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Morgan Freeman wasn’t famous until he was 50 years old

Rhiannon Ingle

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Morgan Freeman wasn’t famous until he was 50 years old

While not every celeb has the privilege of skyrocketing to fame at the very start of their career - it's clear there are a bunch of famed Hollywood A-listers that took an entire lifetime before ever receiving their spot in the limelight.

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And that was exactly the case for the award-winning Morgan Freeman, 86, who has since been heralded as one of the best actors of his entire generation.

As shocking as it is, the Shawshank Redemption star did not become famous until he was a staggering 50 years old.

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It took Morgan Freeman 50 years before properly reaching stardom. Credit:  Album / Alamy Stock Photo
It took Morgan Freeman 50 years before properly reaching stardom. Credit: Album / Alamy Stock Photo

While many adoring fans have grown to know and love Freeman for his decade-spanning filmography filled with box-office smashes like Bruce Almighty, Seven or The Bucket List - his first major breakout movie role came when he was half a century old.

The actor finally had his big break after starring in Street Smart, a crime thriller released in 1987 all about a reporter, Jonathan Fisher, struggling to keep his job at a magazine.

The plot follows the protagonist, played by Christopher Reeve, who is assigned to write a real-life prostitution exposé but fails to gain information from his subjects and decides to make up his own story about a pimp.

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While the story ends up reviving his career, the reporter's fictional character turns out to be strangely similar to Fast Black, portrayed by Freeman, an actual pimp, who is outraged and demands that Jonathan spill his sources.

After police get involved in the whole ordeal, matters only get worse for the pair.

His performance was so powerful that Freeman went on to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Freeman in Street Smart (1987). Credit: The Cannon Group, Inc.
Freeman in Street Smart (1987). Credit: The Cannon Group, Inc.
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Freeman's career took off shortly after the film hit theatres in the late 1980s with subsequent roles like Sergeant Major John Rawlins in Glory (1989) and Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy (1989) paving the way for stardom.

Before that fateful role, however, the star was mostly known for starring in the Emmy-winning instructional children's TV series The Electric Company which aired between 1971 to 1977.

The star has recently just celebrated his 86th birthday on Thursday (1 June) and has received a whole load of birthday tributes from his famous pals.

Fellow acting legend Michael Douglas, 78, took to Instagram to share a photo of him smiling alongside Freeman.

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The dynamic duo previously starred comedy Last Vegas (2013) alongside the likes of Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline as well as on the Netflix series The Kominsky Method.

Douglas captioned the post: "Happy birthday to my good friend @morganfreeman! I had such an incredible time working with Morgan on the final season of The Kominsky Method. Have a great one Morgan! MD."

Featured Image Credit: Cannon Group / Album / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Morgan Freeman

Rhiannon Ingle
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