Age, Achievement, and Creativity in Hollywood, Actors–Michael Douglas, Shelley Winters

In a 1995 article in W magazine, titled, “Aging in Hollywood,” Oscar-winner actor Michael Douglas (Wall Street), then 50, was quoted saying: “I’m lucky still to be standing.” Following suit, Susan Sarandon, then 48, proudly stated that she was the “oldest sexual person onscreen.”

But it was two-time Oscar winner Shelley Winters (The Diary of Anne Frank, Patch of Blue), then 72, who outdid them all by noting: “After 50, you may as well commit suicide in Hollywood!”

It’s a known fact that agents lie about their actors-clients, and revise their resumes, even when they’re still in their 30s.

Hollywood’s obsession with youth has always been the bane of aging performers, particularly women. But over the past two decades, that shadow has fallen behind the camera as well, onto both directors and writers. Commercial American cinema has become extremely cruel to its aging practitioners, even the gifted and ambitious ones. In contrast, it’s no coincidence that the three aforementioned directors who excelled in Cannes are all European.