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Which Living Actor/Actress in Business the Longest?


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Stoneyburke666's question on the oldest living actor/actress got me thinking: I wonder, which living actor/actress has been in the movie business the longest? It's hard to explain, but which one made the oldest movie? How many were around in the 20s? I know Anita Page was popular in the late 20s, and she is still around at 94. She was in her teens in the late 20s. Does anyone know of anyone else who has been in the business that long?

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Mickey Rooney as a child made silent films as a cigar smoking midget(!) in the mid-1920's. He was born in 1920 and is still active and performing and this I can personally attest to since I saw Mickey and his wife perform togther at the Irish Repertory Theater in Manhattan this past Friday night.

 

Anita Page may very well be the last silent movie actress, although in terms of actually performing through the years, Gloria Stuart and maybe Luise Rainer qualify, since both have made at least 1 film in the last few years.

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  • 2 months later...

i think Mickey Rooney would be the answer given many of the variations on the question. Anita Page is credited in a movie a year before Mickey Rooney, but she was not active in movies for many years. Mickey Rooney is the only actor or actress I can find who has a career spanning nine(!!!) decades.

 

Another contender is Gloria Stuart, who recieved an Academy Award nomination in 1997 for Titanic. Her first credit is for Street of Women in 1932 and most recent is Wim Wenders' Land of Plenty, 2004.

 

There is also Charles Lane, living still, and close to 100 years old. He has well over 200 movie and TV credits from 1931 to the mid-1990s.

 

I originally came to this board to ask a related question: which silent era actors/actresses are still living? Other than Mickey Rooney and Anita Page, I know of only one other, Barbara Kent, who was in Flesh & The Devil with Garbo, but hasn't been in a film since the 1940s.

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Mickey Rooney has been doing movies for i think 80 years now? also 1 ? since U went and saw "The Mick" & his Wife in their show, did U happen 2 Get a chance 2 meet him? i ONLY

 

ask Cause according to some people off The Internet Movie Data Base he's QUITE RUDE 2 people & i am Curious if what they say is TRUE!

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I was in his company and he wasn't rude just overly sentimental and 1 other thing: His words can and does border on the vulgar which hey, that's how he expresses himself. BUT another actor whose still living and played opposite all the great ones from the 40's is Bruce Bennett.

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Johannes Heesters has to be mentioned again here. He first appeared on film in 1924, before Mickey or Anita. I think he's primarily a stage actor, so there are gaps in his filmography, but as far as I know he still works occasionally.

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I've also heard that Mickey Rooney is a little rude. I read that he was signing autographs at a movie memorabilia show, for a fee mind you, and he wouldn't personalize the autograph. The person who shared this story was more than a little upset by it.

 

And I saw him at Carnegie Hall here in New York when they had a tribute to all of the MGM musical stars, and my seats were in the orchestra near the stage door, and when we went to leave, he was coming out of the dressing room area, no more than maybe five feet from me, and he was practically pushing people aside to get out, and one man said "Thank you Mr. Rooney" and put out his hand for him to shake it, and Mickey quickly shaked it without barely looking at the guy and just booked right out of there to a waiting car. And I know it's not a big deal, but he was just very abrupt, and didn't even have the decency to smile and say goodnight to people that he was practically pushing out of the way who had paid money to see him. Meanwhile every other star who came out smiled and even shook a few hands, and some signed autographs. The only other one who was rude was Arlene Dahl, who thinks she's like Elizabeth Taylor or something with the stuck up attitude she has. I told her that I was a fan of her work, and very condescendingly she said, "oh really, YOU know my films" like I was making it up. Meanwhile I was probably more familiar with her films than most of the other people standing there.

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I didn't know about Johannes Heesters - thanks.

 

Does anyone know of any other living actors/actresses/directors who began in the silent era? perhaps that's a different topic than this one.

 

---

 

Also, what does Mickey Rooney politeness, or lack thereof, have to do with the length of his career? I'd be cranky too if i had to sign autographs at a movie memorbilia show.

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well that's a shame to hear that Mickey Rooney Can Be sometimes Rude. but this moron who posted all this negative talk about him is kinda obessed about it. excuse the

 

mis-spelling. my fault! hehe but i just wanted 2 add that i don't Normally judge people how they are in real life but what work they do as in the Case for Mickey Rooney or "John Ford" he was the BIGGEST A-Hole around when he was around to his actors as well as his fellow men HOWEVER i don't really know much about him either so i'm just relying on ONLY

 

stories that i've heard! & my point MAINLY IS he was a damm good Director wouldn't anyone agree? & 1 Question who is Johannes Heesters? i've never heard of them b4!!

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There probably aren't any directors left from the silent era. Unlike an actor, a director would have to be an adult when they start. The oldest living director I know of is Vincent Sherman, who is in his late 90s.

 

I remember hearing about a silent director named Jaroslav Siakel turning 100 in the late 90's. I assume he died since then, but I can't find anything mentioning it.

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cstimpy25 - I'm a moron? I hope you weren't directing that stupid comment towards me. I was just sharing information since someone else brought the topic up.

 

Another star of the silent era that is still alive is Diana Serra Carey who was "Baby Peggy" back in the early 20's. She really was only a baby when she made these films, but her films were very popular back then. Once she started to grow up her popularity faded, and she left the screen totally in the mid 30's. So even though she really didn't have a long career, she's still one of the only living links to the silent era.

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no i wasn't aiming it at you & if U took it that way i apologize. i was thinking about this guy i dunno his REAL name he's i think 17 although i could be wrong about that. but this guy he had a bad experience with Mickey Rooney he's taking it Personal NOW i'm NOT calling anyone a liar. but after he typed in oh sheesh i 4 got what i was my point is that this guy is Obessed with it! U on the other-hand aren't

 

Dissapointed yes but you i'm guessing aren't still upset about it like this guy is. u seem to be MORE intellagent & excuse my mis-spelling it seems 2 escape me at the moment. & this guy that i'm talking about he met Mick i think it was in August? & he's STILL talking about it! he's even

 

had a thread on it & it's growing! at least U didn't chose to go that route. but no i wasn't talking about u. just this other guy on another site that i visit that's all.

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i also neglected to Mention that although her name Escapes at the moment but she Played "SALLY" on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" she was just a kid a baby ALSO i think back in the LATE (1920's) & Early (1930's) & is STILL ALIVE! :) & STILL sometimes acts 2! :)

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Coming in a wee-bit late on this-(I neglected to check & see if anyone gave this answer as yet?)

According to all print-(AFI & Guinness Book of Records Lillian Gish-(1894-1993) hold the record for longest cinematic career-(1912-87) 75yrs

However, she didn't do a lot of motion pictures. But "The Mick" Rooney, started in 1932-(72 & counting)

& dispicabally, Lillian was only nominated once for the ACADEMY AWARD>1946's mammoth "Deul in the Sun"-(supporting)(*Selznick's attempt at another *"GWTW")

She deserved the award for "The Wind" (1928) & a supporting 1 for 1955's superb "Night of the Hunter!"

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To moviejoe, you "BET!" About Rooney. A tremendously talented lil' guy, but I can tell you stuff I heard-(not here)

& I was on the doe about Mickey starting in '32 "Beast of the City"

Plus, TCM's R. 0sborne, made a rare mistake-(he said it was *Olivier tat cited "The Mick," as the single most talented person in Hollywood Nope, it was always Cary Grant whom said it.

Plus, he is involved in an upcoming project-(I won't divulge it here on TCM because a pal 0'mine already has the same thing-(on-line at present)

(TRIVIA: How many flix did he make with *Spencer Tracy?)

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Sorry cstimpy25 - I'm glad you didn't think I was ranting, because I wasn't trying to. Although I did re-read my post, and I did go off a little, especially about Arlene Dahl. But it just entered my mind and I went off. I can tell you, SHE was definitely rude, and that does bother me, because when you meet these people that you've watched on screen for so long, you want it to be a memorable experience. That's probably why this other guy you mentioned is still so upset.

 

And you're right about Rose Marie from the Dick Van Dyke Show. I don't think she was in silents, but she did do work in movies in the early 30's, and was even in Vaudeville. She was this little girl with a powerful, husky voice, and was actually billed as a young Sophie Tucker. She's in 1933's "International House" made at Paramount and starring W.C. Fields along with an all-star cast. It's coming to DVD in the boxed set of Fields movies that is being released in a couple weeks.

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Whoever mentioned Rose Marie, that's a good one - I completely forgot about her! I love The Dick Van Dyke Show, and I just checked, and she was working in 1929. She made a short in which she sang, and she was only about 6 years old!

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myidolspencer - Lillian Gish for 75 years is long, but it looks like Guiness Book is due for an update. Mickey "Rooney" has been in films since 1932 or 33, but before that he's credited as Mickey Mcguire in dozens of two-reel comedies going back to 1927 - that's 77 years crossing nine decades.

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Lillian and Mickey's careers both seem abbreviated next to Curt Bois, who was a child actor going back to German silents in 1907. He emigrated to Hollywood in the late 30s and became a very successful character actor in movies such as Casablanca. He worked fairly steadily until his last film, Wenders' classic Wings of Desire, 80 years after he started.

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1stly i've met quite a few Famous People myself & i guess i've been lucky because they so far been nice 2 me ya know? & U are right they SHOULD be NICER 2 you IF you happen 2 Get Lucky enough 2 meet them in person like at Conventions. because NOT all of them go 2 them either. one actor who is Awefully Nice from what i hear is Christopher Lee! a TRUE Gentlemen! & as for "Mickey Rooney" 2 my

 

knowledge this is his 80th year doing movies! :) (1926) however someone i met online said they got information somwhere they Couldn't remember Exactly Where though that, That Film was made 2 yrs b4 that date. so i dunno iF that is indeed True or not? i forgot about "Curt Bois" i've

 

NEVER seen any of his Movies least 2 my knowledge" & i'm NOT trying 2 **** anyone off either on this site or any other site. i just find that some of these Actors, Actress

Writers etc... we as fans give them Careers & they are rude ayuh i would be a little angry but there's a LOT of famous or NOT famous people who are out here that like

 

that & i think it is sad. & 2 actressess who did movies for almost 60 years is Joan Crawford & Bette Davis & Granted they are NOW passed on they did grace us with their presence for MANY years! :)

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  • 1 year later...

Dear Venerados:

 

Jaroslav Siakel, my grandfather and director of the first Czeck (Slovak) film died in Feb, 1997 at the age of 101. He was a true gentleman and he would have been very proud to know people still remember him.

 

Hope this message finds its way to you after several years on the internet.

 

Sincerely,

 

Russell Siakel

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