Sometimes, we like to think of celebrities as timeless, but that couldn't be further from the truth. There are plenty of stars who've had successful runs only to fade out of the spotlight and never return. Staying relevant, whether in Hollywood or some other high-profile scene, takes a bit of luck and a whole lot of talent and work. That's why when it does happen, it's pretty noteworthy. It's also why we've put together this list of icons who stepped into the limelight and managed to stay there for decades on end.
Tippi Hedren – 93
Tippi Hedren was born in 1930 and would go on to have a career that spans more than half a century. She knew she wanted to be a model from a very young age, so she moved to New York after turning 18. There, she acted in a couple of commercials, one of which caught the eye of an aspiring director named Alfred Hitchcock. The legendary director cast Hedren in one of his films, and the rest is history.
Hedren has acted in countless shows and films since the 1950s, and today, she advocates for animal rights, which isn't hard to do when your net worth is estimated at around $20 million.
Terry Moore – 94
Terry Moore may not be a household name these days, but during the golden age of Hollywood, pretty much everyone knew who she was. Moore got her start working in broadcast before switching over to television. The 1950s was probably when her acting career hit its peak. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in a film called "Come Back, Little Sheba" during that decade.
After that, she switched her focus to news during the 1970s. However, she's probably most remembered for her claim involving Howard Hughes. Moore claimed that she and he were involved romantically at one point in time, which complicated the fulfillment of his will and led to a high-profile court battle.
Richard Simmons – 75
If you grew up in the 1990s or before, then odds are you're familiar with Richard Simmons. He's known for his over-the-top enthusiasm and fitness videos. Simmons was born in New Orleans in 1948. He grew up overweight pretty much his entire life. After moving to New York and landing a marketing job, he dedicated himself to losing all of those extra pounds and was very successful. He was so successful that he was encouraged to open his own fitness studio.
Simmons later released a set of fitness videos in the 1960s that catapulted him to stardom and television success. However, he disappeared from the public eye around 2014, only to emerge a couple of years later and reveal that he'd been battling some health issues.
Katharine Ross – 83
Katherine Ross grew up in Hollywood, California, so it might just be that she was destined to become a star in her own right after being born in 1940. Her resume reads like a list of notable early movies from that era of Hollywood. She's starred in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Stepford Wives," and "Voyage of the Damned." She's also won a BAFTA for best actress.
Officially, her career in acting began around 1962, and she appeared in films all the way up until only half a decade ago. Her net worth is estimated to be around $5 million.
Marla Gibbs – 92
Unlike a lot of other celebrities on this list, Marla Gibbs didn't break out until later in life. However, when she did, she made sure to make the most of it. Gibbs was working in radio when an agent discovered her and lined her up with a role on the hit sitcom, "The Jeffersons." There, she played the memorable Florence Johnston for around ten years. She also acted in and co-produced the show's spinoff.
After her successful stint in acting, Gibbs became a businesswoman, singer, and songwriter. Her net worth is still pretty admirable today, and it's estimated that she's worth around $4 million.
Richard Dean Anderson – 73
Richard Dean Anderson was the king of cool back in the day. He famously played MacGyver back in the 1980s, but his career had already begun long before that. Anderson first appeared in another popular television show, "General Hospital," back in 1976, which helped him earn a name in Hollywood. He went on to act in both television and films, appearing in shows up until around a decade ago.
However, in 2015, he decided that enough was enough and retired with a cool $20 million to his name, which isn't bad for nearly half a century of acting.
Kim Novak – 90
Actress Kim Novak is another big name who just so happened to stumble into stardom. She was born in 1933 in Chicago, Illinois. When she was in college, Novak and a couple of friends traveled to Hollywood during a school break, where they decided to play extras in a movie for laughs. However, someone on set spotted Novak, and the rest is history. She went on to star in some pretty popular films.
She even played in Alfred Hitchcock's legendary film, "Vertigo." However, she must've never felt truly comfortable on screen, as her career was marked by her withdrawal and occasional re-entry into the film industry. It's estimated that she's worth around $15 million today.
Leonard Whiting – 73
Leonard Whiting, like some fellow actors, may have been a victim of his own success. He was born in London in 1950 and ended up finding his breakout role only 18 years later. He was cast as Romeo in the 1968's hit "Romeo and Juliet." He played his role marvelously and won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year. However, this success would end up following him throughout his career.
He didn't have too much trouble finding roles after this, but he's said that he was often typecast. He ended up pursuing a career in writing, which has turned out pretty successful for him. Today, he's worth around $1 million.
Claudia Cardinale – 85
Claudia Cardinale just sort of stumbled into fame, but she made sure to take full advantage of the spotlight once she obtained it. Cardinale was born and raised in Tunisia, but she won a trip to Itlay through a beauty contest when she was younger. There, she immediately caught the attention of those working in show business. She was cast in an American-Italian movie called "Once Upon a Time in the West" and gained an immense following in the U.S.
She went on to appear in a few more American films, but she mainly focused on European movies throughout her career. She's still alive and well today and is sitting on a cool $10 million from her time acting.
Barbara Eden – 92
Even if you've never heard of Barbara Eden, you've probably heard of her most famous character. Eden was born in 1931 and landed a contract with Century Fox pretty early on. However, it was her role as Jeannie in "I Dream of Jeannie" that made her a household name. That said, she did go on to star in some pretty big roles after her stint with the hit television show.
Those roles included films like "Jaws 3," "Harper Valley PTA," and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." She's also a pretty successful writer. Today, her net worth is estimated at around $10 million.
Mel Brooks – 97
Mel Brooks is one of those names that you've probably heard of, whether or not you know much about the history of Hollywood. He was born in 1926 in New York City. However, it didn't take him long to land a gig in Hollywood. Today, he's probably best known for his work in theater and on "The Producers," which was a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. He's still alive but out of the spotlight today.
His wife passed away in 2005, and ever since, he's distanced himself from the cameras. However, his children have taken up acting and are continuing their father's legacy. It's estimated that Brooks is worth around $85 to $100 million.
Debbie Harry – 78
Debbie Harry has had a career fit for a rockstar. Her resume includes stints as a cocktail waitress, a secretary, and a Playboy Bunny. However, it was her work as a musician in the 1970s that really skyrocketed her to fame. She founded the band "Blondie" during that decade, and the band enjoyed immense success. However, like many bands, they eventually broke up, and Harry never returned to the same level of success.
That is until the band reunited. Harry is still very active today and even appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" in 2022. It's estimated that Harry is worth around $30 million today.
Richard Dreyfuss – 75
Unlike a lot of other stars on this list, it took fame a bit of time to actually find Richard Dreyfuss. He played in some smaller roles throughout the 1970s, but it wasn't until the actor starred in "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" that his fortunes began to change. His performance garnered praise from just about everyone, and all of a sudden, the actor was on everybody's recruitment list.
He went on to star in some big roles, such as "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and "Down and Out in Beverly Hills." His latest appearance was in 2017 when he appeared in "The Last Laugh."
Ali Macgraw - 84
Today, Ali Macgraw is remembered for her work in the hit film, "Love Story," but her career includes many other achievements. She was born in 1939, and her early career actually consisted mostly of modeling. Her first film was 1969's "Goodbye, Columbus," which was nearly universally loved. After that, the roles just kept on coming, and she ended up starring in well over a dozen films. Her latest appearance was in 2021.
However, she's mostly retired from acting and spends the majority of her time campaigning for animal rights. It's estimated that Macgraw is worth around $6 million today.
Sally Field – 76
Sally Field was born in Pasadena, California, in 1946. She found her passion for acting in college and began pursuing it shortly after. Her career includes roles in too many hit movies to list, but some include "Forrest Gump," "The Amazing Spiderman," "Smokey and The Bandit," "Lincoln," and "Legally Blonde." She's also known for her business acumen and activism. She was arrested in 2019 for protesting at a climate change demonstration.
In 2005, she was diagnosed with osteoporosis and has worked to raise awareness of bone health issues ever since. Her net worth is estimated to be around $55 million.
Loni Anderson – 78
Loni Anderson was born in 1945 in Minnesota. As soon as she finished college, Anderson set out to pursue a career in acting. She landed a role in "S.W.A.T." not long after. She might be most remembered for her long and memorable stint at "WKRP in Cincinnati." However, her career has included many other memorable films and shows, including "A Night at the Roxbury." In recent years, she's stayed away from the spotlight, although she does occasionally appear in shows still.
A big reason for that is that she spends a lot of her time focusing on family these days and taking care of her oldest daughter. Anderson's net worth is estimated at around $12 million.
Eva Marie Saint – 99
Like many other stars on this list, Eva Marie Saint has forged her own path through Hollywood over the course of her career. She was born in New Jersey in 1924 and pursued acting from an early age. Eventually, she found some recognition in her work in "The Philco Television Playhouse" and "Our Town." However, her most famous performance may be her work in "North by Northwest," which was a project of Alfred Hitchcock.
The legendary performer has mostly only appeared in films that she's said she was interested in. She's also taken a lot of time off over the years to spend time with her family, wading back into acting only when she has time or feels like it.
Dick Van Dyke – 97
Dick Van Dyke is another famous name that most people are familiar with, even if they've never actually seen his work. He was born in 1925, and it wasn't long into his career that he began turning heads on Broadway and in theaters. One of his most famous roles was in "The Dick Van Dyke Show," where he played Rob Petrie. However, he's played in countless movies and shows and earned numerous accolades over the years.
He's also remembered for his legendary performance in "Marry Poppins" and still occasionally appears in roles, although he's mostly retired today. It's estimated that the legendary actor is worth around $50 million.
Betty White – 99 (Passed)
Who could forget Betty White? Her Hollywood career spanned decades, but she also had somewhat of a resurgence later in life. She landed her first role in 1939 and went on to star in shows like "Hot in Cleveland," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and "The Golden Girls." She also has the honor of being the oldest person to ever host an episode of "Saturday Night Live," at 88 years old.
White passed away at the age of 99 on New Year's Eve in 2021. It's estimated that she was worth around $75 million when she passed away, which isn't bad for eight decades in the business.
Bob Barker – 99
When most people hear the name Bob Barker, one thing comes to mind. The extremely successful comedian and host has had a long career. He was born in 1923 and made his way into radio when he was still young. However, it was when he was given a job as a game show host for 1956's "Truth or Consequences" that his career really took off. From there, he transitioned to hosting beauty pageants.
But before long, he made his way back to game shows and landed his iconic role as the host of "The Price is Right." Today, he devotes most of his time to supporting animal rights initiatives, and it's estimated that he's worth around $70 million.
Ann-Margret – 82
Ann Margret was born in Sweden in 1941 but eventually moved to the U.S. with her parents when she was still young. It turned out to be a great decision, as it wasn't long before she developed a taste for performing. Margret eventually ended up in Las Vegas, where she met George Burn, who invited her onto his holiday show. Most of her work was with musicals, although she also recorded gospels and was once involved with Elvis Presley.
Throughout her career, she earned five Golden Globes and numerous other accolades. She's still going strong today, and her net worth is estimated at around $20 million.
Honor Blackman – 94 (Passed)
Honor Blackman had an immensely successful career, not only in terms of longevity but also in terms of earnings. She had pretty supportive parents who made sure that her talents were nurtured, enrolling her in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she reportedly met with many talented mentors and teachers. After school, she quickly landed a couple of smaller roles that would eventually lead to much larger jobs in acting.
Her so-called breakout role may have come when she was cast to star in "The Avengers," which was a hit television show in the U.K. in the 1960s. She continued to act for decades and was worth around $89 million when she passed away in 2020.
Loretta Lynn – 90 (Passed)
In the world of country music, there are few names as big or recognizable as Loretta Lynn. The singer was born in 1932 in Kentucky, where she married at the young age of 15. Her first guitar was a gift from her husband some years later. Her first album was released in 1960, and she never looked back. Throughout her career, Lynn tackled issues that were considered taboo during her day, including women's rights, abuse, poverty, and tragedy.
Unfortunately, Lynn passed away in 2022 at the age of 90 in Tenessee. It's estimated that her net worth was around $65 million, which isn't bad for a girl from Butcher Hollow, Kentucky.
Ed Asner – 91 (Passed)
There must be something about "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" because a lot of the legendary actors on this list had breakout performances in the series. The same is true of Ed Asner, who was born in 1929 in Montana. The former Veteran dabbled in not only film and television but also theater, finding success during a stint with the Threepenny Opera. During his later years, he starred in "Mission Impossible," "Up," and "Elf."
Asner was also known for his charitable work, which he took part in throughout his career. Asner passed away in 2021 at the age of 91. It's estimated that his net worth was somewhere around $10 million.
Cloris Leachman – 94 (Passed)
Actress Cloris Leachman was born in 1926 in De Moines, Iowa. She first gained recognition while participating in Miss America, where scouts recognized her talent. One of her most iconic roles was in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but she's also appeared in "Raising Hope," "Malcolm in The Middle," "Spanglish," "The Beverly Hillbillies," and "Lassie. " Of course, the list goes on and includes many other era-defining films and shows, but there's just too many to list here.
Leachman passed away in 2021 at the age of 94. Her net worth at the time of her passing was estimated to be around $21 million, which wasn't bad for a multi-decade run in Hollywood.
Paul Michael Glaser – 80
Paul Michael Glaser has had a long and storied, but also tragic, stay in Hollywood. He knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue acting, and that's exactly what he did, going to college specifically to pursue theater. He's played in many different shows since he finished college in 1966, but without a doubt, one of his most memorable roles was that of David Starsky in "Starsky and Hutch."
Sadly, he's also remembered for the tragedy that struck his family. Both his wife and son died of AIDS after his wife contracted HIV during a blood transfusion. Today, she's remembered for her work on raising awareness about the disease during the 1980s.
Olivia De Havilland – 104 (Passed)
From an early age, it was clear that Olivia De Havilland was destined for stardom. At the young age of only 13, she landed the lead role in a local production of Alice In Wonderland. Havilland was born in 1916 to American and British parents, one of whom was an actress. Her career included roles in legendary films like "Gone With The Wind," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "The Adventures of Robin Hood."
She lived to be 104 and passed away at her Parisian home in 2020. It's estimated that when she passed away, her net worth was around $20 million.
Carl Reiner – 98 (Passed)
When many people think of stars who've had decades-long runs in Hollywood, the first name to pop up is usually Carl Reiner. He acted with the best of them, and while they've come and gone, he remained a constant. Reiner was born in 1922, and his career included stints in acting, voice acting, producing, and directing. The legendary comedian starred in "Ocean's Eleven," "The New Dick Van Dyke Show," and "Fatal Instinct."
Unfortunately, the legendary star died in 2020 at the age of 98. It's estimated that his net worth was around $70 million when he passed away, which sounds about right for a career that spanned decades and was marked by accomplishment after accomplishment.
Beverly Cleary – 104 (Passed)
Beverly Cleary is one of the few authors on this list, but she was a true star in her own right. Cleary was born in 1916 and attended the University of California at Berkeley. After her studies were complete, she devoted her life to writing children's books, some of which you've probably grown up with and read when you were a child. Among her many titles are "Ramona and Beezus" and "The Mouse and the Motorcycle."
She received numerous awards for her work throughout her lifetime, and some of her books were even adapted to the screen. Cleary passed away in 2021 at the age of 104.
Sidney Poitier – 94 (Passed)
Sidney Poitier's career is punctuated by many firsts. He was born in Florida in 1927, and he got his start in theater. However, it wasn't long before he switched from theater to appearing in television shows and films. He's appeared in acclaimed shows and films like "In the Heat of the Night," "Raisins in the Sun," and "Lilies of the Field." He was also the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Poitier went on to receive both a knighthood and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his many achievements. He passed away in 2022 at the age of 94.
Vera Lynn – 103 (Passed)
Legendary performer Vera Lynn forged her career singing those on the frontlines during World War II. She was born in 1917 and began touring and visiting troops in places like Egypt, Burma, and India not long after the war began. In addition, she had a pretty successful career as an actress, in which most of her performances were highly acclaimed. However, she must've just enjoyed music more because it wasn't long before she shifted her focus back to performing.
Among her many awards and accolades was being named an "official Dame of the United Kingdom" and receiving the British War Medal. She passed away in 2020 at the age of 103.
Jackie Mason – 93 (Passed)
Comedian Jackie Mason actually got his start in a very different field from comedy. The renowned performer first stood in front of audiences as a rabbi before switching professions and pursuing comedy. Mason was born in 1928 in Wisconsin. His comedy drew from his own experiences, and it touched on things like his Jewish background, race, politics, and other serious topics. He was involved in a couple of minor scandals later in life but continued to perform and make people laugh.
Mason passed away at the age of 93 in 2021. It's estimated that his net worth was around $9 million when he passed. His friend Raoul Felder offered this tribute after he passed: "We shall never see his like again. This was a mold that was broken. We're going to miss him."
Chuck Yeager – 97 (Passed)
Chuck Yeager is probably one of the most famous military pilots in the history of the United States. Today, he's mainly remembered for his role test flying the X-1 and becoming the first person to break the sound barrier. However, he didn't stop there and went on to break many more records and set aviation firsts. Yeager was born in West Virginia in 1923 and joined the military right out of high school.
He was noticed for his skill as an aircraft mechanic, and it didn't take long for him to find himself in a pilot's seat. There was even a movie made about him and his career, in which he was played by Sam Shepherd. Yeager passed away in 2020 at the age of 97.
Bob Newhart – 93
Bob Newhart is another legendary American comedian whose career has spanned decades. He began as a writer, but after recording a conversation between himself and a friend, he quickly found success and a massive audience. After his recording found success, he went on to perform stand-up and even star in a couple of sitcoms. In addition, he's appeared in "Elf," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Horrible Bosses," among many others.
These days, he doesn't appear in front of the camera very often, although he doesn't really have to, as it's estimated that his net worth is around $65 million.
Norman Lloyd – 106 (Passed)
Like a few other stars on this, Norman Lloyd's own career could probably be made into a movie. Lloyd was born in New Jersey in 1914. He tried his hand at acting at a pretty young age and landed some roles on Broadway in the 1930s. That's when he was noticed by talent scouts, and he quickly found himself appearing on the big screen. His first performance was in an Alfred Hitchcock film called "Saboteur."
As you might imagine, this pretty much catapulted his career. However, he was blacklisted during the Red Scare. Luckily, Hitchcock was able to get him back into Hollywood, where he continued his career for many decades. He died in 2021 at the age of 106.
Robert Conrad – 84 (Passed)
Actor and singer Robert Conrad was kind of like Tom Cruise before there was a Tom Cruise. He liked to perform all of his own stunts, which nearly cost him dearly one time. Conrad was born in Chicago in 1935, and his most famous role may have been as James West in the 1960s show, "The Wild Wild West." However, he played in many other shows and films throughout his career, often performing his own stunts and even having some pretty gruesome accidents.
One such accident occurred when he jumped and tried to grab onto a light fixture, only to slip and fall 12 feet, landing on his head. Conrad was also involved in a drunk driving controversy later in his career. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 84.
Carol Channing – 97 (Passed)
Carol Channing's talents were discovered at a pretty young age. Reportedly, her mother noticed her talent for singing when the two would go out and distribute the "Christian Science Monitor" in San Fransisco. It wasn't long before she appeared on "Hello Dolly," and from there, she pretty much landed one gig after another. Eventually, she made her way to television, appearing in shows and films like "Alice in Wonderland," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," and "Thumbelina."
Channing passed away in 2019 at the age of 97, but not before she managed to amass a net worth of around $20 million. Today, she's remembered as one of the pioneers of early Hollywood, as well as a Broadway legend.
Henry Kissinger – 100
You don't have to be into politics to have heard the name Henry Kissinger. He may be one of the most influential people in American politics over the last century. Even so, Kissinger wasn't actually born in the U.S. Instead, he was born in Germany in 1923 and traveled to the U.S. with his parents when he was only five. He became a naturalized citizen some years later. His career saw him work as an advisor to multiple presidents, both officially and unofficially.
While some non-movie stars on this list don't have a particularly large net worth, the same cannot be said of Kissinger, who is valued at around $20 million today.
George H. W. Bush – 94 (Passed)
Of course, when you're a president, it's sort of a given that you're going to be pretty famous. However, George H.W. Bush's career stretched back to way before he actually sat in the Oval Office. His resume includes stints as a congressman, ambassador, and CIA director. Unlike some politicians, Bush was already pretty wealthy before running for office. When he assumed the presidency, he also enjoyed pretty decent approval ratings.
Of course, we all know that his son went on to become president some years after he left office. The former president passed away in 2018 at the age of 94.