Veteran actor Charles Dance's is slowing down, because the parts once reserved for him are being snapped up by younger men.

The 58-year-old WHITE MISCHIEF star was always first choice for romantic leads - but he fears he is now too old to be considered for the role of the dashing heart-throb.

He says, "When you get to a certain age, the work begins to thin out.

"I'd had a career playing mostly romantic leading men and there is an optimum age for those characters - and that's around 40 tops.

"There are one or two exceptions and a handful of older, romantic leading men, like Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford are still landing parts.

"Most films are written and made with a hero around 35, or even 25."

But he is still a heartbreaker in real life if not on screen - he has just split from 25-year-old Thunderbirds beauty Sophia Myles.

13/07/2005 01:45