7 Famous People Who Lived To Reach 100

Laura Grande | September 28th, 2017

Here, we look at some legends of longevity—and their quips on aging and living well beyond “expectancy.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lifestyle modifications—enjoying a healthy diet, keeping up with physical activities and saying no to tobacco—could prevent “at least 80 per cent of premature heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes and 40 per cent of cancer.”

RELATED: 12 Ways To Live To 100 (And Thrive While Doing So)

Although the possibility of living to 100 is a lot more plausible these days than it used to be, it’s still a significant milestone that calls for celebration.

So here are the legends of longevity—and their quips on aging.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2004, file photo, actress Olivia de Havilland, who played the doomed Southern belle Melanie in "Gone With the Wind," poses for a photograph in Los Angeles. In rare public remarks about her sister and fellow Oscar-winning actress, Olivia de Havilland mourned the loss of Joan Fontaine, with whom de Havilland reportedly feuded for much of their lives on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

Olivia de Havilland

Born: July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan
Age: 101

On aging
“I would prefer to live forever in perfect health, but if I must at some time leave this life, I would like to do so ensconced on a chaise longue, perfumed, wearing a velvet robe and pearl earrings, with a flute of champagne beside me and having just discovered the answer to the last problem in a British cryptic crossword.”

Next: Gloria Stuart

Lady in blue: Gloria Stuart arrives at the 70th Annual Academy Awards wearing one of the world's biggest blue diamonds -- a tribute, courtesy of jeweler Harry Winston, to the signature gem her character tossed into the sea in Titanic.

Gloria Stuart

Born: July 4, 1910 in Santa Monica, California
Died: September 26, 2010
Age: 100

On her Oscar nomination for Titanic (1997)
“When I graduated from Santa Monica High in 1927, I was voted the girl most likely to succeed. I didn’t realize it would take so long.”

Next: Bob Hope


Bob Hope

Born: May 29, 1903 in London, England
Died: July 27, 2003
Age: 100

On aging
“I don’t feel old. In fact, I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.”

Next: George Burns

(AP) BURNS-LS-022416-AP FILE--George Burns, the wry, cigar-smoking comic who played straight man to Gracie Allen for 35 years, then found new popularity when he won an Academy Award at age 80, died Saturday, March 9, 1996, just weeks after turning 100. Burns is shown in this Jan. 15,1993 file photo, a few days before his 97th birthday. (AP Photo/Michael Tweed)

George Burns

Born: January 20, 1896 in New York
Died: March 9, 1996
Age: 100

On aging
“As long as you’re working, you stay young. When I’m in front of an audience, all that love and vitality sweeps over me and I forget my age.”

Next: Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, appears at the main gates to Clarence House before taking the salute on her 100th birthday, August 4, 2000. Thousands of people have flocked to the streets outside Buckingham Palace to cheer the Queen Mother, the longest living royal in the history of the British monarchy. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/Pool

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Born: August 4, 1900 in London, England
Died: March 30, 2002
Age: 101

On living life to the fullest
“Wouldn’t it be terrible if you’d spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t eat things, took lots of exercise, and suddenly, one day, you were run over by a big red bus and, as the wheels were crunching into you, you’d say, ‘Oh my God, I could have got so drunk last night.’ That’s the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you’ll be run over by a big red bus.”

Next: Irving Berlin


Irving Berlin

Born: May 11, 1888 in Tyumen, Russia
Died: September 22, 1989
Age: 101

On life
“Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.”

Next: Kirk Douglas

Photo: Getty Images

Kirk Douglas

Born: December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York
Age: 100

On aging
“Age is in the mind. I’ve survived a helicopter crash and back surgery. I have a pacemaker. I had a stroke that almost made me commit suicide. But I tell myself, I have to continue growing and functioning. That’s the only antidote for age.”