Longevity is something we all wish to obtain in our later years. Health and good care are only some of the factors to a long enjoyable life. We thought we would share a list of famous centenarians who have graced our culture present and past.
1. Olivia De Havilland
Born: July 1, 1916-
Current age: 100
Olivia De Havilland is a two-time academy award winning actress. She has been featured in 49 films throughout her career. She is best recognized for films like, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939) and To Each His Own (1946). She has lived in the United States, United Kingdom and France. Recently as of June 2017, she was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire during the honor’s list at Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday. She is the oldest person to have ever received such high honors. She currently resides in Paris, France. She was married two times and has two children.
Fun Fact: She was recently portrayed in the current FX’s television show Feud: Bette and Joan.
2. Bob Hope
Born: May 29, 1903
Died: July 27, 2003 (Aged 100)
Bob Hope, born Leslie Townes Hope, was one of America’s finest comedians, actor and activist for the United Service Organizations (USO). During his involvement with the USO he would entertain for the American troops overseas and headlined over 57 times. This led him to be an honorary veteran appointed by Congress. He was also known for his NBC comedy specials that started in the 1950s and lasted into the 1970s.
Fun Fact: Bob Hope holds the record for hosting the most Academy Awards, with a total of 18 times!
3. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Born: August 4, 1900
Died: March 30, 2002 (Aged 101)
She was the mother to Queen Elizabeth II. To avoid confusion with her daughter, she took the name Queen Mother after her husband King George VI passed away in 1952. She was very popular with the British people during WWII and remained active in her public duties after her husband’s passing. On her leisure time she enjoyed gardening, fishing and horseracing.
Fun Fact: Her nicknames include; “Smiling Duchess” and “Queen Mum”.
4. George Burns
Born: January 20, 1896
Died: March 9, 1996 (Aged 100)
George Burns was a admired American radio personality, comedian, actor and author known for his radio and television show with his wife Gracie Allen in the 1920s. Their radio show ran from 1932-1950 which had over 40 million listeners that eventually lead them to the big screen. Movies include, International House (1933), Many Happy Returns (1934), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Oh God! (1977) to name a few. During the 1950s him and his wife starred in, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, which was one of the top-rated shows of the decade.
Fun Fact: In 1988, Burns won a lifetime achievement award from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. He had also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film, The Sunshine Boys.
5. Kirk Douglas
Born December 9, 1916-
Current Age: 100
Kirk Douglas is a legendary Hollywood actor, producer, director and author who began his career during the film industry’s Golden Age. Known for his iconic role as Spartacus and father to actor Michael Douglas, he currently resides in Hollywood with his wife Anne. Outside of acting, he has devoted his life to philanthropic work. He created the Douglas Foundation with his wife and assist those in need like the non-profit organization, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Fun Fact: Douglas has over 90 films he has made during his career. Honors include, Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
6. Run Run Shaw
Born: November 23, 1907
Died: January 7, 2014 (Aged 107)
Run Run Shaw was one of the most influential figures in the Asian entertainment industry. He was known for creating one of Hong Kong’s largest film production companies. Strongly influenced by Hollywood, he created a similar production studio called Shaw Brothers Studios. Eventually the studio popularized the kung fu genre leading inspiration for those American directors such as John Woo and Quentin Tarantino.
Fun Fact: Run Run Shaw was also an admired philanthropist who donated billions to education institutions in Hong Kong and parts of China.
7. David Rockefeller
Born: June 12, 1915
Died: March 20, 2017 (Aged 101)
David Rockefeller was the oldest living patriarch of the celebrated American family, the Rockefellers. He was the grandson to John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and America’s first billionaire. During his career in the economic industry he was a banker, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He served in WWII in North Africa and France as military intelligence.
Fun Fact: Before his recent passing in March 2017, he was ranked the oldest billionaire of the world’s richest which was published on the day of his death.
8. Gloria Stewart
Born: July 4, 1910
Died: September 26, 2010 (Aged 100)
Better known for her role as Rose in the blockbuster hit, Titanic (1997), she began her career as an actress in the early 1930s. Some of her other admired movies include, The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Roman Scandals (1933). Around the 1940s she decided to step down from acting and open an art furniture shop. Here she would create beautiful pieces of furniture for fellow actors in the Hollywood community. She also took up painting and her art collections can be seen around Los Angeles.
Fun Fact: She was the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 87.
9. Irving Berlin
Born: May 11, 1888
Died: September 22, 1989 (Aged 101)
American songwriter, composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin, is considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States as a child with his family where they settled in New York City. Berlin became a legend before the age of 30. Throughout his 60-year career, he wrote over 1,500 songs. Some recognized songs include, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”(1911), “Always”(1925), “Blue Skies”(1926), “Puttin’ On the Ritz”(1930), “God Bless America”(1938). This includes over a dozen of Broadway shows and Hollywood films and eight nominations for Academy Awards.
Fun fact: He has worked with performers such as Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney and Cher.
10. Señor Wences
Born: April 17, 1896
Died: April 20, 1999 (Aged 103)
During the 1950s and 1960s, Señor Wences was a popular Spanish-American ventriloquist who made frequent appearances on CBS’, The Ed Sullivan Show. Born Wenceslao Moreno, he took up the stage name, Señor Wences. He was born in Spain and grew his craft around the globe and eventually gained popularity in the United States. While performing he was known for his quick speed and skills as a ventriloquist. While performances grew, he developed quirky catch phrases like “S’awright?” and “Hello in the box!” along with his stage puppet pals named, Johnny and Pedro.
Fun fact: In New York City on the Upper East Side, you will find a section on 54th street named “Señor Wences Way.”