Why Hollywood so full of kick-ass old folks? Purposeful and highly creative people actually live longer than everyone else, says a growing body of research. Maybe that’s why all of these nonagenarians have no plans to stop working
Stan Lee and the Comics Business
“I never thought I’d live to 94 years old. It’s almost obscene,” says Stan Lee.
The legend, who turns 94 on Dec. 28, is as folksy and ever-ready with a quip or anecdote as ever. He has been in the business since his late teens, but it was in the 1960s, when he was in his 40s, that, with the help of artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he ushered in a heroic comic book age with the creation of such superheroes as Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the X-Men.
Stan Lee on Retirement
To Lee, the word “retire” has no meaning. “When you retire, you have a chance to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do,” he says, holding court in his Beverly Hills office, flanked by a Spider-Man pinball machine and surrounded by photos of him with presidents, multiple generations of movie stars and (especially) his wife, Joan. “I’ve been doing the things I’ve been wanting to do. What could be more fun than coming up with stories and finding out later that people enjoy those stories? I enjoy going to comic book conventions and meeting the fans and talking and doing autographs and the photos. It’s almost like being a rock star.”
Stan Lee still maintains an active work schedule. An assistant picks him up at about 9 a.m. (Lee doesn’t drive because of failing eyesight) and drives him to his office, where he works until about 3 p.m. “See, a lot of men can’t wait to get away from the office so they can play golf or do something of the sort,” he says. “Now, if anybody forced me to play golf for a few hours a day, I’d shoot ’em. That doesn’t seem like much fun. Coming up with an idea for a movie or a television series or a book or a magazine, that to me is fun.”