Healthy, active, famous old people.
November 29, 2008 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Help me compile a list of healthy, active, famous old people.

A close friend of mine is turning 70 this week and keeps commenting on how all his friends are "dropping like flies". He is still very healthy and looks and acts quite young.

I'll like to fill his birthday card with a list of people who are in their seventies and eighties who are still active and healthy to inspire him that 70 isn't the end of the road.

I know I must be drawing a huge blank, because Tony Bennet and George Burns are the only two people I can come up with. Any ideas....?

It doesn't matter if they are male or female or living or dead, just so long as they're relatively famous.
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Bill Cosby looks and sounds old, but he's still performing stand-up comedy. For a 71-year-old, that's pretty damn impressive.
posted by Menomena at 4:33 PM on November 29, 2008

Sean Connery, Peter O'Toole, basically any old actor.

Ex Pres Carter?

Paul Newman in particular (check his racing career in later years).
posted by Brockles at 4:34 PM on November 29, 2008

Jack LaLanne is still kicking it at 94.
posted by ALongDecember at 4:35 PM on November 29, 2008

Clint Eastwood is another good example. He's apparently vegan, too?
posted by Menomena at 4:36 PM on November 29, 2008

George H.W. Bush jumped out of an airplane at age 80.

Jimmy Carter is doing amazing work these days. Really inspiring. He's in his mid-80s.
posted by purpleclover at 4:48 PM on November 29, 2008

World's wealthiest man, Warren Buffett, age 77 and still very active.
posted by netbros at 4:53 PM on November 29, 2008

John McCain
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
posted by jacalata at 5:11 PM on November 29, 2008

George Burns is no longer active. Not on earth anyway. Although he did continue to perform into his 90s.

Doc Paskowitz, subject of the 2007 documentary Surfwise, went surfing every day at age 84, when the movie was filmed, and presumedly still does so.

Robert McNamara may not be seen as physically active, but he is still very active, writing books and lecturing, and remains incredibly mentally sharp at age 92. After surviving his first wife, he married his second wife just 4 years ago. (Love him or hate him, watch The Fog of War to see how incredibly sharp his mind is, and how compelling he is to watch and listen to.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:02 PM on November 29, 2008

Willie Nelson is still quite prolific at 75.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:11 PM on November 29, 2008

Morgan Freeman is 71 and consistently working.
posted by pettirossa at 6:40 PM on November 29, 2008

Maya Angelou is 80 (b. 1928).

Woody Allen is 73 (b. 1935).

Robert Redford is 72 (b. 1936).

Julia Child was days short of 92 when she died (b. 1912, d. 2004), and was still cooking, writing and doing television in her 80's.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:10 PM on November 29, 2008

B.B. King still plays shows at 83.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 7:21 PM on November 29, 2008

This is completely off topic, but I recently came across a well-written blog you might want to pass on: The View From 90.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:46 PM on November 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Helen Mirren is 63. I don't know if that's old enough to qualify for this, but she si certainly still smoking hot.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:48 PM on November 29, 2008

The Pope is 80.
posted by mkultra at 7:59 PM on November 29, 2008

Regis Philbin! I know that he has had some heart-related problems, but that hasn't seemed to have slowed him down too much. He seems like a real firecracker.

I'm also going to say John McCain. He may not be as old as some of the people suggested here, but the late night talk show circuit sure got a kick over his age. He's almost fifty years older than I am, and I never could have run the non-stop campaign that he did. I think he deserves some credit for that! (I also couldn't do all Regis does: his show, trying to tame Kelly Ripa, the bank commercials, his frequent stints in Atlantic City, etc., and whatever secret shows he's probably got lined up.)
posted by Mael Oui at 8:25 PM on November 29, 2008

Well, he's not 70 for six more months, but I'd say Dick Vitale is as high-energy as humans can be.
posted by PFL at 8:33 PM on November 29, 2008

Some names, along with video evidence:
Robert Wagner, 78
The Dalai Lama, 73
Tom Smothers, 71
Bob Newhart, 79
Peter Graves, 82
Hugh Hefner, 82
Yoko Ono, 75
Don Pardo, 90

To get more, go to random birth years in Wikipedia. (I also checked on YouTube to make sure they're still spry.) For instance, here's 1933.
posted by limeswirltart at 9:07 PM on November 29, 2008

Kirk Douglas (actor)
Mother Teresa
Charlton Heston (actor)
Elizabeth Taylor (actress)
Hugh Hefner
Robert Redford (actor)
Barbara Walters
Maya Angelou
Min Bahadur Sherchan (oldest to scale Mt. Everest according to this)
George Jones (country music entertainer)
Clive Cussler (writer)
Pope Benedict XVI
Betty White (actress)
Andy Williams (singer)
Johnny Mathis (singer)
Ernest Borgnine (actor)
Warren Beatty (actor)
Michael Caine (actor)
Richard Chamberlain (actor)
Robert Duvall (actor)
James Garner (actor)
Donald Sutherland (actor)
Gene Hackman (actor)
Roger Moore (actor)
Dick Van Dyke (actor)
Jane Fonda (actress)
Ted Turner (media mogul)
Andy Griffith (actor)
Dick Clark
William Shatner (actor)
Rupert Murdoch (media mogul)
Edward "Ted" Kennedy (politician)
Yoko Ono
Joan Rivers (comedian)
Larry King
Judy Dench (actress)
Alan Alda (actor)

Gosh, the list could go on and on. Try looking at this site and others like it. You might even find some famous people that share the exact birthday as your friend.
posted by sapphirebbw at 10:06 PM on November 29, 2008

George Bernard Shaw
posted by pracowity at 7:00 AM on November 30, 2008

He's no longer with us, but Eddie Albert (of Green Acres fame) was still playing basketball in his wheelchair with his grandkids at age 99.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2008

She won't be 70 til next year, but Tina Turner is still recording and performing and just started a world tour in October.
Kenny Rogers, singer, 70
Diana Rigg, actress, 70
Ruth Ann Minner, governor of Delaware, 73
Rep. Ron Paul, Texas congressman/presidential candidate, 73
Bobby Bowden, Florida State University football coach, 79
Father Andrew Greeley, priest/novelist/columnist, 80
Burt Bacharach, composer, 80
Mary Higgins Clark, mystery novelist, 80 (will be 81 on December 24)
Joe Paterno, Penn State University football coach, 81 (will be 82 on December 21)
posted by SisterHavana at 9:32 AM on November 30, 2008

You could also focus on senior sports players and so forth. For instance, there are a lot of really good senior tennis players in the USTA.

That's the only one I know about, but I'm sure there are many others.
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:42 AM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am fortunate to run into Robert Vaughn every few months. By all appearances, he's pretty healthy. Since he's still active as an actor, he's likely still active at least somewhat fitness-wise.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 11:24 AM on November 30, 2008

A few more:
Mike Wallace, journalist, 90
Paul Harvey, radio personality, 90
Billy Graham, 90, evangelist

And some who are no longer with us...
Studs Terkel was a prolific writer/commentator up until he died on Halloween at the age of 96.
Margaret Truman's last book was published a few months before she died at the age of 83.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:29 AM on November 30, 2008

Jane Goodall is 74, still active, and (I've heard) still an amazing, elegant speaker.
posted by Gotham at 1:29 PM on November 30, 2008

Maybe this example is still too young, but what about Iggy Pop? He's still in his early 60's, but good Lord! Is there a better example of a healthy, upbeat, (hyper) active almost-senior citizen? He could also beat up everybody else on this list.
posted by Waldo Jeffers at 2:26 PM on November 30, 2008

Bo Diddley, who only a few months ago passed away at age 79, was actively touring and playing until a year before his death. He was even able to perform after his stroke.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:59 PM on November 30, 2008

Louise Bourgeois is pushing 100 and still producing amazing art, including sculptures that would scar an arachnophobe for life.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:16 PM on November 30, 2008

Splendid! Thank-you all!
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee at 2:15 AM on December 1, 2008

tom hafey (famous in australia not sure where you're from) is in his late 70s and fit as a bull
posted by compound eye at 2:29 AM on December 1, 2008

Nobody's mentioned Jack Nicholson (71)?
posted by Who_Am_I at 10:36 AM on December 1, 2008

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