In Part 4 of TVGuide.com's new Body Talk series, we celebrate stars who are proving that you don't have to be young to be beautiful.
The pressure to be perfect in Hollywood isn't too discriminating - most celebs get it most of the time. But as people start to get older, they tend to become a bit more wrinkly, their skin a bit droopier... and they generally don't look like they did at 30. Well, that may happen in
life - but what about on television and in the movies?
Some of our favorite TV stars are showing just how gorgeous aging gracefully can be. (Whether that's with some assistance or as a result of healthy living and good genes, we're not speculating.) And one of the nicest things about them? They're playing characters who are... actually their age.
, 72, and
, 63, for example, are standouts as Tripp and Letitia, the parents of the dysfunctional yet successful Darling clan on one of this season's best guilty pleasures,
Dirty Sexy Money
, 51, who returns as hot-to-trot Samantha in the highly anticipated
Sex and the City
movie, proves that just because a star is over 50 hardly means she's lost her appeal.
"When you're a young girl, you play the girlfriend,"
, 57, has said to
. "By 40, you play real women who've become more who they are." Which is not to say that the great parts are always so forthcoming. In an interview with Larry King,
, 62, said, "I've turned a lot of parts down, but they're not very interesting.... It's a narrower field as you get older."
Just how difficult is it for aging actors and actresses to find good roles in Hollywood? "They should be able to do so, but I know that is not usually the case," says TVGuide.com reader BlueeyedSara. "[Though]
seems to be doing well." In fact, the 58-year-old Streep, who is the most nominated actress in Academy Award history (with 14 nods, in case you're counting), told
magazine, "I have friends who are dead already. So why would I complain about getting older?"
faced Hollywood's ageism early on. She was up for a role in a James Bond movie, but the producers said they couldn't take her; they really wanted the Sela Ward of 10 years before. "I was only 38," Ward, who's now 51, told the
. "I felt young and sexy. But in that moment, I understood why a woman might feel driven to lie about her age or get a face-lift. It may sound crazy, but that moment changed my life."
As for how seemingly "perfect" Hollywood stars make
feel about aging, in our Body Talk poll, 62 percent of readers said that they know that stars represent an unrealistic image. Most of the rest of you, 35 percent, said that those "perfect" stars don't affect you at all, while only three percent said, "Um, where's the plastic surgeon's office?"
For aging stars, the stakes have recently gotten even higher, thanks to high-definition cameras. "The facial imperfections and aging signs of TV personalities are now visible to the naked eye," HDTV expert Phillip Swann has said. "Celebrities can no longer shield their shortcomings with favorable lighting, heavy makeup and the fuzzy picture of analog TV."
The precise picture of HD can be mighty cruel.
, 76, wears plenty of makeup on
, but it's very visible in hi-def, Swann says. He also believes that NBC's
show uses filters on its cameras to hide the wrinkles on 54-year-old
's face from HD viewers.
Three lovely ladies who are turning 50 this year -
Jamie Lee Curtis
- prove that age is just a state of mind, no matter what kind of camera they're shot with. In fact, some actresses are even finding new life in their careers as they get older.
, 62, took home an Oscar last year for
- and became a senior sex symbol.
, 61, is winning raves - and awards - for her role in
Brothers & Sisters
. "Everyone in Hollywood becomes a victim of age. That's no big revelation," Field told the
Contra Costa (Calif.) Times
. "The only way to keep going in this business is to keep finding new places in yourself, and as you get older, the places keep changing."
- still a youngster at 27 - sees some of these graceful agers as role models. "I look at Helen Mirren, who is
, or Meryl Streep these beauties," Prepon tells TVGuide.com. "You can't stop the age clock. Everybody gets older, and if you're constantly fighting your age, you're going to have a pretty unhappy life. You just have to embrace it." -
Nina Hämmerling Smith What's your take?
Does 50 not mean what it used to, in terms of looking "old"? Do stars who choose to age naturally have an advantage or a disadvantage? And just how closely are you looking at those wrinkles when you watch your favorite shows in HDTV?
More in the Body Talk series:
Photo gallery: Is 50 the New 30?
Nip/Tuck Isn't Just a TV Show
Photo gallery: Nip/Tuck Isn't Just a TV Show
The Skinny on Hollywood's Unreal Ideal
Photo gallery: The Skinny on Hollywood's Unreal Ideal
TVGuide.com's Top 20 Beauty Scandals and Stories of 2007
Photo gallery: Top 10 Hollywood Beauty Scandals & Stories of 2007
Photo gallery: Top 10 TV Beauty Scandals & Stories of 2007
Special Preview and Polls Coming Soon in Body Talk:
" Getting Red-carpet-ready with the Stars
" A Q&A with TV Guide Network's own red-carpet queen, Lisa Rinna
Explore the rituals Hollwyood stars go through to stay looking young in The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets from Amazon.com.