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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Late Bloomers: Stars who got their big break later in life

    Want to become a rich movie star, but fear that you are too old?

    Well, you’re probably right. But maybe you’re not!

    Our friends at have highlighted 10 huge Hollywood stars who didn’t catch a break until after 30, 40 and — gasp — even 50.

    Yes, these celebs were mere civilians for decades — decades! — before ruling the red carpet.

    Everett Collection, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

    Breakthrough Show at 50: Martha Stewart on “Martha Stewart Living” in 1991

    Homemaking maven Martha Stewart started out as a model and dabbled in entrepreneurship, while elevating her real-life homemaker skills to a new level. But it wasn’t until she reached the age of 50 that her showbiz career took off.

    She started her magazine, “Martha Stewart Living” in 1990, and the TV show grew from there. Today, in addition to merchandizing deals and multimedia, Martha hosts her eponymous talk show, which is in its final season in 2012.

    See all 10 stars who caught their big break later in life at

    Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for NBC

    Breakthrough Role at 35: Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 1999

    Mariska Hargitay definitely earned her role as badass Detective Olivia Benson in 1999. She had already put in her “time” on “Falcon Crest,” “ER,” and lots of TV movies and failed pilots by the time Dick Wolf came calling.

    She also met husband Peter Hermann on the set of “SVU.” The two were married in 2004 and have three children together. Hargitay continues to lock up the perps on “SVU” every Wednesday night and manages to look more gorgeous with each season.

    See all 10 stars who caught their big break later in life at

    GLOBE PHOTOS INC., Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation

    Breakthrough Role at 35: Harrison Ford as Han Solo in “Star Wars” in 1977

    After putting in some solid bit part time in the 60’s TV western series “The Virginian,” Ford started moving up the fame ladder with “Love, American Style” and “American Graffiti.” But landing the role of a lifetime as Han Solo in “Star Wars” didn’t happen until age 35 for the then part-time actor.

    Now, Harrison Ford is part of our cultural lexicon and hasn’t stopped working since director George Lucas cast him as his hunky sci-fi leading man. Ford was most recently seen in the “Cowboys and Aliens” and seems to have come full circle with this name of his latest film.

    See all 10 stars who caught their big break later in life at

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