Relax your crack. Here are 29 women who killed it later in life.

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Have you heard?

28 is the new midlife crisis.

Whether it’s the pace of life,  our tendency to compare ourselves to others, the fact that we live in an age that worships youth, or the old blame machine of social media, it feels like there is enormous pressure to be working in your dream job by 25, have the big office by 27, have the baby nailed by 29, and build your personal brand while you’re at it.  

How exhausting.

Let’s talk about the women who nailed it later in life. 

Because there are scores of women who found fame, fortune, and general contentment well past the age of 30, 40 and 50. 

A few weeks ago I read about Johanna Byrne, who was a florist with seven kids, went back to uni at 45 years of age, and just won the national prize for Indigenous law student of the year.  

And don’t forget Susan Kiefel. She was a high school dropout who was recently named Australia’s first female High Court chief justice – ending 113 years of men leading the nation’s highest court. She’s 62. 

But don’t take my word for it.

Here are 27 other incredible women who didn’t hit their strides until they were over the age of 30.

Julia Morris on I'm A Celebrity. Images: Getty, Network Ten


Julia Morris spent the early years of her career as a comedian, actress, writer, TV presenter and TV producer working all over the country, before relocating to the UK in 2000. She returned to Australia in 2007 but it wasn't until 2013 at the age of 45 when she scored the role of Gemma Crabb in the Nine Network's drama series House Husbands that she hit a career high, closely followed by her role as co-host of Network Ten's I'm a Celebrity...get Me Out of Here from 2015.

Connie Britton on Nashville. Image: Getty, ABC


A career actress and singer, Connie Britton hit new heights when she was cast as the coaches wife Tami Taylor in hit TV show Friday Night Lights at 40 but it wasn't until she became country singer Rayna Jaymes in Nashville at 46 that she became an icon. Who knew she could sing like that!

Lisa Wilkinson on Today. Images: Getty, Nine Network


Lisa Wilkinson was a successful magazine editor, famously at Cleo, as well as a highly regarded TV and radio commentator when the Today Show came calling at the age of 48. Since joining co-host Karl Stefanovic, the show has become one of the most-watched TV breakfast shows with Wilkinson showing just how incredible, warm, smart and talented she is, every weekday morning.

Melissa McCarthy in Spy. Images: Getty, 20th Century Fox


Who can forget Melissa McCarthy as Sookie St James, the crazy yet loveable chef on iconic TV show Gilmore GirlsBut it wasn't until years after the TV show wrapped up (before it came back) that a hilarious movie called Bridesmaids came calling at the age of 41. From the second McCarthy appears in the Kristen Wigg movie you start laughing and don't stop.

JK Rowling at the opening of Fantastic Beasts. Image: Getty


A single mother struggling to pay her bills, UK author J.K. Rowling was 30 when she finished writing the first of her massively successful book series Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone but it wasn't until two years later when she was 32 that the book was published and not until she turned 33 that the book was sold in the US.

6. SIA: Sia was 39 when the single "Chandelier" from the album 1000 Forms of Fear saw her achieve international success.

7. VERA WANG: Vera Wang designed her first collection of wedding gowns at age 40.

8. WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Whoopi Goldberg was 52 when she was chosen as the new moderator on hit US talk show The View.

9 & 10 AMY POEHLER AND TINA FEY: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were 33 and 34 respectively when they became regular comedy partners on Saturday Night Live.

Listen to Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley, Jessie Stephens talk about late bloomers:

11. MOTHER TERESA: Saint Mother Teresa was 40 when she founded the Missionaries of Charity and began her charity work in earnest in Calcutta, India.

12. ANNA WINTOUR: Anna Wintour was 39 when she began her iconic career as editor-in-chief of US Vogue.

13. JACKIE WEAVER: Our beloved Jackie Weaver was 63 when she scored the role of the mother next to Bradley Cooper in the movie Silver Linings Playbook.

14. NONI HAZELHURST: Equally beloved Noni Hazelhurst was 62 when she starred in Truth with both Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford.

15. JANE LYNCH: Established actress Jane Lynch was 49 when she transformed into aggressive cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on hit TV show Glee!

16. ELIZABETH JOLLY: Anthor Elizabeth Jolly was 53 when her first novel Five Acre Virgin was published.

17. HILLARY CLINTON: Career politician's wife, First Lady of the U.S. Senator of New York and U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was 69 when she ran for U.S President.

18. GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: Gladys Berejiklian was appointed the 45th Premier of New South Wales and the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party at the age of 49.

19. SHERYL CROWE: Singer and songwriter Sheryl Crowe was 31 before she achieved music success with the hit single "All I Wanna Do".

20. KATHY BATES: Actress Kathy Bates was 42 when she terrified the world playing Annie Wilkes in thriller movie Misery based on the Stephen King novel.

21. JESSICA CHASTIN: After years playing character parts and minor roles, to much acclaim, Jessica Chastin was 35 before being cast as the lead in a movie, the brilliant Zero Dark Thirty for which she won a Golden Globe.


22. KERRY WASHINGTON: At the age of 35, Kerry Washington was cast in the Shonda Rimes drama Scandal playing political crisis manager Olivia Pope.

Jessica Chastain is receiving praise for her latest role in political thriller Miss. Sloan. Image: Europacorp

23. E.L. JAMES: Trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey became a world-wide runaway success when author E.L. James was aged 50.

24. JANE AUSTEN: Iconic author Jane Austen was 36 when her first novel was published, Sense & Sensibility.

25. JULIA CHILD: Cookbook author and TV cook Julia Child was in her late thirties when her most successful book Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published and was 41 when she began her successful career as a TV cook on the show The French Chef.

26. VIOLA DAVIS: Viola Davis was 36 when she starred in The Help and is the only black actress to be nominated for an Oscar three times, winning Best Supporting Actress at the 2017 Academy Awards for her role in Fences, aged 42.

27. SUSAN BOYLE: The Incredible Susan Boyle was 48 when she auditioned for UK reality TV show X Factor, stunning the judges, audience and the rest of the world with her incredible singing.

Did we miss someone on this list? Add it in our Comments section below.

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