Geriatric Men and Women Who Still Reign in Their Own Fields



These men and women have had rich and celebrated careers during their lifetime yet though they are already in their 80s and 90s, they are still up and about, keeping up with the times and getting better at what they’re good at.

What makes these masters persist? Why does it seem to be that they have neither plans of stopping nor slowing down any time sooner?

Let’s find out their secret of what keeps them going.

Frederick Wiseman, Filmmaker, 84

Wiseman’s documentary “National Gallery” premiered at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes last year.

On the difference from the way he works now and the way he worked when he was starting out…

“I think I’ve learned more about how to make a movie. The basic approach hasn’t changed. The method I follow is the one that I’ve followed. I hope that I’ve learned from one movie to the next, at least enough not to make the same mistakes.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court, 81

On whether seniority offer any more influence…

“…You have a chance to influence what people who speak later might say. Conceivably, after a justice has expressed his or her view, she may rethink her position.”

Roy Haynes, Jazz Drummer And Bandleader, 90

Haynes practices regularly on his basement space in Long Island. His latest album, Roy-Alty, was released in 2011.

On what keeps him going…

“You get to be this age, you think you know a little about life. With my traveling around, it’s quite exciting, and I’m sure it keeps me young. A lot of the people I play with are much younger than me. Young enough to be my children or my grandchildren. People say I look young. The average person if they asked how old I was wouldn’t expect me to be the age I am.”

Carmen Herrera, Painter, 99



Herrera’s works could be viewed at the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Modern.

On her reaction when she sold her first painting at 89…

“I was never bitter. I always wished others well. I thought maybe the market would be corrupting. Without commercial success you can do what you want to do. There is freedom to be working alone. But, oh, when my work began to sell! I though, ‘Damn it, it’s about time!’”

Ginette Bedard, Long-distance Runner, 81

Bedard ran in her 12th consecutive New York City Marathon last year.

On how long will she keep running marathons…

“I’m going to do this until destiny takes me away. When they gave me the last trophy during the half marathon in Central Park, the trophy said, ‘From 80 to 99,’ and I thought, ‘O.K. I’ve got 20 years to go yet. There’s no one left. It’s easy to win.”

Tony Bennett, Singer, 88

Bennett released “Cheek to Cheek”, an album of duets with Lady Gaga, last year. It debuted at No. 1 in Billboard.

On sharing the stage with Lady Gaga…

“The whole thing about doing the album with Lady Gaga was to get the young kids to hear the Great American Songbook. And {Lady Gaga} says that I turned her life around. That she knows she has a good voice, and she’s going to sing that way now.”

Christopher Plummer, Actor, 84

In 2012, Plummer won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in “Beginners”, making him the oldest actor to win the award.

On staying shape…

“The idea that you’re doing what you love. It’s very important. It’s very sad that most people in the world are not happy with their lot or with their jobs and they can’t wait to retire. And when they retire, it’s like death… I think I’ve got to continue. We never retire. We shouldn’t retire. Not in our profession. There’s no such thing.”



Frank Gehry, Architect, 85

Gehry’s latest project was the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, an arts center sponsored by the LVMH Fashion Group.

On staying intuitive…

“You stay in your time. You don’t go backward. I think if you relate to the time you’re in, you keep your eyes and ears open, read the paper, see what’s going on, stay curious about everything, you will automatically be in your time.”

Betty White, Actress, 92

White currently stars in the TV Land original sitcom “Hot in Cleveland.”

On people’s wrong notions about being old…

“We’ve made age such a terrible thing that the younger people think that just getting to that age is awful. But if you’re blessed with good health, and I am, I never take it for granted, you can get by with murder! You get spoiled rotten.”

Watch some of their videos below.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *