See photos of Tippi Hedren, William Daniels, Rita Moreno, Dick Van Dyke and other nonagenarian stars from the beginning of their careers and now
The Alfred Hitchcock muse (and star of The Birds) has had an incredibly interesting life, and her Hollywood legacy is strong: She’s mother to Melanie Griffith and grandmother to Dakota Johnson. She celebrated her 90th birthday in January 2020.
James Earl Jones
The esteemed actor turned 90 on Jan. 17, 2021.
“I’ll make an exception and enjoy a slice of strawberry shortcake, my favorite!” he told USA Today via email of the low-key festivities for his 90th birthday at his home in upstate New York. Jones, who said that he plans to continue acting “for as long as I can,” added at the time that he was “feeling fantastic and grateful.”
“Looking back at my life and extensive career, I am so proud of my work and accomplishments. I love growing older and wiser with time,” he said.
While Jones intends to continue acting, in September 2022 he announced that he would step back from performing the voice of one of his most iconic characters, Darth Vader. Moving forward, the franchise will use cutting-edge A.I. to voice the character by utilizing archival recordings of Jones’ previous performances.
The Oscar and Tony Award-winning Cabaret star told PEOPLE on April 11, 2022, that he would be celebrating his 90th birthday “with good friends.”
But even after he entered his 10th decade, Grey has remained a busy actor, including making a cameo in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Tick, Tick… Boom! and appearing in three episodes of the 2022 FX thriller The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges.
When asked if he ever imagined becoming such a prolific actor as a young boy growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, he told PEOPLE, “No! I didn’t. I’ve never thought about it, actually, and I never thought [about] this number that I’d be associated with: 9-0.”
Daniels, who starred on the drama series St. Elsewhere and voiced the iconic KITT automobile in the action series Knight Rider, is perhaps best known as Boy Meets World‘s beloved Mr. Feeny.
Daniels still occasionally hangs with his former Boy Meets World castmates, joining them for a hilarious photo op at the Boston Comic-Con Fan Expo in August 2019.
Daniels, who turned 90 in March 2017, is also known for his longtime marriage to fellow actor Bonnie Bartlett. The pair celebrated their 70th anniversary on June 30, 2021.
The actor had been working in film for nearly 20 years before hitting it big in the late ’60s and ’70s with roles on TV’s It Takes a Thief, Switch and Hart to Hart.
One of the few stars to earn an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award), Moreno turned 90 on Dec. 11, 2021, with decades of iconic, groundbreaking work to her name.
She’s pictured here on the left attending the 1961 premiere of the original West Side Story, for which she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Anita, and on the right at the 2021 premiere of the Steven Spielberg version, in which she plays a new character, Valentina.
“I feel young,” the I Dream of Jeannie star told Page Six shortly after her 90th birthday in August 2021.
In addition to maintaining an “active” social life, she credits regular workouts (she still has a trainer!) for her longevity.
The esteemed actor turned 90 on Sept. 5, 2019 — and celebrated in Las Vegas! Days later he surfaced at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, playing a part in a bit about comedy legends that figured life-like statues of George Burns and Lucille Ball. When Ben Stiller, who did the segment, got to Newhart, the actor wryly reminded him, “I’m still alive.”
“You put me with George and Lucy and it’s weird,” Newhart said. “Like I was in some weird museum of comedy.”
“It’s more like legends of comedy,” Stiller insisted, riffing. “Alive, dead … all different types of comedy!”
But Newhart wasn’t buying it. “This legend is going to kick your ass, that way you’ll know I’m alive,” he said. “You thought I was dead!”
Though best known for starring in the sitcoms The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, he has continued to occasionally appear on television in shows like The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon.
The beloved, bespectacled designer turned 100 on Aug. 29, 2021. “Everything about turning 100 is fantastic, but I really do believe that I’m still the world’s oldest teenager,” she joked to InStyleahead of the big milestone.
The Star Trek actor with the iconic voicecelebrated entering his 90s in March 2021 by joking on Twitter: “Well! I must say that the reaction to a 90th birthday is overwhelming. Don’t you people have better things to do?”
The actor-musician-activist, who turned 90 in March 2017, came out of retirement after a 2015 seizure to shoot a stirring scene for Spike Lee’s Oscar-nominated 2018 film BlacKkKlansman. “He walked onto the set, and we were all shook,” Lee told Deadline. “He shot the scene three times, shook hands and posed for pictures with everyone, gave me a hug and he was out of there.”
In 2022, Belafonte was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influence category. He became the oldest living person to have received the honor.
The actor, known for roles in The French Connection, Hoosiers and The Royal Tenenbaums, retired from acting in 2004.
“I miss the actual acting part of it, as it’s what I did for almost 60 years, and I really loved that. But the business for me is very stressful,” he told Reuters in 2008. “It had gotten to a point where I just didn’t feel like I wanted to do it anymore.”
Hackman channels his creative energy into writing (his fifth book, Pursuit, came out in 2013) — but his fans are as ardent as ever, coming out en masse online to celebrate his 90th in January 2020.
Dick Van Dyke
A beloved actor and comedian, Van Dyke charmed audiences across the decades with his television series The Dick Van Dyke Show and films like Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bangand Night at the Museum.
In his cameo in the 2018 film Mary Poppins Returns, Van Dyke showed that he hardly aged a day since he starred in the 1964 original. (This was also evident in the flash mob thrown for his 90th, in December 2015.)
The prolific actor/director joined the club on May 31, 2020, when he turned 90.
In a December 2019 chat with Ellen DeGeneres, he got candid about aging, saying, “I don’t think about it,” adding with a laugh, “I sometimes think, when I was a little kid and I used to hang out with my grandfather who was in his 90s, and I thought, ‘Jesus, who the h—- would want to live this long!'”
Eva Marie Saint
The On the Waterfront and North by Northweststar is a true living legend. Saint is the oldest living winner of an Academy Award
In 2014 — the year she turned 90 — Saint lent her voice to Katara in the Avatar: The Last Airbender television spin-off The Legend of Korraand appeared in the film Winter’s Tale.
Though he left The Price Is Right in 2007 after doing more than 6,000 episodes of the beloved game show, the TV star has stayed busy behind the scenes, especially when it comes to his animal activism. He turned 99 in December 2022.
As the mind behind All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and many other television hits, Lear has an unmatched resume in the history of television production.
Though he celebrated his 100th birthday in July 2022, he is still busy writing and producing. Incredibly, Lear told PEOPLE at the time that he had 23 projects in the works!
The actress, who turned 90 in 2020, hadbeen working since 1955 — but gained a whole new generation of fans with her memorable role as Allie in 2004’s The Notebook, which was directed by her son, Nick Cassavetes. Rowlandsretired from acting after the release of her 2014 film Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, and she received an Honorary Oscar in 2016.
The iconic funnyman, who has had blockbuster success on TV, films and Broadway, has shown absolutely no signs of slowing down since his 90th birthday in 2016 — in fact, he released a memoir, All About Me!, in 2021 and wrote and executive produced a sequel to his hit A History of the World, Part I for Hulu.
A comrade of Queen Elizabeth II, beloved television host and natural historian, Attenborough won a Primetime Emmy Award for narrating the 2017 documentary series Blue Planet II. And he remains incredibly popular — in 2020, Attenborough (who turned 90 in 2016) became the fastest Instagram user to gain 1 million followers, achieving the feat in just four hours and 44 minutes.
Despite an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, which his family revealed at the beginning of 2021 (and which has caused him to retire), Bennett still finds joy in singing. In the “One Last Time” Radio City Music Hall performances with Lady Gaga, the legendary crooner (who turned 90 in 2016) effortlessly recalls all the words to his greatest hits.
The founder of Motown Records, responsible for launching the careers of The Supremes, the Jackson Five and Stevie Wonder, among many others, turned 90 in November 2019, but still keeps busy: In the early 2010s, Gordy oversaw a musical about his life and successes that premiered on Broadway in 2013.
In 2023, Gordy was honored alongside longtime collaborator Smokey Robinson as the 2023 MusiCares Persons of the Year Honorees.
The actress received an Oscar nomination at age 84 for her role in Nebraska and hasn’t slowed down since — you’ve seen her in Palm Springs, Godmothered, Life & Beth and Little America, all of which came out after her 90th birthday in 2019.
Gilbert, whose career in entertainment has spanned nearly 70 years (and even included two albums), has been the voice you’ve heard introducing Alex Trebek on every episode of Jeopardy from the host’s first turn in 1984 to his last, filmed in 2020 before he passed away from pancreatic cancer — and beyond. The announcer turned 90 in 2018.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer
A German Jewish refugee whose parents died in Auschwitz during the Holocaust, Dr. Ruthimmigrated to the United States in 1956 and began to pursue her post-doctoral studies in human sexuality. In 1980, she launched her radio career, eventually hosting the call-in show Sexually Speaking and becoming a phenomenon that changed the way Americans spoke about sex. In 2019, a documentary about her life debuted and as of her 94th birthday in 2022, she was still dishing out spicy life advice.
The astronaut became the second human to set foot on the moon in July 1969, when his Apollo 11 mission landed on the lunar surface. Aldrinhas since earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom, written books and continues to promote space exploration. He turned 90 in 2020.