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Acting is a career many people want to get into and if someone is successful they can carry that career, even into old age. Many actors of senior years have given great performances and with Judi Dench's Philomena about to come out in theaters now is a great time to look some great performances by actors over the age of 65.
10. Judi Dench - Iris
Judi Dench is a woman with a long career in acting and during her time, she's earned seven Oscar nominations, winning once for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love. She also earned an Academy Award nomination of her role in Iris, as the older version of Iris Murdoch, a famous British author whose mental state is deteriorating because of her Alzheimer's.
9. Peter O'Toole - Venus
Peter O'Toole is a great actor who has had a long career, but has never won Oscar. He was offered an honorary Oscar but rejected the offer, wanting to win out right. His last performance which he earned an Oscar nomination was for Venus where he plays an aging actor who forms unusual friendship with his friend's wayward teenage grandniece.
8. Robert Redford - All Is Lost
Robert Redford is considered a leading candidate for an Oscar nomination with his performance as an unnamed character in J.C. Chandor's (Margin Call) second movie. Redford has a mostly silent performance as a lone sailor who has battles for survival.
7. Rosemary Harris - Spider-man 2
It is one thing for an older actor to shine in an drama, it is quiet another feat for someone to stand out in superhero movie: and that was what Rosemary Harris did in the original Spider-man Trilogy. Harris nailed the role of May Parker and her performance was best showcased in Spider-man 2, as she gives Aunt May's character both warmth and grace, as the classic comic book character.
6. Michael Caine - Harry Brown
Michael Caine's performance as the titular character in Harry Brown, was his last performance as a leading man and it was a great way to bow out. Caine stars as a retired Royal Marine who becomes a vigilante after his friend is murder and set so to reclaim his estate from the hoodie menace!
5. Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino
Gran Torino was seen to be Clint Eastwood's swansong from acting (before starring in Trouble With the Curve). Eastwood brings his famous gruff persona to the working class suburbs of Detroit, as his old prejudices are challenged when he ends up befriending a young Asian man and members of the Hmong community.
4. Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Nelson Mandela is a plum role for any actor and Morgan Freeman gave an excellent performance of the former South African president in Invictus. Mandela is one of the most famous men in history and Freeman got the voice and mannerisms down perfectly.
3. Christopher Plummer - Beginners
From a career starting in the 1950's, Canadian actor Christopher Plummer has had a long and distinguished career, to which he's still going even though he is in his either 80s. His recent credits include the likes of Up, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Last Station and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Plummer earned a number of best supporting actor nominations for his role in Beginners, as he plays a man who reveals to his son that he is terminally ill and that he has a much younger male partner.
2. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmauelle Riva - Amour
Michael Haneke's Amour was one of big awards contenders last year, a movie that earned numerous awards and a few wins. Jean-Louis Trintigant and Emmauelle Riva starred in the film about an elderly couple whose relationship is put to the test, after one of them suffers a stroke. Both actors were praised for their performances, particularly Riva who became the oldest actress to earn an Oscar nomination.
1. Ellen Burstyn - Requiem for a Dream
Ellen Burstyn is a fantastic actress, starring in many movies like The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist and Alice Doesn't Live Here. One of her standout performances was in Requiem for a Dream, as the long suffering Sara Goldfarb whose son steals from her, longs to be popular and respected in her small New York community. She believes things change for her, when she gets the opportunity to appear on TV, to which she goes on diet pills in order to make an impression.Due to this, she slowly begins to lose her sanity in a tragic performance, highlighted by monologue, which even made the cameraman cry.