The Most Iconic Baby Boomer Celebrities

One of the largest demographics in the world is the baby boomers. This age group consists of people born between the years 1946 and 1964. This population exploded right after World War II when families started to become more affluent after getting government funding for housing and education.

There are many iconic celebrities who are classified as baby boomers that have made a significant impact on pop culture and touched the lives of millions. As many of them are now nearing their golden years, it’s good to take a look back on their journeys through life.

Being A Baby Boomer Didn’t Slow Dolly Parton Down One Bit

Photo of Dolly Parton with guitar
Gems/Redferns
Gems/Redferns

Dolly Parton was born on January 19, 1946, putting her at the front end of the baby boomer generation. She is a country music legend with credits in singing, songwriting, instrumentals, and producing. Some of her most famous hits include “Jolene” and “Coat of Many Colors.”

Apart from being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame she has also acted in movies, written several books, started businesses, and enjoys doing humanitarian work. Parton is also the force behind the lyrics to the legendary Whitney Houston-performed song, “I Will Always Love You.”

Elton John’s Musical Legacy

photo of Elton JOHN
David Redfern/Redferns
David Redfern/Redferns

The songs performed by Elton John haven’t faded away even after several decades. He was born on March 25, 1947, in England as Reginald Kenneth Dwight and knew from an early age that he was going to focus on a career in music. By the early 1970s, he burst into superstardom with many famous songs including “Rocketman,” “Your Song,” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

A career spanning almost 50 years has earned him over 50 Top 40 hits, Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, Tonys, and places in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He’s also raised hundreds of millions of dollars for his charity foundation.

Samuel L. Jackson’s Didn’t Start Acting Until Later In Life

Samuel L. Jackson during Video Software Dealers Association Convention
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Samuel L. Jackson had a bit of a detour before he got into acting. He was born on December 21, 1948, in Washington D.C. and stuttered all throughout his childhood. He later attended Morehouse College, majoring in marine biology and then switched to architecture.

After appearing in multiple plays during college he realized he was meant to be an actor and got his first major role in the 1972 independent film Together for Days. He is still acting in major motion pictures and is best remembered for parts in Goodfellas, Jurassic Park, and Pulp Fiction.

How Meryl Streep Realized She Loved Acting

Actress Meryl Streep
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Meryl Streep was born on June 22, 1949, and holds the rare distinction of being nominated for the most Academy Awards in history. She is heralded as “the best actress of her generation,” mainly due to her versatility and range. She started acting in high school but wasn’t seriously interested until she appeared in a play at Vassar College.

The theater was her first love, but by the mid-1970s she started to get parts for the big screen. Some of Streep’s most memorable movies from her career include Kramer vs. Kramer, The Bridges of Madison County, and The Devil Wears Prada.

What To Know About Bill Murray

Bill Murray eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the film 'Caddyshack'
Orion Pictures/Getty Images
Orion Pictures/Getty Images

Bill Murray entered the world on September 21, 1950, as one of eight siblings in Evanston, Illinois. As a young kid he loved to read biographies of American heroes, and later became the lead singer of a rock band and participated in high school and community theater.

His brother Brian got him into the famed comedy troupe Second City in Chicago, which is where he was discovered for Saturday Night Live. This launched his acting career, making him one of the biggest comedic film stars of the 20th century. He has appeared in numerous blockbusters including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Zombieland.

Robin Williams’ Comedy Lives On

Robin Williams enjoying music through headset in a scene from the film 'Good Morning, Vietnam',
Buena Vista/Getty Images
Buena Vista/Getty Images

Robin Williams credited his mother as the reason he got interested in comedy, because he just wanted to make her laugh. Williams was born on July 21, 1951, and grew up in Chicago and the Bay Area of California. After dropping out of Claremont Men’s College he transferred to multiple schools to study drama.

He quickly got obsessed with stand-up comedy and was performing on the streets and in clubs, which got him his first starring role on Mork & Mindy. After the sitcom ended he made his transition into film, with iconic roles in Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Good Will Hunting.

Jeff Goldblum’s Career Has Some Serious Range

 Jeff Goldblum attends
Dan Callister via Getty Images
Dan Callister via Getty Images

Jeff Goldblum knew he would be an actor from an early age. He was born on October 22, 1952, and by the time he was 17 he moved to New York to pursue acting professionally. It’s been around 50 years since then and his career has broken off into theater, movies, TV, and more.

He is mainly known for his parts in Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. On top of acting, Goldblum is also an accomplished jazz pianist and has recently recorded a couple of albums with The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Pierce Brosnan Knew There Was A Better Life For Him Outside Ireland

 Hollywood-Star Pierce Brosnan alias James Bond.
Schwartz/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Schwartz/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Soon after Irish actor Piece Brosnan was born on May 16, 1953, he was left to live a mostly solitary childhood. His father abandoned the family when he was very young and he only saw his mother once or twice a year. Brosnan left school at 16 to pursue illustration and eventually ended up training for drama in London.

His career took off when playwright Tennessee Williams chose him to appear in one of his plays, which led to roles in movies and TV. He most famously played James Bond from 1994 to 2005 and continues to lend his talents to numerous projects.

Oprah Winfrey Started A Talk Show Revolution

Opray Winfrey attends 19th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey is globally known for hosting and producing her talk show, being a media executive, acting, and her philanthropic work. She was born on January 29, 1954, in a lower class, rural town in Mississippi. In high school, she started working in radio, which led to her becoming a co-anchor for the local evening news at age 19.

Winfrey broke barriers with her talk show from 1986 to 2011 where she would talk to a variety of celebrities, discuss taboo topics, and do huge give-a-ways. She is arguably one of the most powerful women in the world who prides herself in doing whatever she can to help those in need.

Bill Gates Is The Richest Man In The World

Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates makes a point during his key note address
JEFF CHRISTENSEN/AFP via Getty Images
JEFF CHRISTENSEN/AFP via Getty Images

It was recently announced that Bill Gates has surpassed Jeff Bezos becoming the richest person in the world once again with a net worth of $110 billion. Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington and already started to write his first software program by age 13.

He and Paul Allen started Microsoft in 1975 when they saw an opportunity to start their own computer software company. Aside from Microsoft, he and his wife Melinda operate one of the largest charity foundations in the world where they donate time and money to various causes ranging from agriculture to computer science.

Tom Hanks’ Life Moves Pretty Fast

American actor Tom Hanks attends the Deauville Film Festival
DENIZE alain/Sygma via Getty Images
DENIZE alain/Sygma via Getty Images

Everything moved fast for Tom Hanks as a child. He was born on July 9, 1956, and by the time he was 10 years old he had already lived in 10 different homes. He described his childhood persona as being geeky and terribly shy, which made him unpopular with the other kids and his teachers.

His first attempt at acting was in a couple of high school plays, which led him to seriously study theater after graduating. Hanks began his film career in the early 1980s and went on to make some of cinema’s most classic films including Big, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and Cast Away.

Carrie Fisher Followed In Her Mother’s Footsteps

American actress Carrie Fisher, 1980.
Express/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Express/Archive Photos/Getty Images

When it was announced that Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds had both passed away a few years ago, millions of fans were left grieving. Fisher came into the world on October 21, 1956, and spent her early years reading classic literature and writing poetry.

She soon followed in her mother’s footsteps performing on Broadway and then appearing on screen in many iconic roles. She is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, but also had roles in movies such as The Blues Brothers, The ‘Burbs, and When Harry Met Sally…

Katie Couric Gave The News To Millions

Katie Couric relaxes on the sofa in her apartment
Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images
Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

Katie Couric’s background in journalism began before she was even born. She was welcomed into the world on January 7, 1957, to a mother who was a homemaker and writer and a father who worked as a public relations executive and a news editor.

After graduating from college she began working for ABC News and CNN as a reporter. Throughout her career, she has reported for NBC News, Today, CBS Evening News, and more. After her husband passed from colorectal cancer in 1998 she became a spokesperson for the disease by undergoing colonoscopies on-air to raise awareness.

Ellen DeGeneres Was The Funniest Person In America

Ellen DeGeneres, host of the VH-1 honors
Getty Images
Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958, in Metairie, Louisiana to a mom who was a speech therapist and a father who was an insurance agent. When she started doing stand-up comedy she would mainly talk about her tumultuous childhood and her early jobs working at J.C. Penney, TGI Fridays, and painting houses.

In 1984 she was named Showtime’s Funniest Person in America and that helped her land some acting gigs in comedic movies and sitcoms. Her daytime TV talk show launched in September of 2003 and has become one of the longest-lasting talk shows in history.

Magic Johnson Was Born To Play Basketball

MAGIC JOHNSON ANNOUNCES HIS RETURN TO BASKETBALL
Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images
Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images

Earvin “Magic” Johnson knew that life was full of hard work after observing his parents take care of a family with six kids while working full time. Johnson was born on August 14, 1959, and idolized everything about basketball when he was a young boy.

He came from an athletic family and realized by eighth grade that he wanted to become a professional basketball player. He went from playing high school basketball to college basketball to finally making it into the NBA. He most famously played for the Los Angeles Lakers and became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bono’s Long History With U2

Photo of BONO
Peter Noble/Redferns
Peter Noble/Redferns

Paul David Hewson, also known as Bono, was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 10, 1960. He met his future wife and his U2 bandmates when they were in high school. U2 first formed when they saw a bulletin board advertisement looking for rock bands and Bono soon started writing new songs for them to perform.

The group has received 22 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not only does Bono write the lyrics and sing as the frontman for U2, but he also does a ton of work for social justice causes.

Where George Clooney Got His Good Looks

American actor George Clooney poses for a portrait circa 1998
Ron Davis/Getty Images
Ron Davis/Getty Images

It can be difficult to stay relevant as a baby boomer celebrity, but George Clooney remains one of the most-watched actors of all time. He was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky to a mother who was a beauty queen and city councilwoman and a father who worked as an anchorman and television host.

Clooney got his first on-screen role as an extra in the TV mini-series Centennial in 1978 and got his big break when he played Dr. Doug Ross on ER. After leaving the show he went on to have a sensational movie career in films such as the Ocean’s franchise, Up in the Air, and The Descendants.

Tom Cruise’s Tough Childhood Inspired Him To Act

American actor Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun
Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Tom Cruise has appeared on movie screens in multiple iconic roles for decades. He came from humble beginnings when he was born on July 3, 1962, into a poverty-stricken family. When he was in fourth grade he became involved in drama after putting on an improvised play at school.

After attending 15 schools in 14 years he knew that he needed to make some changes in his life. At age 18 he moved to New York City to pursue acting and started to get regular acting work by the 1980s. He continues to make movies that make millions at the box office, such as Rain Man, Mission: Impossible, and Jerry Maguire.

Michael Jordan Brought Greatness On And Off The Court

former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan answers questions during a press conference
DANIEL LIPPITT/AFP via Getty Images
DANIEL LIPPITT/AFP via Getty Images

One of the most successful players ever to come out of the NBA is Michael Jordan. Well before he played 15 seasons and won six championships as a professional athlete, he was born on February 17, 1963, to a family with five siblings. His athletic career started to take off when he played high school basketball, baseball, and football.

After he was done playing college basketball for the Tar Heels he was picked for the NBA and played his final game on April 16, 2003. According to the NBA, he “is the greatest player of all time” and one of the most marketed athletes in history.

The Established Acting Career Of Sandra Bullock

American actress Sandra Bullock at the photo call of
Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images
Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images

Sandra Bullock is at the tail end of the baby boomers being born on July 26, 1964. Both her parents worked in the arts with her mom being an opera singer and both her parents teaching voice. She was raised in Germany and Austria and grew up speaking German.

Bullock acted and sang as a kid and moved to New York when she was old enough to audition for roles. Her acting career soon started to take off with films including Speed, Miss Congeniality, The Proposal, and The Blind Side. She has earned numerous honors such as being one of Time’s 100 most influential people and winning an Academy Award.