"I think that the barriers have pretty well fallen," says Hotchner, whose career dates back to adapting the stories of his friend Ernest Hemingway for 1950s television productions. "When Hemingway died, he was 61 and he really looked old. Writers used to fade out by the time they were 70. A phenomenon like Herman Wouk was virtually unheard of."
Hotchner and others say that thanks to better medical care and cleaner living, creative expectancy has never been higher.