10 Famous Creatives Who Did Not Make An Impact Until After Age 40 (and sometimes much later)
1. Julia Child, Chef, Television Personality.
Child attended cooking school in her late 30s and founded a cooking school at age 39. She published her first best-selling cookbook, at age 49, which helped launch her to fame with her first public television show at age 50.
2. Bryan Cranston, Actor.
Cranston’s first breakthrough role came at age 44 as Hal in the television series Malcolm in the Middle. This was followed, at age 52, by his most celebrated role as Walter White in the award-winning television series Breaking Bad.
3. Leos Janáček, Composer.
Czech composer Janáček's first widely-hailed work was the opera Jenúfa which premiered when he was 62. He went on to compose many well-regarded works during the next decade.
4. Claude Monet, Painter.
Monet is widely heralded as the founder of impressionist painting, but his first work in that style, Impression, Sunrise, was not exhibited until the artist was 54.
5. Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses), Artist.
Remarkably, Robertson did not start painting until age 76, but her magnitude of homey, nostalgic art was voluminous until her death at age 101.
6. Vera Wang, Fashion Designer.
Wang worked as a relatively unknown fashion editor at Vogue and Ralph Lauren before starting her own bridal designer wear business at age 40. She is now arguably one of the most famous fashion designers in the world.
7. Mark Twain, Writer.
Twain is known the world over today, but until he was 40 he was completely unknown and bounced around between various jobs. He wrote throughout this period, but it wasn't until his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published when he was 41 that the world took notice.
8. Annie Proulx, Writer.
Proulx wrote short stories and worked as a journalist during her earlier years. True success always alluded her until she published a collection of short stories titled Heart Songs when she was 53.
9. Morgan Freeman, Actor.
Well-known and well-regarded in 2022, Freeman could only once dream of such fame and success before age 52 when he appeared in Driving Miss Daisy.
10. Henry Miller, Novelist.
Miller did not publish his first novel, the wildly successful and controversial Tropic of Cancer, until age 44.