Wednesday, March 22, 2023



Mel Brooks

Age: 96

One of the most beloved filmmakers and directors of the 20th century - though he’s still writing and acting at the age of 96 - Mel Brooks was responsible for classic comedies such as The Producers (1967), Blazing Saddles (1974) and Young Frankenstein (1974).

Across his illustrious career, Mel Brooks has won an Academy Award for writing The Producers, and has also won multiple Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards. Brooks was married to American actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until she passed away in 2005 at the age of 73.

Brooks created his own production company - Brooksfilms - as he looked to move into more serious movies. Over the years, this company has produced hit films such as The Elephant Man (1980), To Be or Not to Be (1983) and The Fly (1986).

Tony Bennett

Age: 96

Tony Bennett made a name for himself using his smooth, soulful voice, with which he sang jazz and big band standards.

Born in New York, Bennett served in the military during World War II, before starting his performing career in the 1950s. He went on to score hits for decades, with his best-remembered being the ballad “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”.

Following a career lull around the turn of the millennium, Bennett enjoyed a late resurgence, singing alongside other artists. Collaborating with Lady Gaga, he released Cheek to Cheek in 2014, which reached number one in the US and made Bennett the oldest person to have topped the album charts.

Sadly, Bennett has now retired from performing, to focus on his health following an Alzheimer's diagnosis. However, he went out in style, releasing his final record at 95 and securing a Guinness World Record as the oldest person to release an album of all new material.

Bob Newhart

Age: 93

Best known for his deadpan style of delivery, Bob Newhart began as a standup comic before transitioning into the world of television. With a mild-mannered persona and a unique blend of observational humour and understated satire, Newhart has starred in numerous hit shows, including The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978) and Newhart (1982-1990).

Having served during the Korean War, Newhart was discharged in 1954 and rose to prominence in 1960, when his album of comedic monologues - The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart became a smash hit and reached number one on the Billboard pop album chart. To this day, it remains the 20th best-selling comedy album of all time.

My favourite Bob Newhart quote:

“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.”

Tippi Hedren

Age: 93

Born in 1930, Tippi Hedren’s modelling career took her from New York to Los Angeles. It was her appearance in a TV commercial that led acclaimed director Alfred Hitchcock to give her a leading role in the hit movie The Birds (1963). This performance won Hedren a Golden Globe Award - for New Star of the Year.

Over the years, Hedren has appeared in a variety of other successful films, including Marine (1964) and Roar (1981). In total, Hedren has over 80 film and television credits to her name.

She is the mother of Melanie Griffith.

In the early 1970s, Hedren founded the Shambala Preserve in California. This sanctuary for rescued exotic cats spans 80 acres and has provided a safe haven for numerous lions and tigers over the years.

Buzz Aldrin

Age: 93

Buzz Aldrin soared into the public limelight on July 16th, 1969, when he and the rest of the Apollo 11 crew were launched into space. This launch was televised in 33 countries and had roughly 25 million viewers in the USA alone.

Three days later, Aldrin became only the second person to walk on the moon, with Neil Armstrong becoming the first just moments earlier.

Prior to Apollo 11, Aldrin was a distinguished air force pilot. He flew 66 combat missions during the Korean War, including flying an F-86 aircraft as part of the 51st Fighter Wing in Seoul.

Since leaving NASA, Aldrin has continued to campaign for further space exploration. He even teamed up with Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy and others to create the rap song “Rocket Experience” in an attempt to further this cause.

Gene Hackman

Known for a range of charismatic and heartfelt performances across several genres, Gene Hackman remained one of the world’s most popular actors for several decades, before retiring as an actor in 2004.

Across a remarkable big-screen career, Hackman won two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and several other noteworthy awards. His Academy Awards came for playing Jimmy Doyle in The French Connection (1971) - Best Actor - and Bill Daggett in Clint Eastwood’s Western film Unforgiven (1992) - Best Supporting Actor.

Before getting into acting, Hackman spent time trying to find a meaningful career. He dropped out of school at 16, before lying about his age so he could enlist in the Marines. During this time, Hackman was trained as a radio operator and ended up working as a DJ in China.

Hackman also has a keen interest in car races and even competed in the Sports Car Club of America races in the late 1970s, driving an open-wheeled Formula Ford.

Clint Eastwood

Age: 92

Clint Eastwood is an American actor and director whose legendary career spans several decades. He achieved worldwide recognition for portraying The Man with No Name across three spaghetti westerns: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

Eastwood began directing movies in the early 1970s, including High Plains Drifter (1973) and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). In each of these films, he also played the lead role. Eastwood’s list of acting and directorial credits is as impressive as it is long. He most recently directed and starred in Cry Macho (2021) at the age of 90.

Eastwood has also had a long-standing association with politics, having won the election to become the mayor of Carmel-by-Sea, California in 1986.

Barbara Eden

Age: 91

Barbara Eden was born in Tucson, Arizona. She would later move to San Francisco, and it was here she developed into a teenage pop singer and cheerleader.

Having made her big-screen debut all the way back in 1956, Eden truly hit it big in 1965, when she starred alongside Larry Hagman in the popular I Dream of Jeannie TV sitcom for five years.

Across a career covering more than five decades, Eden has appeared in 21 movies and over 50 TV shows. These films and shows include working alongside some of the major Hollywood production houses like Tristar, Columbia and Twentieth Century Fox.


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