This post will be a (hopefully) funny, more lighthearted take on aging stars. I don't know about you guys, but every time I see one of my favorite (this is directed specially to female) stars, the ones we look up to, relate to and find the most beautiful women in history, aging, I just feel a pain inside.
But, if you look at them, they all had a different way of aging. Each so individually special that I had to make a post about them!
1. Classy and Polished: Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman is one of the most established actresses in cinema history, having won 3 Academy Awards and appearing as #4 on the AFI List of biggest silver screen stars of all time. As Ingrid aged, what was apparent was how gracefully she accepted her years. She never tried to dress, act or in any way, shape or form fancy herself as younger than she were. It seemed, as she grew older, that her elegance only improved. She lost her life rather prematurely to breast cancer, and it was a true loss for the world. Don't get me wrong, Ingie always looked her age. But, she didn't seem to worry about it all that much. And neither should she. Ingie died at 67.
Other stars who aged like this: Grace Kelly (dead at 52)
2. Witty and Caricaturous: Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn figures as #1 on the AFI silver screen star list and she has won 4 Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Katharine was known for always speaking her mind and not being afraid to express any of her opinions, which she did more often than not in a witty or wisecracking way. As she aged and her attitude towards life became even more lighthearted, the clever remarks grew more frequent, her jokes grew funnier and Kate herself seemed to grow more and more pleasant to be around. Her quotes are still remembered fondly by her fans, her autobiography is a surprisingly hilarious read and some of the crazy events of her life (urinating on Mr. and Mrs. Bogart, stopping on road to help a driver with a flat tire, wearing all sorts of silly hats) just assure us of how big of a personality she always had. Katie died at 96.
Other stars who aged like this: Bette Davis (dead at 81)
3. Showy "life of the party": Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor won 2 Best Actress Academy Awards and is currently appearing at #7 at the AFI list of silver screen stars. Looking at pictures of an aging Elizabeth Taylor saddens me a great deal, because time did not treat her well. Firstly, how relatively prematurely she lost her life (I have a grandfather her age who is alive and well) and how much her face changed. She remained quite pretty for a woman her age, but nothing compared to the 18-year-old on Father of the Bride (who was as pretty as I've ever seen an actress look on the silver screen) or even the 34-year-old on Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, who was purposefully made look older. Lizzie became a rather showy older woman, wearing bright make up and bright clothes, attracting attention wherever she went. She remained an excellent actress up until her last day. Liz died at 79.
Other stars who aged like this: Brigitte Bardot (77 years old as of July 2012)
4. Smart and Experienced: Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall won an honorary Oscar and currently figures as #20 at the AFI list of silver screen stars. Ms. Bacall has had one of the most fascinating runs in all Hollywood careers. Known for her association with Humphrey Bogart, she had many other interesting romances, friendships, joys and pains that are so worth reading about. As she grew older, she was as outspoken as ever, but lacking her good friend Katharine Hepburn's comedy timing (or rather, her insanity), she became a role model, a reference of wisdom and life experience. I even found her 1994 book "Now" on the self-help session at a bookstore in Paris. Her interviews and speeches are always rich in understanding and intelligence. Betty will be 88 as of September of this year.
Other stars who aged like this: Ginger Rogers (dead at 83)
5. Beautiful as ever: Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1954 and is listed as #3 in the AFI list of silver screen stars. When a 63-year-old, cancer-stricken Audrey appeared in the Unicef camps in 1982, one couldn't help but utter: "What a beautiful doll she still is." It's not that Audrey's fabulously beautiful face remained unchanged, it did change, it did show the signs of years of chain smoking and malnourishment. However, you looked into her eyes and that feeling was still the same: So beautiful. So goddamn beautiful. Audrey died a gorgeous woman at 63 years of age.
Other stars who aged like this: None like Audrey, but possibly Rita Hayworth (dead at 68) and Ava Gardner (also dead at 68)
6. Did she even age? Julie Andrews
Wait, when is this picture from? One might wonder when looking at Academy Award winning actress Julie Andrews. Because of AFI rules*, she did not figure on the list of silver screen stars, but one thing is for certain: Julie has not aged at all. Her face changed very little in the 45-year window depicted in the images above. Her voice, despite surgery in her vocal chords, was attested by Princess Diaries 2 as still rocking. Her acting is still titillating. Her dancing? Unchanged. Julie is still exactly the same woman. The years seem to go by unnoticed by this British beauty, who is still alive and will celebrate her 77th birthday in October.
Other stars who aged like this: None quite like Julie, but Meryl Streep is well on her way. (63 years old as of July 2012)
So, thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my list? Can you think of any additional categories? In which category would you put your favorite star? Comments are highly appreciated!
*The above-mentioned AFI rules are that stars must, in order to make the list, have had their silver screen debut in or before 1950 and/or have died, completing a full body of work. Since Julie had her silver screen debut in 1964 in the movie Mary Poppins and is still alive and well, she did not figure in the list. Shame.