Lois Davis recently published the wonderful Great Grandma Joins the Circus, a charming tale of a grandmother who went for her dream, taking the once in a lifetime opportunity to fulfil her life ambition –to become a flying trapeze artist. It’s a wonderful, quintessentially English tale; but more than anything, it’s a story that tells us to never give up on our dreams, no matter how old you are, or where you are in your life.


We did some research into examples of well known people making it late in life, and we think you’ll be as surprised as us when you read some of these!



Alan Rickman- 46



Born into a working class family in London, Alan chose drama originally but quickly moved to a graphics design job for a magazine, and then opened his own studio with some friends, he has said that he decided to do this as it was considered to be the safer decision: “drama school wasn’t considered the sensible thing to do at 18”. It wasn’t until 1988, when Alan was 46, that he received his first role in film, the iconic villain in a damn good suit, Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Rickman stole the show and from there he went on to play some of the most remarkable roles in UK film history.



Martha Stewart - 41


Everyone knows Martha Stewart for her wide range of ventures. From writing, TV and business in general. She’s written many bestselling books and started her own magazine called Martha Stewart Living which is still going now!


But Martha didn’t grab real success until she published her first book Entertaining, when she was 41 years old. Despite being convicted of some charges in stocks, she came back with a bang, and is still doing tremendously well!



Helmi Wolff - 80



Born in Holland before world war two, Helmi grew up with seven brothers and sisters, she was the youngest. After education she moved to Oxford to be a domestic assistant from a foreign country. She began training in nursing and medicine and pursued it for a while. Later in her life she went for her ambition to become an artist and flourished. But it wasn’t until 2014 that she published her first book, at the grand age of 80. She has since had much success and great reviews for her book The Girl Who Knew Too Much.



Charles Darwin – 50



Possibly one if not the most famous naturalist/biologist of all time. Most famous for this theory of evolution. He grew up with a rich family, starting his career as an apprentice doctor, soon he became interested in natural history and geology. After returning from a voyage, he began working on his theory of evolution.


At 50 Darwin published The Origin of Species. The book instantly aroused public interest. Charles, by then, was rather ill so unfortunately didn’t attend many public events, but he kept on going and worked for the next twenty-two years of his life.



Ricky Gervais – 40



Perhaps best known for his first work that brought him into the public eye. The Office was Ricky’s own creation and he starred in it himself, after that Ricky went on to create the highly commended Extras as well as the heart-warming program Derek.  Created Life’s too short and An Idiot Aboard. He’s toured the world with sell out stand-up shows, released feature films, some written by him and some just starring him. He became a huge star in the US after hosting the Golden Globes in true Ricky-style. Some called it offensive, we called it genius. And he’s also a best selling children’s author…


It’s hard to believe that before his big streak of luck with The Office at the age of 40, Ricky did indeed work in an office. That’s proof in the pudding to never give up on a dream.



So, listen to Lois’ message. Don’t give up, and just grasp every opportunity that comes at you! Grab yourself a copy of Lois' book, here! 


Whilst we’re on the subject do you know anyone who fulfilled a dream later in life, or have you done so yourself?