Though it is hard to imagine now, Bea Arthur had to wait until her 40s before she achieved fame and success in Hollywood. After a stretch of sporadic roles on Broadway productions and television programs like “All in the Family,” Made made its debut in 1972 when Arthur was 45 years old.
Thus, the sitcom went on to run for six seasons, earning Arthur an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1975.
Kathryn Joosten was not a household name until her 41st year when she starred as Karen McCluskey in "Desperate Housewives." Before this, she worked as an oncology nurse while appearing as a guest star in various television programs throughout the 1990s. Her career only began to take off after her performance on "Desperate Housewives" earned her an Emmy Award in 2005, after which she went on to appear in various films and television shows.
These Hollywood veterans are living proof that greatness can be achieved at any age, even after 40. Each of these actors worked hard and overcame obstacles to reach the heights of fame and success they all enjoy today. They may have had a late start, but their dedication, passion, and talent brought them to where they are now – some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Before finding fame as a judge on "American Idol," Simon Cowell worked as a talent manager and producer from his mid-20s onwards with little notoriety or accolades. It was not until he joined the judging panel of "Pop Idol UK" at age 42 that Cowell began to gain recognition as a music mogul.
His popularity quickly spread across the Atlantic, and he was soon brought on board for "American Idol" in 2002.
F. Murray Abraham
The Oscar-winning actor F. Murray Abraham was not always an A-list Hollywood star. After appearing in various television programs throughout the early ‘60s, most of his efforts went unrecognized until 1975, when he landed a supporting role in "All the President’s Men" at age 47.
After that, he managed to secure roles in major films such as "Scarface" (1983), "Amadeus" (1984), and "The Name of the Rose" (1986). Finally, after more than two decades of hard work and dedication to acting, Abraham won an Oscar for his performance in Amadeus.
The iconic Mexican actor Ricardo Montalbán was born in 1920 and did not gain Hollywood fame until 1956 when he appeared in the film Around the World in 80 Days at age 36. From there, Montalbán went on to star in a wide range of films and television shows throughout his life.
However, his most notable roles include Khan Noonien Singh in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) and Mr. Roarke in "Fantasy Island" (1978–1984).
Though Morgan Freeman is recognized today as one of Hollywood’s greatest actors, it was not until the age of 50 that he finally started to gain wider public recognition. His breakout role was in "Street Smart" (1987), for which he received his first Oscar nomination.
From there, he landed roles in box-office hits such as "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994), "Seven" (1995), and "Million Dollar Baby" (2004).