Actress Amanda Redman has criticised the lack of opportunities for older actresses, and took a swipe at broadcasters for playing safe with the shows they commission.
The 56-year-old said women of her age felt "invisible" and those involved in casting were unsure what to do with them if they were not "kooky".
In an interview with Radio Times, the former New Tricks actress said she sometimes watched TV to spot roles which she could play - based on the right age range rather than whether she would actually want them - but found "there's consistently nothing".
"Emma Thompson is probably the only person I can think of who's my age and working and she's had to write stuff for herself," she told the new edition of the magazine, which is out today.
Redman - soon to appear in a Tommy Cooper biopic on ITV called Not Like That, Like this - said she had pitched an autobiographical story to television chiefs about a woman approaching the menopause whose children were flying the nest.
"They wouldn't touch it because they thought it was not something that men would want to watch, which is a shame because a lot of it's very funny," she said.
She was also rejected when she said she took a story written by comic Jenny Eclair to ITV: "They said 'w e can't do this, your character is too unsympathetic, your audience won't like that.' God, I was so angry.
"We used to lead the world with our brave TV, now it's hard to find something you're proud to appear in," she added.
Her new drama about Cooper - in which she portrays the late comedian's wife Gwen "Dove" Cooper - features scenes of domestic violence and she said it was important for television not to shy away from such issues.
"Oddly, we've veered away from showing domestic violence on TV these days. It's still incredibly prevalent so we should be portraying that."