The most famous actor the same age as you
Some celebrity rags will insist that the stars are “just like us”, but let’s be honest—most actors are far more eccentric and vain than the average citizen (not to mention significantly wealthier). That said, humans are all pretty much the same at birth, so in a manner of speaking, the stars are like us in that they were once drooling babies, too. In fact, a good handful of them were born the very same year you were—it’s practically like you’re twins, right?
It can be a surprise to find out you're the same age as someone you remember as a child star—or that you're so much older than some of the biggest celebrities on screen today. Famous people notoriously look younger than their actual ages, and the nature of the entertainment industry is such that its frequenters often seem ageless. Classic movies and television shows transcend time and have the uncanny ability to transport their viewers through a variety of eras, cultural moments, and, of course, styles. But it’s also intriguing when actors are exactly your own age—and grew up with the same popular culture you enjoyed.
While we won’t suggest measuring your own development against that of a Hollywood actor, it might be interesting to know which stars are your age (even if age is the last thing a celebrity wants you to think about). For that, Stacker is on the call. We’re listing out the most famous actor born every year from 1920 to 2005, and even throwing in a few extra names per year for good measure.
After finding the actor's birthdays, we used Wikipedia pageviews from the past year (April 2017 to March 2018). Without further ado, we present the most famous actors according to birth year.
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1920: Mickey Rooney
Date of birth: Sept. 23
Born under the name Joe Yule Jr. in Brooklyn, NY, actor Mickey Rooney first took the stage at the age of just 17 months, appearing in his parents’ vaudeville act. He would debut on screen just five years later, and soon star in “Mickey McGuire,” a series of comedy shorts. It was for this series that Joe Yule Jr. officially changed his name to Mickey Rooney. A prolific career would follow, which didn’t expire until he died in 2014 (unfortunately in the midst of an elder abuse scandal).
Other notable actors: Yul Brynner, Walter Matthau
1921: Charles Bronson
Date of birth: Nov. 3
The 11th of 15 children born to Lithuanian immigrants, Charles Buchinsky was a Pennsylvania coal miner and WWII soldier before trying his luck in Hollywood and changing his name to Charles Bronson. After starring in a number of bit parts, Bronson would soon become Tinseltown’s go-to tough guy for films like “Death Wish,” in which he played a vigilante on a quest for revenge. The film spawned four sequels, including “Death Wish V: The Face of Death”— Bronson’s last starring role.
Other notable actors: Rodney Dangerfield, Chuck Connors
1922: Dilip Kumar
Date of birth: Dec. 11
Just coming off his 95th birthday is actor Dilip Kumar, Bollywood's oldest living star. Born Mohammed Yousuf Khan, Kumar began method acting before the concept even existed. Over the course of five decades, he would appear in no less than 65 films.
Other notable actors: Christopher Lee, Carl Reiner
1923: Charlton Heston
Date of birth: Oct. 4
Famous for playing iconic lead roles in films like “Planet of the Apes”, “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur,” Charlton Heston was a perennial big-screen hero during the height of his career. The actor was born John Charles Carter in Illinois, later combining his mother's surname (Charlton) with his father's last name (Heston) when launching his career. Toward the end of his life, Heston would become as well known for his role as NRA president and spokesman as he would for any cinematic performance.
Other notable actors: James Arness, Cliff Robertson
1924: Marlon Brando
Date of birth: April 3
Actors don’t get much more legendary than Marlon Brando, who was born in 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Illinois. After getting kicked out of a military academy, Brando moved to New York and studied acting under Stella Adler at Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio. The lessons definitely paid off: Brando is now one of the most highly regarded talents in the history of cinema, especially for his role as Don Corleone in “The Godfather.”
Other notable actors: Raj Kapoor, Don Knotts
1925: Paul Newman
Date of birth: Jan. 26
Lest you forget the name Paul Newman, just hit up the nearest grocery store and you’ll be reminded, where “Newman’s Own” food products (which donate all proceeds to charity) still grace the aisles. Of course, launching a line of popular food products is just one of Newman’s many achievements. In addition to being a philanthropist and movie star, the Ohio-born actor was also a director, producer, entrepreneur, and race car driver.
Other notable actors: Dick Van Dyke, Rock Hudson
1926: Andy Griffith
Date of birth: June 1
For over 50 years, actor Andy Griffith charmed millions of viewers with his laid-back, southern style. His two most iconic roles were as Sheriff Andy Jackson Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” and as lawyer Ben Matlock in “Matlock.” He passed away in 2012 at the age of 86.
Other notable actors: Jerry Lewis, Leslie Nielsen
1927: Roger Moore
Date of birth: Oct. 14
Most famous for his role as James Bond in the highly popular film series, Roger Moore—pardon us, Sir Roger Moore—was as active in international goodwill as he was in TV and film. In fact, the British actor was serving as an ambassador for UNICEF before he passed away in 2017. In other words, Moore wasn’t just a hero on screen.
Other notable actors: Peter Falk, Jerry Stiller
1928: Fred Rogers
Date of birth: March 20
His name was Fred Rogers, but the world knew him as Mr. Rogers, the super friendly TV host who educated and encouraged millions of children by way of his half-hour TV show, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. True to his cause, the multi-talented writer/producer/puppeteer/minister wrote essays on good parenting, and once testified emphatically before Congress on the importance of public television—and that’s just skimming the surface of his legacy. Look for an upcoming documentary about Rogers in June, plus a biographical film starring Tom Hanks in 2019.
Other notable actors: Adam West, Martin Landau
1929: Christopher Plummer
Date of birth: Dec. 13
Born in Canada and classically trained as a stage actor, Christopher Plummer made his big screen debut in 1958’s “Stage Struck.” Seven years later, he would play Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” thereby cementing his status as Hollywood royalty. Despite all the fame and success “The Sound of Music” brought him, Plummer wasn’t a fan; he often referred to it as "The Sound of Mucus." Plummer still acts in films to this day, having just famously replaced Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott's 2017 thriller "All the Money in the World."
Other notable actors: Bob Newhart, Max von Sydow2018 All rights reserved.