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8 Celebrities Still Doing What They Love After 80

Catch up (if you can!) with Judi Dench, Paul McCartney, Dionne Warwick and more

spinner image from left to right singer dionne warwick then actress dame judi dench then singer sir paul mccartney
(Left to right) Dionne Warwick, Judi Dench and Paul McCartney
Andrew Chin/Getty Images; Mike Marsland/WireImage; Harry Durrant/Getty Images

This month’s most-anticipated new film is the Super Bowl comedy 80 for Brady, starring a quartet of actresses who seem to just keep getting better: Jane Fonda (85), Lily Tomlin (83), Rita Moreno (91) and Sally Field (76). Fonda and Tomlin recently ended their celebrated Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie, Moreno is set to join the Fast & Furious franchise this year in Fast X alongside Helen Mirren, and Field — who still has a few more years before she joins the octogenarian club! — recently starred in the tearjerker Spoiler Alert. But they’re far from the only performers who are keeping busy after 80. Here, eight more performers who are proving that 80 is the new 50.

spinner image Singer Dionne Warwick smiles as she holds a microphone onstage while performing at City National Grove of Anaheim
Dionne Warwick performs at City National Grove of Anaheim on Dec. 15, 2022 in Anaheim, California.
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Dionne Warwick, 82

The six-time Grammy winner has been following in the footsteps of the late Betty White by becoming newly popular with a much younger generation of fans: Thanks to her hilariously blunt observations on social media, she’s been dubbed the Queen of Twitter, and she even rode the wave to a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live. A 2019 recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, she was the subject of the recent CNN Films documentary Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, and in the fall, she showed off her legendary activist side by releasing the new single “Free.” International artists will cover the song in their own languages, which will be collected on a compilation album, with proceeds going to displaced refugee groups around the globe.

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spinner image Paul McCartney raises his fist in the air during his performance at MetLife Stadium for his Got Back tour
Paul McCartney in concert during his "Got Back" tour on June 16, 2022, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Christopher Smith/Invision/AP

Paul McCartney, 80

Yep, we needed him when he was 64, and we’re even more grateful to have him around at 80. Following the success of the 2021 Hulu docuseries McCartney 3,2,1 and Peter Jackson’s Emmy-winning The Beatles: Get Back, Macca has seemingly been everywhere recently; last year, he embarked on a cheekily named tour called “Got Back” and he appears in the Disney+ documentary about Abbey Road Studios, If These Walls Could Sing — the first feature doc directed by his daughter Mary McCartney. This summer, McCartney is set to release a new photo book called 1964: Eyes of the Storm, a collection of images he snapped on his 35mm camera just as Beatlemania was beginning to take off, and it will accompany an exhibit at London’s National Portrait Gallery when it reopens after renovations.​

spinner image Willie Nelson smiles onstage during his performance at Farm Aid
Willie Nelson playing at Farm Aid at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on Sept. 24, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Gary Miller/Getty Images

Willie Nelson, 89

It really wouldn’t be accurate for the Red Headed Stranger to say that he “can’t wait to get on the road again,” because the truth of the matter is that he never left: September marked the 60th anniversary of his debut studio album, and Nelson’s been touring regularly ever since. In 2021, he teamed up with his sister, Bobbie, and four of his children for The Willie Nelson Family album, followed in 2022 by A Beautiful Time — his 72nd solo studio album! — which earned a Grammy nod for best country album. The Texas outlaw legend is also the subject of a new docuseries, Willie Nelson & Family, which had its world premiere at January’s Sundance Film Festival, and that won’t be the only celebration of his legacy this year: For his 90th birthday in April, Nelson will be honored with a two-night tribute concert at the Hollywood Bowl, featuring performances by the likes of Neil Young, Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow and Rosanne Cash. 

spinner image Judi Dench at the British Academy Film Awards 2022 Gala Dinner
Dame Judi Dench attends the British Academy Film Awards 2022 Gala Dinner at The Londoner Hotel on March 11, 2022 in London, England.
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Judi Dench, 88

Still as spry and sprightly as ever, Dame Judi Dench seemed to be having a blast during pandemic lockdowns, when she began making viral dance videos on TikTok with her grandson Sam, an activity that she said saved her life. Some of their videos together racked up millions of views, but she’s continued to have success on screens much bigger than smartphones. Dench earned her eighth Oscar nomination for the nostalgic 2021 family drama Belfast, even though she said that mastering the Northern Irish accent was “a nightmare.” Next up, she’s set to star in the film Allelujah, about the looming closure of a geriatric ward in a small Yorkshire hospital. Considering that she earned two Oscar nominations the last times she worked with director Richard Eyre — for Iris and Notes on a Scandal — you just know this one will be unmissable.​

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spinner image George Takei at the photocall for George Takei's Allegiance at the Charing Cross Theatre in London, England.
George Takei performing in "Allegiance" at the Charing Cross Theatre in London, England on Jan. 12, 2023.
Joe Maher/Getty Images

George Takei, 85

The groundbreaking actor behind Star Trek’s Hikaru Sulu has come a long way since his Japanese American family was forced to live in an internment camp during World War II. He mined those memories for the 2019 graphic novel They Called Us Enemy and the Broadway musical Allegiance, which he returned to for a London revival that’s currently playing through April. Next up, he’s set to appear in the HBO Max computer-animated prequel Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, which will tell the story of how a young Sam Wing — the Chinatown shop owner from the original film — first met the young Gizmo in 1920s Shanghai. When he’s not acting, Takei remains a fierce advocate for immigrant and LGBTQ rights.

spinner image Carol Burnett at the 48th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Julie Andrews at Dolby Theatre
Carol Burnett speaks onstage during the 48th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Julie Andrews at Dolby Theatre on June 9, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TNT

Carol Burnett, 89

The sketch comedy queen is such a force to be reckoned with in the history of TV that the Golden Globes even named an honorary award for her: The Carol Burnett Award celebrates achievement in television, and she was of course the first recipient, in 2019. Though she’s best known for making people laugh, she explored her darker side with a guest-starring gig on the final season of Better Call Saul. Soon she’ll join the ensemble cast of the Apple TV+ comedy series Mrs. American Pie, on which she’ll play Norma, the grande dame of Palm Beach high society in the 1970s. Expect fewer dresses made from green velvet curtains and more Lilly Pulitzer.​

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spinner image Anthony Hopkins stars in the film The Son
Anthony Hopkins in "The Son."
Jessica Kourkounis/See-Saw Films/Sony Pictures Classics

Anthony Hopkins, 85

Hot off a streak that included the HBO sci-fi series Westworld, Sir Anthony Hopkins earned his first Oscar nod in two decades for his portrayal of Benedict XVI in The Two Popes. It would take only one more year for him to earn his second trophy — after Silence of the Lambs — for The Father, in which he plays a proud London octogenarian living with dementia. With that victory, he set the record as the oldest best actor winner in Academy Awards history, though he’s hardly one to rest on his laurels: Since then, he’s starred as the patriarch of a Jewish American family in Armageddon Time; reteamed with The Father director Florian Zeller for The Son; and shot a thriller called Zero Contact that’s the first feature film to be released on an NFT token platform. (Trust us, we don’t know exactly what that means either!)​

spinner image Martha Stewart smiles during her appearance on TODAY
Martha Stewart during her guest appearance on "TODAY" on Nov. 3, 2022.
Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

Martha Stewart, 81

Long known for her somewhat intimidating perfectionism, the domestic diva has seen her image soften considerably since she went to prison, earned the nickname M. Diddy and became unexpected friends with rapper Snoop Dogg. Last year, in partnership with iHeartRadio, she premiered her first original podcast series, called simply The Martha Stewart Podcast, and she debuted three new series, which stream for free on the Roku Channel: Martha GardensMartha Cooks and Martha Holidays. On a recent episode of her podcast, Stewart revealed that she’s hard at work writing a new book, which will amazingly be lucky number 100.

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