Skip to main content

Tiger King’s Carole Baskin joins Dancing with the Stars for season 29, and fans of the long-running dance competition are shocked. How old is the big-cat rights activist from the Netflix docuseries? Could she become the oldest celebrity to win the mirror ball?

Carole Baskin from the Netflix series 'Tiger King'
Carole Baskin from the Netflix series ‘Tiger King’ | Netflix

Who was the oldest contestant to win ‘Dancing with the Stars’?

The celebrities that compete on Dancing with the Stars include actors, singers, comedians, musicians, entrepreneurs, reality TV stars, journalists, internet personalities, and newsmakers. With the wide variety of participants comes vast differences in age as well. 

The youngest person to compete was actor Willow Shields during season 20, at the age of 14. While the oldest person to participate was actor Cloris Leachman in season seven, at the age of 82. 

To date, there have been 28 winners of the famous mirror ball. Of those, the youngest was only 16 — Laurie Hernandez of season 23. The oldest winner of Dancing with the Stars was singer Donny Osmond at the age of 51. He won in season nine of the show and remains the oldest winner ever to date. Could Carole Baskin steal his title?

How old is future ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestant Carole Baskin?

Carole Baskin drew widespread public attention when she was a part of the 2020 Netflix documentary series Tiger King. However, the publicity was mostly negative. The private zoo operator Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage claimed that the Florida Big Cat Rescue owner killed her second husband, Don Lewis.

The newly announced Dancing with the Stars contestant criticized the documentary as “salacious and sensational,” according to The Wrap. She is hoping to make it as far in the competition as possible so that the big cats can stay in the public eye. 

The animal rights activist is 59 years old but ready to dance, despite what her husband, Howard Baskin, says.

“My husband says for me to win the mirror ball, it’s going to take a miracle,” she said in a promo for the show.

Why did Carole Baskin agree to join the dancing competition? 

“I would rather work with apex predators like lions, tigers,” Carole Baskin admitted. “They are a whole lot less scary than getting out there on the dance floor.”

Although Baskin is very nervous about dancing, she is joining the competition to help her Big Cat Rescue and save more cats.


‘DWTS’: Which Stars of Season 29 Have Dancing Experience?

“The biggest thing for me is that the longer my partner and I can stay in the running and in the competition, it will keep the cats’ forefront in the viewers’ eye and to me,” she told E! News. “And to me, that was where Tiger King missed the ball. It really should have been focused on the animals. And so, I’m hoping Dancing with the Stars will do that.”

Dancing with the Stars Season 29 premieres Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on ABC.