Celebrities who make it big often seem to be blessed with talent and good looks from the get go and yet there are some stars who just seem to get better with age. And we’re not talking strictly about their appearance, but rather in terms of their both their career and personal growth.
With their lives constantly scrutinized, these celebs here have lived under the public eye with grace, and have found their personal style, developed a self-assured confidence and use their fame and status to better the world around them—all factors that add up to making them even more attractive now than in their younger days.
“You either die young or you get older. That’s the reality. I don’t want to die young. I never did want to die young. I’m too curious about life. All lives have their ups and downs. You have two choices. You have to embrace it and allow it to happen. It’s the natural rolling on of life.” It’s this tell-it like-it-is attitude and confidence that seems to be increasing with age that has us falling more and more in love with Helen Mirren. The British actor’s incredible body of work (more than 60 movies) has earned her a slew of awards (from an Oscar to a SAG Award and many others) for stellar roles including The Queen, Gosford Park and and Excalibur.
Many of us became fans of Judi Dench in the 80s when she starred in A Room With a View, and in the decades since, her impressive oeuvre has included roles in which she brings dignity and power, including being the first woman to play the role of the character M in the 007 series. With “Carpe Diem” tattooed on her wrist, we have no doubt Dame Dench will continue to seize the day, despite her 2012 diagnosis with macular degeneration, which has impacted both her work. She is unable to travel alone to film movies anymore) and her going to the theatre to watch movies.
Julianne Moore has come a long way since her start on soap opera As the World Turns. Standout roles include Boogie Nights (in which she played a porn star), The End of the Affair(where she portrayed a cheating wife) and as a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice, a role for which she won an Academy Award. A global brand ambassador for L’Oreal, the gorgeous actress is an active supporter of charities including Children’s Health Network, Save the Children and Tuberose Sclerosis Alliance (for which she is an Honourary Chair).
From her rise to fame in the 70s (with an Oscar win for her role in Klute and her role in Fun with Dick and Jane), Jane Fonda’s name is synonymous with working out thanks to her bestselling exercise book and fitness VHS tapes making her a 1980s workout icon. Retiring from films in the 90s for about 15 years, Fonda’s made a comeback to the screen, including reuniting yet again with Robert Redford to star in Our Souls at Night in 2017, and is winning over new generations co-starring with Lily Tomlin in the Netflix series Grace & Frankie. In her personal life, she’s never shied away from standing up for her beliefs and has supported feminist causes and the environment and has not shied away from political activism.
America’s sweetheart, Ellen Degeneres makes us laugh on a daily basis. She has climbed her way up from working in comedy clubs, starred in two sitcoms, Ellen and The Ellen Show, the former in which she came out both on the show and in real life on Oprah. Her ever-popular award-winning The Ellen Degeneres Show launched in 2003 has her dancing her way even deeper into our hearts while also fighting for animal rights, UNICEF, and LGBTQ rights, to name just a few. And along the way, she’s also established one confident signature look—think tailored pants, button-downs or classic cashmere sweaters, and sneakers—and in 2008 became the face of Cover Girl, disrupting notions of what the conventional feminine ideal is.
Many of us fell head over heels for Diane Keaton when she starred in Annie Hall in 1977, a role for which she won an Academy Award. So many other favourites feature Hall Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Reds, The First Wives Club and Something’s Gotta Give. In Something’s Gotta Give, she plays a playwright who falls in love with her daughter’s much older boyfriend, played by Jack Nicholson. “Let’s face it, people my age and Jack’s age are much deeper, much more soulful, because they’ve seen a lot of life. They have a great deal of passion and hope—why shouldn’t they fall in love? Why shouldn’t movies show that?” she’s said of the movie being cast with older adults. Other than her starring roles, she’s directed, produced, adopted two children (the first one at the age of 50) and has done work with the Los Angeles Conservancy, helping to restore historical buildings.
There’s something magnetic about Susan Sarandon. She came into her own with starring roles in the late 80s-early 90s in movies including Bull Durham, Dead Man Walking and Thelma & Louise (in which she was the take-charge, no-BS character Louise). An active supporter of political and humanitarian causes, she’s also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1999, and earlier this year voiced her support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and members protesting the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern B.C. On the lighter side of things, the outspoken, and often controversial, Sarandon is co-founder of Spin, the chain of international table-tennis bars (and if her ping pong game is anything like her acting skills, we want her on our team in doubles).
We limited ourselves to just seven stars, but the list of celebrities getting better as they age could go on and on. Who tops your list?
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