More often than not, our cultural heroes are barely of drinking age when they make their mark: Orson Welles was 25 when he created his masterpiece, "Citizen Kane," and Mozart composed his groundbreaking Concerto No. 9 at the ripe old age of 21. Both live on as emblems of the magic of innate genius rather than the slog (which, let's be honest, no one likes to think about).
But to define genius as the province of the young is simply inaccurate. To prove it, we've put together a slideshow of 15 artists, writers, actors, opera singers and musicians who found success later in their careers. While they may not have been prodigies, by definition, these cultural figures reached the top echelons of their careers without the jumpstart. Malcolm Gladwell would approve.