She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has been a polarizing addition to the MCU thus far, with some fans praising its humor and lightheartedness, while others are claiming that it doesn't follow the save-the-world formula that other movies and shows do. However, the Disney+ series has introduced some new characters into the mix, the most notable being Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters, also known as She-Hulk.
Even though Episode 4 focused on a court case where Jennifer was representing the well-known Wong, it introduced a handful of characters. Wong was attempting to take legal action against a magician known as Donny Blaze, who was played by actor Rhys Coiro. He was accompanied by Leon Lamar's Cornelius P. Willows, the magician's sidekick. The episode also saw the debut of a character named Madisynn, who was the victim of Donny's magic trick and was played by Patty Guggenheim.
Even though the characters that were introduced in Episode 4 probably won't make a huge impact in the future, there is a notable achievement to be recognized. Lamar, the actor behind Cornelius, is actually the oldest actor to ever perform in the MCU.
She-Hulk's 104-Year-Old Actor
In Episode 4 of She-Hulk, a magician named Donny Blaze was introduced into the MCU. Portrayed by actor Rhys Coiro, the character is accompanied by his sidekick, Cornelius P. Willows, who is played by a 104-year-old actor named Leon Lamar.
Kat Coiro, the director of Episode 4 of She-Hulk and wife of actor Rhys Coiro, recently shared a photo on Instagram of Lamar and her husband chatting behind the scenes. The director used the post to talk a little bit about Lamar, saying that "a sharper, wittier, more wonderful actor could never be found:"
"Leon Lamar aka Cornelius was born in 1919. That makes him 104. A sharper, wittier, more wonderful actor could never be found. Whenever we were shooting episode 4 of @shehulkofficial I would find Rhys Coiro and Leon chatting. The man has a lot of stories and one thing I love about my husband is his constant curiosity."
In an interview with TV Insider, Rhys Coiro also talked about his castmate, where he also revealed that the actor was 104 years old:
"My sidekick, by the way, [is played by] Leon Lamar an amazing actor who is 104 years old."
The actor behind Donny Blaze also praised Lamar just as his wife previously did, describing the 104-year-old as "a national treasure." He revealed that Lamar "didn't even start acting until he was in his late 70s," an amazing feat itself:
"He’s 104 now. At the time of shooting, I guess he was only 102 or 103, but I believe he is now 104. He’s just a national treasure and one of my favorite things about being an actor is that familial bond that you develop with your fellow actors. And he and I had just had a great rapport between takes, I was just in a constant state of interviewing him, and learning about his amazing life. I mean, he didn’t even start acting until he was in his late seventies. He’s just completely in the moment. And Kat [Coiro] was adding lines for him in the spur of the moment. That character is so much more fleshed out in the final cut. It’s just lovely."
Lamar's age makes him the oldest actor to appear in the franchise. Before Episode 4 of She-Hulk, Black Panther actress Dorothy Steel was the oldest member of the MCU at 95 years of age. She played the Wakandan Merchant Tribe Leader in the 2018 film and tragically passed away in October 2021.
The MCU - A Place for Everyone
Even though the MCU is a franchise based around superheroes, it has still become a place where everyone is welcome. In Lamar's case, he is a 104-year-old who didn't start acting until he was almost 80, but he still has a place in a comedy show set in a superhero universe.
The same can be said for Dorothy Steel, the aforementioned actress that performed in Black Panther when she was in her 90s. Comic book projects based around superheroes often make people think that the cast members are going to be people that are young and incredibly in shape, but these two actors proved that there are still roles for people outside of that criteria.
As the MCU moves forward, fans can expect there to be more actors cast of all different ages. To reach 104 years of age is an incredible achievement and not something that many people can say they have done. There may not ever be an actor cast in the franchise older than Lamar, but even still, his inclusion shows that Marvel Studios welcomes people of all ages.