The Oldest Man in Acting – What’s his secret?

British star still working after over sixty years in the business

Press Release ( - HAMPSTEAD, England - Jul 25, 2017 - Most of us these days look forward to the day we can relax, put our feet up in front of the fire, and quit work for good. Although the retirement age is admittedly getting harder and harder to reach, it still lures us along like a carrot on a stick.

Some people however, never stop working for sheer love of their job. Some people such as Alfred Hoffman, a 92-year-old actor who has been in the business for over 60 years, travelling the globe and working on films with stars such as Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Roger Moore and fellow stage actor Frank Finlay.

Born in 1924 in colonial South Africa he started his working life in law as a barrister, giving it up after 3 years to pursue a career in acting. In 1958 he got is big break, with a West End and Broadway production of The Visit, starring Alfred Lunt alongside his wife Lynne Fontanne, and directed by Peter Brook, who the Independent once described as England’s “greatest living theatre director”.

He subsequently worked on numerous feature films, along with shows for BBC and ITV, always accompanied by his equally talented and lovely wife, who herself has starred in Roald Dahl’s The Witches, Doctor Who, Skins, and Harry Potter.

Most recently he took a leading role in Trainline’s mobile ticket ad campaign. Produced by, he took on the role of ‘Grandpa’, a performance that required the aging 92-year-old to be outside for long periods in England’s bitter winter weather. Despite the cold, Alfred carried on without complaint like the true professional he is, working long hours as the job demands. When asked how he felt about having to get up so early after meeting him at 6am, Alfred simply responded “Well, I would be getting up at this time anyway.”

Director Richard Gold spoke to us about the experience.

“I wouldn’t have cast Alfred in a million years, I was lied too!

We were casting 70- 80 year old, but Alfred looked absolutely perfect. I didn’t find out he was 92 until the second day of shooting, we had him out in freezing weather, windy train tunnels…and I am so glad I didn’t know his age because it made no difference to him.

I have had twenty year olds complain to about working conditions because we didn’t have Almond milk on set! I have worked with people like Dame Judi Dench and she doesn’t complain when it’s bitterly cold and you’re waiting for ages between shots. Alfred is the same, a true professional. God bless him”.

The advert was released online by Trainline in the first half of 2017 as a part of their marketing campaign to make more people aware of their new m-ticket app. It received favourable reviews, most of them gushing about how cute Alfred was, but most appreciating the underlying comic tone that was in keeping with the Trainline brand.

Fuelled by cups of tea and unwavering support from his wife, Alfred spent 2 days with and travelled hundreds of miles. He claims he is still so active due to the 20 lengths he swims every day, but it’s obvious that his dedication to the profession he loves so dearly doesn’t hurt either.

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