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It Is Never Too Late To Become Famous: Celebrities Who Became Popular After Reaching 40

Becoming Famous Is The Dream of Every Celebrity. When Is The Perfect Time To Achieve This?

Every aspiring actor dreams of making it big in Hollywood. The journey to fame may take shorter for some, while others may need to wait for several projects before their career finally takes off. It seems that it takes a combination of talent, luck, and a prayer to reach the goal of popularity. You only need to work hard and wait until that perfect timing and opportunity land on your lap. We should admire some famous people who have gained recognition much later in their life because more often than not, it’s not their smoking bodies nor good looks that got them to where they are now. So, is it because that they have more wisdom and experience befitting of middle-aged individuals? See who they are and how they achieved fame later in their life.


Samuel Jackson

The actor-producer initially wanted to be a marine biologist. In spite of a stuttering problem when he was younger, he saw himself joining a local acting group just to get extra credits in a class. Before he realized it, he was hooked on acting. He appeared on theater productions and bit parts on certain films, but it was his role as a crack addict in the 1991 film Jungle Fever that made him famous. He was 43 when he did the movie.


Morgan Freeman

Freeman is an American actor, narrator, and producer. He started acting when he was nine years old in a school play and finished high school, at which time he was already performing on a radio show in Tennessee. Instead of attending college, he opted to enlist in the US Air Force. He found a desk job after the military, and eventually went back to acting in theater. Soon, he began working on film projects. It was his roles in Street Smart and Driving Miss Daisy that he got his real break, earning Oscar nominations for his portrayal. He was in his 50s when this happened.


Steve Carell. Photo: Magnus Sundholm for the HFPA.

The actor-comedian initially performed in theater during his younger years. He made his film debut in Curly Sue where he played a minor role. Other short-term acting projects followed, until he had a recurring appearance for five years on the TV series The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Carell got the recognition that he deserved for playing Michael Scott on The Office, where he also served as a seasonal writer and director. He was 43 when he became well-known for this TV show.


NeNe Leakes

The multi-talented TV personality started appearing on TV in 2003, initially doing minor roles. Her first project was The Parkers, followed by a film role in The Fighting Temptations. But it was in 2008 when she would gain recognition for her portrayal on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She also made a mark as Rocky Rhoades on the award-winning sitcom The New Normal. Leakes was 41 years old when she became famous.


Sharon Osbourne

The English TV personality is married to Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. She acts as his wife and manager, and is behind the successful musical career of her husband. But soon she found herself carving her own niche in the entertainment industry by embarking on a television career that includes the reality show The Osbournes, which followed the daily life of her family. This was the show that would make her well-known. She was 50 years old then.


Simon Cowell

Audiences love to hate him. The reality television judge who also happens to be a record producer and entrepreneur initially tried his hand at record producing – selling exercise videos and music from acts. He worked his way into other recording labels where he created novelty records. Fast forward and a decade short later, Cowell landed on a judging role on Pop Idol, and eventually on the highly followed American Idol series that would make him notoriously famous. He was 43 when he reached his fame as a reality judge.

 Yoda_Celebs Who are 40


Steven Seagal

Seagal was a martial arts instructor in Japan, being a 7th-dan belt in Aikido, before he entered showbusiness. Eventually, he took up residence in Los Angeles, California and worked as a martial arts instructor on the film Never Say Never Again. He soon found himself joining the acting industry by first debuting in the movie Above The Law, and doing some other films. But it would be the film Under Siege where the martial artist-actor would make a name for himself as an action star. He just turned 40 when the film was released.


Burt Reynolds

He played halfback when he was in college, and hoped to have a football career. That dream changed when he had an injury that was further worsened by a car accident. He continued to study in college until he was asked to audition for a play. The lead role was awarded to him and eventually led him to an acting career years later. Reynolds did both TV and film projects from the 1960s to early 1970s, until he got his break in the film Deliverance, and later for starring in Smokey and the Bandit. The actor was 40 years old then.


Hulk Hogan

His real name is Terry Gene Bollea. The semi-retired professional wrestler got his ring name Hulk Hogan at the peak of his career that started in the ‘80s. He’s been dubbed as the “greatest professional wrestler of all time,” where he had a professional career that spanned until the 1990s. Hogan dabbled in music and acting as he was at the peak of his wrestling career. In 1994 and at 41 years old, he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship title and held on to the title for 15 months — the longest in the title history.


Leslie Nielsen

The late actor-comedian’s career started in the mid 1950s, initially doing dramatic roles. To his credit, he appeared in more than 150 TV programs and more than 100 films. But he became more famous thirty two years after being in the acting industry and at 54 years old, mainly for his performance in the 1980 comedy film Airplane!. His comedic skills would be further seen in his other succeeding projects such as the popular David Zucker’s series.

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