Grow Old Along with Me


Original PBS special hosted by Julie Harris and Richard Kiley, with James Earl Jones, Hume Cronyn, Leni Sonnenfeld, Frederick and Claske Franck, Shirley Verrett, and Pema Chodron. By making poetry wonderfully accessible and by sharing their personal hopes, fears, and insights, these well-loved artists and teachers reassure us that the work of achieving authenticity in later years is within our reach.




Julie Harris, Richard Kiley, Hume Cronyn, and James Earl Jones are a delight as they recite poetry about aging and talk about what getting old is like for them. Artists Frederick and Claske Franck, opera singer Shirley Verrett, ninety-year-old photographer Leni Sonnenfeld, and Buddhist nun Pema Chodron see aging as a creative process that carries with it an opportunity for giving birth in later years to one’s full humanity.

With spirit and insight, these beloved artists and teachers show us it is possible to integrate all of the past–areas that have gone unfulfilled, failures as well as successes. They show us how to adapt to the changes taking place in our bodies, in our relationships, and in the circumstances of our lives. Dealing with loneliness, accepting the reality of death, they give us encouragement to face our fears. Letting go of the past, settling into life as it is, they help us embrace the people we have become. We learn just how creative this journey through old age can be, as we are inspired to make that critical shift from life-as-a-burden to life-as-a-joy.

Includes the poetry of Browning, Tennyson, Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Archibald MacLeish, Mark Strand, Elizabeth Bishop, Muriel Rukeyser, Mary Oliver, and other contemporary poets.


Cine Golden Eagle Award


One-hour program originally broadcast on PBS stations Special PBS pledge program

How to Use This Film

Grow Old Along With Me honors the aging process by celebrating its creative possibilities. Viewers of all ages will appreciate the opportunity to share their hopes and fears about aging by responding to this video in small groups where they can feel at ease. Invite your parents and grandparents to join you in watching this film at home; or arrange to have it shown at your local library, community center, or place of worship.

Additional resources on creativity and aging can be found on the following websites:

Birthing the Crone

Center for Aging, Religion and Spirituality

Center on Aging, Health & Humanities

Community Arts Network Reading Room: Essays for Arts and Elders

Creative Forces in Later Life

Elders Share the Arts

Imagine Aging

National Center for Creative Aging

Additional information

Price Levels

Consumer/Home Video, Public Library/Secondary School, Synagogue/Church/Mosque, University/College/College Library, Public Performance/Screening License


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