Eileen Way is one of those actors. We’re reasonably certain, but only just mind you, that she was middle-aged, perhaps even younger, at some point, although we swear we can’t remember it. And, more importantly for our purposes at this point, Doctor Who provides plenty of evidence to prove the point.
There she is as Lady Karela in The Creature from the Pit in 1979, the nasty, wizened spine behind the equally nasty Lady Adrasta. And there she is again–16 years earlier!–almost at the very beginning, in the middle two episodes of An Unearthly Child as the ‘Old Mother’ in the Cave of Skulls.
She even appeared in the second Peter Cushing movie in 1966 as ‘Old Woman.’ Way was born in 1911 which means she was only 52 when Doctor Who came into her life and career. She wasn’t old. It just always seemed to be that way.
After all it pays to specialize.