had two films, Branded, a sci-fi epic, and Truth and Treason, about Nazi Germany. He also popped up as Cardinal von Walburg in TV's The Tudors. In his downtime he provides voices for video games.
Ed Asner, 83 For the last four years, Asner has been crisscrossing the country in FDR, playing Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The one-man stage show is based on the play, Sunrise at Campobello. He has also been a cast member of such cable TV shows as Working Class and Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays. In June he was featured in "The Killer Barbecue" episode of The Glades. Asner fans have nothing to fear but his retirement.
Christopher Plummer, 83 Two years ago, at age 81, the veteran film and stage actor (known to so many as Capt. Georg Ludwig von Trapp in The Sound of Music) won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar (and every other film award) for his role as Hal in Beginners, which was written and directed by Mike Mills. In real life, Hal was Mills' dad, who in his old age came out of the closet as a gay man. That same year Plummer appeared in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and provided the voice for a video game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Robert Duvall, 82 The Oscar-winning superstar has been a major presence in TV and movies since 1959 — that's seven decades and counting. Since 2010 he's made six movies, including Get Low and Jack Reacher. He's currently filming The Judge with Robert Downey Jr. He also had a scene-stealing episode last week when he played an unannounced spectator at the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston.
James Earl Jones, 82 Few actors have such a commanding stage and screen presence as Jones, who has won a Tony, Golden Globe, Emmy and, in 2011, an Honorary Academy Award. Broadway audiences heard his famous voice last year in The Best Man, where he played the president of the United States. He just finished a sold-out tour of Australia in Driving Miss Daisy with Angela Lansbury. From Sept. 7 to Nov. 23 he'll be joining Vanessa Redgrave in Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic in London. He's much ado about something.
Sir Michael Caine, 80 He has 115 movies, five in the last three years (not counting voice work for animated films). This year alone the two-time Oscar winner can be seen in Now You See Me and the as-yet-to-be-released Mr. Morgan's Last Love, in which he plays a widowed philosophy professor. He also wrote an autobiography, The Elephant to Hollywood.
Willie Nelson, 80 The singer-songwriter, who has had 20 No. 1 country hits, still performs some 200 nights a year. Next stop: The Hollywood Bowl, Aug. 8-9. Then on the road again.
Quincy Jones, 80 The trumpeter, composer, arranger, record and film producer, and inventor of musical hybrids, has been a major force in the American music scene for more than 60 years. He's worked with 'em all, from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson. Even though he wears a lot of hats, he manages to fit in concert dates. He just returned from a gig at Tokyo's International Forum Hall. This year he was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. His latest protege is Emily Bear, an 11-year-old pianist and composer from Illinois.