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16 Stars That Prove It's Never Too Late To Achieve Your Dreams

There's still time. Inspired by missmentelle.

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1. Where was Tina Fey at age 23? Working at YMCA and doing improv comedy.

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She worked as a receptionist at the YMCA after college. Fey penned details in her book, Bossypants.

2. How about Oprah at age 23? She was just fired from her first reporting job.

Oprah was fired from her 6 p.m. news slot at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV in 1977.

3. And Walt Disney at 23? His first business failed.

His film studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, had just gone bankrupt.

4. And at age 23 Stephen King was working odd jobs to pay for his studies, including industrial laundry.


His first novel, Carrie, was accepted by Doubleday in 1973, after King's wife retrieved the manuscript from the trash (where he'd thrown it) and encouraged him to finish it.

5. What was Mark Cuban up to at age 25? He was a bartender, and sleeping on the floor of a shared apartment.

"When I got to Dallas, I was struggling -- sleeping on the floor with six guys in a three-bedroom apartment. I used to drive around, look at the big houses, and imagine what it would be like to live there and use that as motivation." --Mark Cuban, How to Win at the Sport of Business

7. And the beloved J.K. Rowling at age 28? She was a single parent living on welfare.

She was even fired from her job due to daydreaming about Harry Potter too much.

8. Wayne Coyne ( from The Flaming Lips) was working as a fry cook at age 28.

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And Harrison Ford at age 30? He was hard at work... primarily as a carpenter.


Although the urban legend that Ford was cast by George Lucas as the beloved smuggler Han Solo because he installed cabinets for Lucas is a total myth.

9. And what was Ang Lee doing at age 38? Making his debut as a director.

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His first film, called Pushing Hands, came out in 1992. His next two films would earn him Academy Award nominations.

10. What was Julia Child up to at age 39? She released her *first* cookbook.

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Her first cooking show, The French Chef, premiered when she was 51.

11. Vera Wang designed her first dress when she was 40.

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This was after she failed to make the Olympic figure skating team—she competed in 1968, leaving the sport to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She became a senior fashion editor at Vouge, then left after ultimately being turned down for the Editor-in-Chief position.

12. Alan Rickman landed his first film role at 42, after giving up his graphic design career at age 26.

Silver Pictures

Although he successfully ran his own design agency (called Graphiti) he folded it to pursue his dream of acting after being accepted into the Royal Academy For Dramatic Arts in 1972.

14. How about Morgan Freeman at age 52? He had just landed his first major film role.

TriStar Pictures

Although his first credited film appearance was in Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow? in 1971, his first major role was in Glory in 1989.

16. How about Grandma Moses? She didn't begin her painting career until age 76.

She was discovered by art collector Louis Caldor, who immediately purchased all the paintings she had for sale at a local drugstore and at her farm. Moses became an overnight sensation in 1940, after her first one-woman exhibition in New York City.

So if you're a late bloomer, not to worry. You're in good company.


"My, what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one's late. But I'll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all." -Fa Zhou

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