Apart from the celebrities killed on social media many times before their actual deaths, there are many other famous old actors that we believe are either dead or can’t still be alive. Most of these actors have been there since the time we were kids, we got too used to seeing them before they just disappeared into thin air.
Some of these actors have stepped away because of old age, ill health, or maybe their stars have dimmed in Hollywood, or even to face other projects that have nothing to do with acting and entertainment.
Famous Old Actors You Didn’t Know Are Still Alive
1. Doris Day
(Born: 3 April 1922)
Born Doris Mary Kappelhoff, the actress has been acting since 1939, even before she was 20 years old. Also a singer who is popular for many songs including “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”, Doris Day appeared in many movies and Television shows until the 1990s. Her most popular works include Romance on the High Seas (1948), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968).
The actress who has been married four times has left the screen and music to be involved in animal welfare activism as a result of her love for animals. She founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation which has now become the Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF) in 1978 and through this, she has been helping animals and people who love them.
2. Olivia de Havilland
(Born: July 1, 1916)
Two years into the First World War, Olivia de Havilland was born. She was brought up to appreciate arts that it became natural for her to have a career thereof. Olivia began acting in 1935 when she appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; after which she went on to appear in many other successful works including The Strawberry Blonde (1941), To Each His Own (1946), The Snake Pit (1948), and The Heiress (1949).
Olivia kept acting until 1988 when she retired. Nonetheless, she would be a narrator of the 2009 feature film, I Remember Better When I Paint. She has won many awards including the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. De Havilland had a sister (Joan Fontaine) who was also an actress, although the two did not have the best of relationship. Joan died on December 15, 2013.
3. Dick Van Dyke
(Born: December 13, 1925)
Born Richard Wayne Van Dyke, this actor cannot be forgotten in a hurry, although many do not know he is still alive. Van Dyke began his career in the entertainment world which included acting, singing, and dancing in 1947 when he started as a radio DJ. It was, however, in the 1950s that he took to professional acting.
With more than 50 productions to his name, he has appeared in many highly successful productions including Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Dick Tracy (1990), Curious George (2006), and Night at the Museum (2006). The most recent appearances of the actor were in Signed, Sealed, Delivered (2014) and The Middle (2015). He has won many awards such as the Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and Grammy Awards.
Since he took a step away from major acting, the actor has had some health problems and he has been commenting on some political happenings in the US.
4. Mel Brooks
(Born: 28 June 1926)
Brooks is definitely one of the famous old actors that at first, many thought he was never going to die, and then when he no longer appeared in movies, many believed he is dead. However, the actor who was born as Melvin Kaminsky is still very much alive.
One of the most sought-after directors of the 1970s, Mel Brooks began his career in 1949 and subsequently became super famous for works like Young Frankenstein (1974), The Producers (1967), The Twelve Chairs (1970), and Blazing Saddles (1974).
Although we don’t see him anymore, the actor has not retired from Hollywood as he still works as a voice actor. He voiced Mr. Rogman in The Guardian Brothers (2017), Vlad in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018), and Shogun in Blazing Samurai (2018).
5. Tippi Hedren
(Born: January 19, 1930)
A very versatile individual, Nathalie Kay Hedren is an actress and former model who had her best days from the 1950s to the 2000s. Having started her career in 1954, she became famous in 1958 for the classic thriller, Vertigo.
With many movies and TV shows to her credit, Tippi’s career was interrupted following some health challenges that prevented her from taking various projects. Her most recent works are Free Samples (2012), Return to Babylon (2013), and The Ghost and the Whale (2015).
Since going missing from the center stage, Tippi Hedren has done some writing and has published her autobiography, Tippi: A Memoir in 2016. In 2018, she did a commercial for Gucci, becoming the face of its timepieces and jewelry.
6. Christopher Plummer
(Born- December 13, 1929)
Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer is an actor who was a familiar face on the screen for as much as six decades. He began acting during his high school days, before making his Broadway debut with an appearance in The Starcross Story (1953). Popular for movies such as The Sound of Music (1965), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Malcolm X (1992), and much more, Plummer has many awards to show for all his hard work.
The actor has done some voice acting and writing since he began resting from movies. More so, he now lives with his wife, Elaine Taylor, in Connecticut. The two have been married since 1970 following two failed marriages of the actor.
7. Angela Lansbury
(Born: October 16, 1925)
Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury began acting in theatres when she was much younger. Having a career that spanned over 6 decades, she won a Golden Globe Award and two Oscar nominations for her first movie appearances in Gaslight (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Angela Lansbury is a very big name in the Cinema and she has also done some popular voice acting, including for the original Beauty and the Beast in 1991. With over a hundred productions to her name, the actress has her most recent work in Mary Poppins Returns which is set to be released in 2018.
Even though she is still involved in a few productions, many don’t know she is still alive as most of the roles are not major ones.
8. Kirk Douglas
(Born: 9 December 1916)
The reason why many do not know that Kirk Douglas is still alive is because he is not only among the famous old actors but is one of the few from the golden age of the film industry who still survives.
Raised in a very poor family as one among seven siblings by immigrant parents, he began his acting career in 1946 when he appeared on The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. By 1949, he had already made a name for himself as an actor with a highly acclaimed performance in Champion which landed him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He would go on to act in many more movies through his career including Spartacus, Lonely Are the Brave, and Seven Days in May which he listed as some of his best works.
At over 100, the actor is not only alive, but he is doing quite well. In 1996, he suffered a stroke, but that has not stopped him from acting, although it has reduced his public appearances.
9. Sidney Poitier
(Born: February 20, 1927)
Sidney Poitier is a highly successful actor who became the first black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Having started his career in 1947, the Bahamian-American actor had his best days from the late 1950s to the 1960s within which he won many of his awards and took part in many movies.
Having appeared on the 2001 TV film, The Last Brickmaker in America, Poitier who is also a film director has been involved in diplomatic assignments, serving as the ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan from 1997 to 2007 while also serving as the Ambassador of the country to UNESCO.
Beyond being one of the famous old actors who are still alive, he is one of the most respected and highly decorated. In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him and in 2009, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
10. Honor Blackman
(Born: 22 August 1925)
Blackman is one of those who has almost disappeared completely from acting, although it was only in 2015 that she took her bow away from the profession. She started acting in her early twenties when she got a role in the 1947 film, Fame Is the Spur. In the years to come, the British actress would go on and act in many more movies and also try her hand on singing.
It was when she turned 15 that her parents decided to gift her acting lessons, putting her on the right path to a career in acting. Some of her most recognized performances were in The Avengers and the James Bond movie, Goldfinger in 1964.
She continued acting until 2015 when she acted in You, Me & Them. Before then, she acted in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012), Casualty (2013), and By Any Means (2013).