There’s no denying that TV show Dancing With the Stars is a runaway success. It’s been a staple on ABC since 2005, and the 27th season started in September 2018.
Singers, actors, politicians, and reality TV stars have been contestants on the show over the years. They’ve gone on to reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets and the craziest things they had to do while filming. Dancing With the Stars has had hundreds of contestants over the years, and these are the oldest.
Who are the oldest Dancing With the Stars contestants?
Dancing With the Stars almost always has contestants across several generations. The season that featured the oldest contestant in the show’s history also included a dancer who was 18 years old at the time.
These are the 15 oldest Dancing With the Stars contestants, based on their ages at the time.
15. Gladys Knight, 67 years old
The soul singer finished eighth in season 14 in early 2012.
14. Barbara Corcoran, 68 years old
The Shark Tank star was one of the oldest Dancing With the Stars contestants ever. She was 68 years old when she appeared on the show in 2017, but it was a short stint. She was the first to go home in season 25.
13. Paula Deen, 68 years old
12. Suzanne Somers, 68 years old
The former Three’s Company showed up for season 20 in 2015. She was one of the oldest Dancing With the Stars contestants, and also one of the richest to hit the stage.
11. Patti LaBelle, 70 years old
The legendary singer was on the show at the same time as Suzanne Somers, in season 20.
10. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 71 years old
One of the oldest NBA players ever was also among the oldest Dancing With the Stars contestants. He appeared during the athletes-only season in early 2018.
9. Gary Busey, 71 years old
The Hollywood actor was on the show at the same time as Paula Deen, but he was three years older at the time. The formerly bankrupt star received a healthy payday, just like the rest of the contestants.
8. Geraldo Rivera, 72 years old
Dancing With the Stars fans got off easy when Geraldo Rivera was on the show in 2016. The hated TV show host was the first contestant sent home.
7. Betsy Johnson, 72 years old
Fashion designer Betsy Johnson was 72 when she appeared on the show in 2014. She fared well, too, finishing 10th out of 13 contestants.
6. Valerie Harper, 74 years old
The Broadway and TV star was 74 when she appeared on the show in 2013.
5. Tommy Chong, 76 years old
The slacker movie star appeared on the show in 2014, and he was one of the oldest Dancing With the Stars contestants ever. He was 76 during season 19.
4. Florence Henderson, 76 years old
Former Brady Bunch star Florence Henderson was 76 when she danced on the stage during season 11 in 2010.
3. Billy Dee Williams, 77 years old
Even though he had a bad back and had to quit Dancing With the Stars, he was one of the oldest participants on the show. He was 77 when he danced in 2014.
2. Buzz Aldrin, 80 years old
Moonwalking astronaut Buzz Aldrin is the second-oldest Dancing With the Stars contestant. He was 80 years old when he appeared in 2010.
1. Cloris Leachman, 82 years old
The oldest DWTS contestant is Cloris Leachman, who was 82 when she hit the stage in 2008. Even though she’s considered one of the worst contestants, she performed well and finished seventh out of 13 dancers.
Who are the oldest Dancing With the Stars winners?
Even though Dancing With the Stars doesn’t shy away from having older contestants, the winners are typically on the younger side.
- Donny Osmond remains the oldest Dancing With the Stars winner. He was 51 when he finished first in 2009.
- Jennifer Grey was 50 years old when she took the title in 2010, though she had an advantage after starring in the movie Dirty Dancing.
- Another winner who had the inside track was Alfonso Ribeiro. He had already performed on Broadway and written a dance instruction book when he won in 2014 at age 43.
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