11 Stars Who Finally Got the Recognition They Deserved

year ago

Being talented isn’t always enough for someone to get the perfect roles and win awards. Sometimes bad timing, even bigger talents than you, and social relationships play a huge part as well. That’s maybe why so many actors took decades to become the people we know today. It took them many smaller roles and many disappointments until they started winning awards and getting the recognition they always deserved.

1. Jennifer Coolidge

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Coolidge became famous at around the age of 38 when she participated in the films American Pie and Legally Blonde. Although her roles were supporting, her immense talent made her unforgettable among viewers. However, her work was never recognized award-wise, and she finally got her moment of recognition in 2023. That’s when she won her first Golden Globe for her incredible role in The White Lotus at the age of 61.

2. Jamie Lee Curtis

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Curtis is a highly recognizable face in Hollywood since she has participated in a myriad of projects, including the Halloween franchise, A Fish Called Wanda, and Freaky Friday. Although she had won two Golden Globes and a BAFTA years ago, she got her first Academy Award nomination in 2023 for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. This nomination comes after years of hard work and at the age of 63.

3. F. Murray Abraham

© The White Lotus / HBO and co-producers, Acosta David/Image Press Agency/ABACA/Abaca/East News

The actor was born in 1939 and got his first and only Academy Award nomination and win in 1985 at the age of 46 for his role in Amadeus. However, after that, he didn’t receive any other major awards even though his filmography has been quite rich. It seems that his career was revitalized in 2022 when he played one of the main roles in the series The White Lotus. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild award.

4. Jane Lynch

Lynch was born in 1960 and started her acting career in 1988, playing in dozens of movies and TV series. However, her big break came in 2009 at the age of 49, when she was cast as Sue Sylvester in Glee. For her role, she won an Emmy Award and after that she started presenting the show Hollywood Game Night, for which she also won two more Emmy Awards. Even though fame and success came a bit later for Lynch, it seems that the public loves her.

5. Viola Davis

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Viola Davis’ filmography is impressive, and she has played in some very successful movies and series that won her multiple awards. However, she didn’t receive her first Academy Award nomination until the age of 44 for the movie Doubt. She won the golden trophy 8 years later for her role in the movie Fences. She’s also been recognized massively after holding the main role in the series How to Get Away With Murder.

6. Lucille Ball

Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection/East News

Ball was born in 1911 and is known as one of the most talented and accomplished comedy actors of all time. After participating in many movies until 1950, a year later she produced and starred in the historic I Love Lucy at the age of 40. Even though the show was a massive success, she only won one Emmy Award for her performance. Later on, in 1979 and 1987, she was given the Cecil B. DeMille award and a Lifetime Achievement award in comedy.

7. Al Pacino


Pacino was born in 1940, and since he started his acting career in 1969, he has played in iconic movies, leaving his mark in the film industry. His roles in movies like The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, and Scarface will forever be remembered. While he was nominated 6 times for an Academy Award from 1973 to 1991, he finally got the golden trophy in 1993 for his movie Scent of a Woman. While his talent was never questioned, his Academy Awards aren’t giving a clear picture of his accomplished career.

8. Morgan Freeman

The charismatic actor began his career at the age of 27 and since then he has appeared in countless movies, series, and plays. However, he didn’t receive his first Oscar nomination until he was 50 years of age for the movie Street Smart. He ultimately won the award in 2004 at the age of 67 for his role in Million Dollar Baby. He is another proof that awards don’t always come easy or fast for the most talented of actors out there.

9. Judi Dench

The lovable actress started her career a bit late, in 1964 when she was 30 years old. She got her very first Academy Award nomination in 1997 when she was 63, and she won the award the following year for the movie Shakespeare in Love. In 1995, she became widely known after she starred as M in the James Bond movie GoldenEye. She is now 88 years of age, and it doesn’t look like she’s planning to stop acting any time soon.

10. Christopher Plummer

Plummer started his career in 1958 at the age of 29 and since then he participated in dozens of movies and theatrical plays. While he won two Tony Awards and two Emmy Awards, he wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award until 2010, at the age of 81. He didn’t win that year, but two years later for his role in the movie Beginners. He got another nomination in 2018, when he was 88, but didn’t win.

11. Betty White

Betty White started her TV career in 1949 at the age of 27 and even got nominated for an Emmy Award in 1951 for her role in the series Life With Elizabeth. However, it was her role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973 when she was 51 that propelled her to stardom. And in 1985 she starred in The Golden Girls, a show that cemented her as one of the top comedic actresses of all time.

Why do you think it takes so much time for someone who is so talented to finally be recognized and given important roles?

Preview photo credit Mary Evans/Allstar/Graham Whitby Boot./East News, UPI / Alamy Stock Photo


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