They say it’s never too late to pursue what you love… or perhaps more accurately what you were destined to do.
That’s the premise behind the fall TV series The Rookie (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV), starring Nathan Fillion. The former Castle star plays a man in his mid-forties who, following a divorce, pursues another calling and becomes the oldest rookie on the LAPD.
Fillion was definitely a spring chicken when he rose to fame on shows like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but The Rookie’s John Nolan, well, that’s another story. Honestly, it’s kind of inspiring, no? Career ambitions, developments and changes don’t have to end with our much vaunted youth. Did you know that plenty of stars only achieved their stardom later on in life. It’s true. Prepare to be surprised, inspired and maybe consider taking a role in your local community theatre. Who knows?
13 TV celebs that got their start later on in life
Jon HammHamm was 36 years old when he made the retro ad salesmen look sexy with Mad Men. Before that he spent a lot of time doing guest-starring roles on shows like Gilmore Girls and Ally McBeal.Getty Images
Bryan CranstonCranston was 44 years old when he nabbed a starring role in Malcolm in the Middle. Now, following a huge awards run from Breaking Bad and a slew of movies, he is the one who knocks. Getty Images
Connie BrittonThe woman whose hair we all covet was 39 years old when she landed the TV role of Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights. Before that she had a bunch of bit parts and bigger rejections—including narrowly losing out on the leading female role in Jerry Maguire to Rene Zellweger. Getty Images
Jane LynchGlee’s Sue Sylvester may be one of the greatest characters in TV history, but Lynch was 49 when she landed that particular role. Before then she spent years on the theatre circuit, eventually going after film and television roles. Getty Images
Julia ChildThe famous TV chef is known for changing the way we all cook at home, but she didn’t revolutionize the standard with her amazing cooking show until she was 49 years old. Getty Images
Joy BeharBehar was 55 years old when she was asked to join as one of the ladies on The View. Before then she was a producer at NBC on various other things. Getty Images
Kathryn JoostenJoosten was an impressive 70 years old when she landed her memorable acting gig on The West Wing. Before that she worked as a psychiatric nurse and eventually ventured into community theatre when she was 42 years old. Getty Images
Leslie JonesSaturday Night Live’s boisterous femme of the hour was 47 years old when she became a cast member. Considering the show’s gruelling schedule and penchant for younger players, we’d say that’s a total feat.Getty Images
James GandolfiniThe man who famously played Tony Soprano didn’t land that life-altering part until he was 38 years old. Perhaps that’s what made his death at 51 years old feel even more tragic—we barely knew him or saw what he could really do in other roles.Getty Images
Lucille BallWe all Love Lucy now, but she didn’t land her legendary role until she was 40 years old. Just imagine where TV would be had that particular series never happened. Getty Images
Ricky GervaisThe witty Brit wasn’t always a genius television writer and frontman; at first he attempted a career as a singer. By his 40s he moved on to other ventures, most notably creating and starring in the original The Office.Getty Images
Steve CarellThe nicest guy in Hollywood had a niche audience when he was younger thanks to his days as a correspondent on The Daily Show, but it wasn’t until he was 43 years old and landed the role of Michael Scott on The Office that he became a household name. Getty Images
Ted DansonEveryone’s favourite bartender was 35 when he landed his gig on Cheers. We’d say he’s had a pretty impressive career since then, wouldn’t you?Getty Images
The Rookie airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.