Hitting age 70 is no mean feat, being active in your chosen career at that age is commendable.
Being 70 and active professionally in the movie industry with all the stress of shooting movies, travelling several kilometers to movie locations is not a joke. The body is no longer as active as it used to be and would be yearning for rest. But these people have managed to stay active.
WuzupNigeria brings you a list of select eight actors in the Nigerian and American movie industries who have maintained their reigns as kings and queens of the screen for several decades and are still actively taking movie roles even in their old age. Some only make cameo appearances due to their age and the low demands for them as the younger generation seems to have taken the center stage.
Here is the list:
1 Idowu Phillips (Mama Rainbow) – 77:
A veteran Nollywood actress who has remained evergreen and consistent since 1965 when she made a foray into acting.
Born on 16 October 1942 at Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Idowu Philips popularly known as Mama Rainbow started her journey from the medical profession to theatre practice which she used to detest.
In a recent interview with The Punch, the actress, who said she never had an interest in acting, disclosed how a visit to her late actor-husband at a cinema during a stage play dragged her into the industry.
Mama Rainbow noted that she had always hated and mocked theatre practitioner for ‘dressing in rags’, but never knew she would later become one of them
She worked as a certified nurse in general hospitals in Nigeria for several years and occasionally acted in theatre.
She ventured into full-time acting after the death of her husband – Augustine Ayanfemi Phillips, who worked closely with the late patriarch of Nigerian Film Industry, Sir Herbert Ogunde.
2. Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs (Olu Jacobs) – 77:
Born on July 11, 1942, Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs, popularly known as Olu Jacobs is an award-winning actor who has been in the industry for about five decades.
Olu Jacobs has blazed the trail Nigeria’s movie industry. He trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, England, and starred in several shows and series in the United Kingdom and some international movies before returning to Nigeria to inject his foreign experience into the local movie industry.
He is not just a Nollywood veteran, he is a respected and shining star in Africa. One of the bests the continent has ever produced.
Olu Jacobs is married to another award-winning veteran Joke Silva.
3. Pete Edochie – 72
Pete Edochia is another active veteran born on March 7, 1947.
Edoche, who is famous in the Nigeria movie scene for his wise quotes, was born on this day in Enugu state in 1947. He, however, had his primary and secondary education in Kaduna State before proceeding to study a course in Journalism and Television at the School of Journalism and Television in England.
After a successful career in the broadcast industry, Edochie came into limelight with his role as Okonkwo in NTA’s adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
One of his sons Yul has taken after him and is a prominent face on the screen.
Edochie recently appeared in a TV commercial for Wikipedia.
4. Kareem Adepoju (Baba Wande) – ’75 years’:
Kareem Adepoju better known as Baba Wande was born on April 22.
Although there are no available data to authenticate his year of birth, multiple reports say he is 75 years. In an interview with Nigerian Tribune in 2018, Baba Wande only said he is in his 70s.
He began his professional acting career in 1963 with the Duro Ladipo Theatre Group. A year later, he moved on and this time he joined an equally popular group, the Oyin Adejobi theatre group where he trained under the guidance of one of Nigeria’s foremost dramatist and acclaimed theatre doyen the late Chief Oyin Adejobi.
He gained more prominence with his blockbuster “Ti Oluwa Ni Ile”
He recently signed a multi-million naira deal with Adron Homes to shoot the movie into series.
5. Chief Olalere Osunpaimo (Lere Paimo) – 80 years
Lere Paimo was born on September 19, 1939.
The legendary actor who is popular as Eda-Niniola has experience spanning both the Yoruba and the English genre of showbiz on a global scale. Although he has not been active in the movie industry due to old age, he is a formidable force to reckon with in Nollywood.
He trained as a teacher in Ghana after his primary education in Ogbomoso and he has been awarded various certificates of participation in theatre workshops at the University of Ibadan in 1976.
His major breakthrough role in a film was playing Soun Ogunlola in the epic movie Ogbori-Elemoso.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Commando) 72 years:
He served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. As of 2019, he is the most recent Republican governor of California.
He was born on 30 July 1947 and started pumping iron at the age of 15. By the time, he was 20, the Austrian native had won his first major bodybuilding event, Mr. Universe.
Schwarzenegger went on to win 13 more world championship titles in bodybuilding, and eventually became a Hollywood action film star with big roles like “The Terminator” and “Kindergarten Cop.” In 2003, he became the Governor of California.
Sylvester Stallone popularly known as Rambo born on July 6, 1946
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone is one of those who made childhood memorable for many Nigerians when the Nollywood was still struggling to produce home videos.
Stallone gained worldwide fame with his starring role in the smash hit Rocky (1976). On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali–Chuck Wepner fight. That night Stallone went home, and after three days and 20 straight hours, he had written the script.
8. Carlos Ray Norris (Chuck Norris) – 79:
Carlos Ray Norris better known as Chuck Norris was born on March 10, 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma, United States.
He is an American martial artist and actor who is still active in Hollywood.
Norris starred in several movies alongside Bruce Lee.