5 Famous People Who Succeeded Late in Life Alan Rickman makes list for late role in 'Die Hard' By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Jan 28, 2012 5:34 PM CST 18 comments Comments Alan Rickman hit the cinematic big time with his role in "Die Hard." (MovieWeb) (Newser) – Good news for those still struggling to fulfill their career dreams: A few famous people have succeeded surprisingly late in life. Cracked lists five: Alan Rickman. Won his first film role at age 42. He became a theater actor after abandoning his graphic design business in his late 20s. His role in the stage version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses would lead to Die Hard and the Harry Potter movies. Best bad-guy actor ever? Peter Roget. Published his thesaurus at age 73. True, he had succeeded as a lecturer, inventor, and doctor, but his obsession with making lists did more than calm his obsessive personality: It made him a household name. Joseph Conrad. Had his first novel published at age 37. The author of Heart of Darkness had smuggled guns, tried to kill himself, and was riddled by debt. Ended up a 20th-century literary genius. Kathryn Joosten. Won first of two Emmys for her role in Desperate Housewives at age 56. Had been a 40-something single mom divorced from her alcoholic husband. What better time to start acting? See Cracked's fifth late bloomer here.