Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Which studio era lead actors/actresses do you think "aged well" physically, and who do you think didn't.


Recommended Posts

The talk about this subject in the Cary Grant thread currently going on has enticed me to initiate one of my few threads and with this subject in mind. Once again, this thought has nothing to do with any diminished "talent" which might or might not have been exhibited on screen, but is more just, I suppose, a "facile" exercise and with subjective opinions being asked for here.

 

And so, I'll start.

 

"Aged well" Actors:

Cary Grant

Fred MacMurray

 

"Aged well" Actresses:

Loretta Young

Sophia Loren

 

"Aged not so well" Actors:

William Holden

Errol Flynn

 

"Aged not so well" Actresses:

Bette Davis

Joan Crawford

Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw, I forgot to add that earlier after seeing the name of Lew Ayres being mentioned in some thread around here, it compelled me to seek out an old 1977 Mary Tyler Moore Show episode on the internet that I remembered, and where Ayres at 68 y/o plays Murray Slaughter's father and who briefly dates Mary after she is intrigued by his generally youthful demeanor and witty manner.

 

(...and so I'll now add Lew to my list of "Aged Well" actors)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was as dashing in his 80s as he was as a young man. The English actress Virginia McKenna, whom I saw on an awards show in London fairly recently, has also aged well. As lovely and distinguished as when she was in Born Free. And she did not have any "work done." I think the issue is not one of appearing youthful, but of aging gracefully.  Kate Hepburn aged gracefully as well.

 

(Sorry to go slightly off topic. I guess Ms. McKenna is not of the studio era. I was just struck by how lovely she is and how gracefully she has aged.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vincent Price aged well, I think

Jane Fonda - who started in - what, 1957? - has certainly aged beautifully

 

Come to think of it, her dad did as well.

 

Harder to come up with those who didn't age well - probably because I don't like to think about it.

 

Oh, I know - Ruth Roman didn't. She kept looking blowsier and blowsier.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was as dashing in his 80s as he was as a young man. The English actress Virginia McKenna, whom I saw on an awards show in London fairly recently, has also aged well. As lovely and distinguished as when she was in Born Free. And she did not have any "work done." I think the issue is not one of appearing youthful, but of aging gracefully.  Kate Hepburn aged gracefully as well.

 

(Sorry to go slightly off topic. I guess Ms. McKenna is not of the studio era. I was just struck by how lovely she is and how gracefully she has aged.)

 

Well to me,  Kate started to look rather 'old' (worn out really), in the early 50s,  but she maintained that same look for 25 years, so in that sense she did age gracefully.      

Link to post
Share on other sites

The following stars aged with grace, in my opinion:

Grace Kelly (she also aged as Grace, too)

Rhonda Fleming

Fred Astaire

Paul Newman

Charlie Chaplin (a little portly perhaps but still with dignity)

 

The following didn't do so well as the years passed:

Marlon Brando

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well to me,  Kate started to look rather 'old' (worn out really), in the early 50s,  but she maintained that same look for 25 years, so in that sense she did age gracefully.      

I think part of Hepburn's charm -- her "graceful aging" is that she didn't give a ****.  I like to think (my geographic prejudice) that the actors who came back to, or settled in the NYC area, didn't care so much for the typical Hollywood glamour and aged better than the ladies and gentlemen on the coast -- people like Fairbanks, Wallach, Gish, Garbo, Goddard, Bacall, Loy, Hepburn, Sidney, Wright, Newman, Woodward.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

(Sorry to go slightly off topic. I guess Ms. McKenna is not of the studio era. I was just struck by how lovely she is and how gracefully she has aged.)

 

No problem, Swithin. In fact, I came THIS close in my initial post to mentioning actress Sela Ward, and who I think at 58 is still as hot as hot gets! ;)

 

(...and something of which I noticed yet again very recently when my wife and I recently went to the cinema to watch "Gone Girl" and in which she plays a television newsperson)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beyond what Dargo named:

 

"Aged well" Actors:

James Stewart

Burt Lancaster

(Non-Studio era: Paul Newman)

 

"Aged well" Actresses:

Barbara Stanwyck

Lena Horne

(Non-Studio era: Audrey Hepburn)

 

"Aged not so well" Actors:

Sterling Hayden

Robert Mitchum

(Non-Studio era: Marlon Brando)

 

"Aged not so well" Actresses

Miriam Hopkins

Ruth Chatterton

(Non-Studio era: Diana Dors)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beyond what Dargo named:

 

"Aged well" Actors:

James Stewart

Burt Lancaster

(Non-Studio era: Paul Newman)

 

"Aged well" Actresses:

Barbara Stanwyck

Lena Horne

(Non-Studio era: Audrey Hepburn)

 

"Aged not so well" Actors:

Sterling Hayden

Robert Mitchum

(Non-Studio era: Marlon Brando)

 

"Aged not so well" Actresses

Miriam Hopkins

Ruth Chatterton

(Non-Studio era: Diana Dors)

 

Good picks I'd say Andy, but I have to wonder why you'd say Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Brando and Dors, all of whom started their respective film careers by the early 1950s and during a time the "studio system" was still functioning, wouldn't qualify as actors during that period?

 

You see, while I could be wrong here, I think of the "studio era" limping on all the way into the early-to-mid-1960s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good picks I'd say Andy, but I have to wonder why you'd say Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Brando and Dors, all of whom started their respective film careers by the early 1950s and during a time the "studio system" was still functioning, wouldn't qualify as actors during that period?

 

You see, while I could be wrong here, I think of the "studio era" limping on all the way into the early-to-mid-1960s.

 

I always thought that the "studio system" was broken up with the outlawing of vertical integration, which I think occurred sometime around 1950, not 1960 or later.   Brando was beginning his movie career around 1950, but since the bulk of his work was after that, I didn't figure him as belonging in the studio era.  The other three I mentioned (Newman, Audrey and Dors) didn't begin their careers until the mid-50's, when the studio era was pretty much kaput.

 

Of course if Brando is eligible for inclusion, then forget my other choices of Hayden and Mitchum.  No actor ever aged as grotesquely, and descended physically from so high a peak, as Brando.  Probably a case of too much butter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stars like: William Holden, my beloved Errol, Judy Garland and Desi Arnaz didn't age well due to substance abuse issues and smoking.

 

William Holden ended up looking more craggy as he aged, he didn't look bad persay, just older than his years.  In Network, I think he was only 58 or so, but easily looked 10 years older. 

 

To me, even if Errol wasn't as gorgeous in his 40s as he was in his 20s-30s, he still looked better than some people do on their best day.  Lol.  In Against All Flags, for example, he was 43, but looked closer to 50, but he didn't look as bad as I thought he would.  I was actually dreading seeing his films from the 50s, hearing that they weren't as good and he looked bad.  So far, of the ones I've seen (Against All Flags, The Master of Ballantrae, and Mara Maru) I've enjoyed all of them. 

 

Poor Judy Garland.  She was an alcoholic and addicted to pills.  She also smoked.  Her weight yo-yo'd throughout the years and by her 40s she looked like a wreck. 

 

Desi Arnaz aged rapidly.  You can even see it in I Love Lucy.  Granted, he started the show at age 34 and was 43 by the end.  I could believe him for 34-35 at the beginning of the show, but by 1960, when the last Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour aired, he easily looked like he was in his late 40s.  Lucy was six years older than Desi and in some earlier episodes I think she looks older.  By the end, you would have thought Desi was at least 10 years older than Lucy.  I think the stress of running Desilu, executive producing I Love Lucy and playing a main role on a weekly series was wearing him down; he was also an alcoholic and smoked Cuban cigars regularly.

 

I agree with everyone's assessment of Marlon Brando.  Oy vey.  Talk about letting yourself go.

 

Does anyone think that once Cary Grant retired from film in the mid-60s that he seemed to age rapidly from then on? It's almost like he was putting off aging while making movies and then as soon as he retired, all the years that he'd been holding off came back with a vengeance!

 

Elizabeth Taylor seemed to be aging gracefully for a while... then it seemed like all her health problems took their toll and she all of a sudden wasn't aging well.

 

Stars who I think aged gracefully:

 

Katharine Hepburn

Debbie Reynolds

Myrna Loy

Audrey Hepburn

Sean Connery

Gregory Peck

Sophia Loren

Grace Kelly

Jack Lemmon (he ended up looking like an "older Jack Lemmon" that's good in my book)

Walter Matthau (hear me out, he looked old his entire career.  When he finally was old, he looked the same as he always had)

Ingrid Bergman

Lauren Bacall

Barbara Stanwyck

Olivia de Havilland (if that picture from Garden and Gun Magazine is recent, she looks great for 98)

Rita Moreno

Maureen O'Hara

Eva Marie Saint

 

That's what I've got so far.  I came up with far more women than men. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my very favorite actresses is Lee Remick. I find her to be just as attractive and appealing in her later years as she was early in her career.  Lee was already starring in major films in her early 20's and she was still quite active right up until her final days (sadly she was only 55 when cancer took her life). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eva Marie Saint has aged well. Kim Novak, oy! If not for the surgeries and procedures, we'll never know how she would have turned out. Such a shame.

 

Gregory Peck aged well. I think Paul Newman looked his best in his 50's, and I thought William Holden was a pretty nice looking old geezer, lol. Maybe I just have a thing for older men!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eva Marie Saint has aged well. Kim Novak, oy! If not for the surgeries and procedures, we'll never know how she would have turned out. Such a shame.

 

Gregory Peck aged well. I think Paul Newman looked his best in his 50's, and I thought William Holden was a pretty nice looking old geezer, lol. Maybe I just have a thing for older men!

IMO, Holden aged suddenly and badly. Grant is the only guy I can think of  who aged well. Maybe Peck. On the female side, Loren (despite being a heavy smoker when she was younger) and Saint.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aging, and aging badly, could be devastating for sex symbols. Here are a few:

 

Ava Gardner: This world.class.partygirl/playgirl did not age very well. Her heavy drinking and partying took its toll and ravaged her face.

 

Rita Hayworth: Seeing her again the other night in SEPARATE TABLES, while she aged into a distinguished looking woman, she had been so spectacularly beautiful in her heyday that, by comparison, she seems.to have aged rather poorly.

 

Raquel Welch: She seems to have aged well.

 

Sophia Loren: I agree with posters here; she has aged gracefully.

 

Betty Grable: She seems to have aged well, becoming an older version of her pert, direct, winning image of her youth.

 

Lana Turner: She seems.to have maintained her looks and figure well into the 1970s, although I'm not sure if there was surgical enhancement.

 

Finally, Linda Darnell. I have stated elsewhere that the decline in her movie career due to the decline in her physical appearance seems to be only partially true. Her vaunted beauty was supposedly ruined due to her heavy drinking and unsightly weight gain, making her look prematurely matronly. As I have become more familiar with her later, mostly TV work, I realized that the decline.in looks.was not so steep,.nor was the supposed weight gain so much or so drastic. In some roles, hair and makeup made her look more matronly, but this.was sometimes due to the role she was playing, plus conditions due to the small budgets of the TV productions. However, in photos, she DID look matronly in profile shots, for some reason. Again, her weight fluctuation had been with her throughout her career, and not really much worse in the end. But to put it all into perspective, she was only 41 at the time of her tragic end, so who knows how things would have gone had she lived longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aging, and aging badly, could be devastating for sex symbols. Here are a few:

 

Ava Gardner: This world.class.partygirl/playgirl did not age very well. Her heavy drinking and partying took its toll and ravaged her face.

 

Rita Hayworth: Seeing her again the other night in SEPARATE TABLES, while she aged into a distinguished looking woman, she had been so spectacularly beautiful in her heyday that, by comparison, she seems.to have aged rather poorly.

 

Raquel Welch: She seems to have aged well.

 

Sophia Loren: I agree with posters here; she has aged gracefully.

 

Betty Grable: She seems to have aged well, becoming an older version of her pert, direct, winning image of her youth.

 

Lana Turner: She seems.to have maintained her looks and figure well into the 1970s, although I'm not sure if there was surgical enhancement.

 

Finally, Linda Darnell. I have stated elsewhere that the decline in her movie career due to the decline in her physical appearance seems to be only partially true. Her vaunted beauty was supposedly ruined due to her heavy drinking and insight weight gain, making her look prematurely matronly. As I have become more familiar with her later, mostly TV work, I realized that the decline.in looks.was not so steep,.nor was the supposed weight gain so much or so drastic. In some roles, hair and makeup made her look more matronly, but this.was sometimes due to the role she was playing, plus conditions due to the small budgets of the TV productions. However, in photos, she DID look matronly in profile shots, for some reason. Again, her weight fluctuation had been with her throughout her career, and not really much worse in the end. But to put it all into perspective, she was only 41 at the time of her tragic end, so who knows how things would have gone had she lived longer.

Did you see Rita in THE MONEY TRAP? Unrecognizable. Yes, Raquel still looks great.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my very favorite actresses is Lee Remick. I find her to be just as attractive and appealing in her later years as she was early in her career.  Lee was already starring in major films in her early 20's and she was still quite active right up until her final days (sadly she was only 55 when cancer took her life). 

 

Just a headsup to you that TCM will be showing 'Baby, the Rain Must Fall' in March! I've been waiting a long time for an opportunity to record a copy of that strange little gem. Also stars Steve McQueen in one of his lesser-known roles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread topic.  What's frustrating is...there's been many times over the years where some actor or actress from the "bygone days" will wind up as a guest on some TV show, and I'll jump out of my seat exclaiming, "JEEZ!  HE/SHE sure didn't AGE WELL!"

 

And now, I can't easily think of ANY of them.  But you all mentions many of them alrady.  Don't know whom I could add, but I might give it a try.

 

AVA GARDNER( Just watch EARTHQUAKE to see what I mean---did NOT age well)

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Debbie Reynolds , Joan Collins , Rhonda Fleming, Jane Powell, Dorothy Malone, Angela Lansbury, Ann Blyth, Leslie Caron, Maureen O'Hara, Ann-Margaret, Sidney Poiter  all "aged "better" than well". Not sure if any or all had some surgical intervention, but they all looked great, regardless.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now all you Monroe fans here, don't go nuts on me here now, BUT I always thought IF Marilyn would have lived to her middle-aged years or beyond, she would have looked JUST like Natalie "Mrs, Thurston Howell III" Schafer here....

 

MV5BNjkxODYyMzIxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE5

 

(...am I RIGHT...AGAIN???!!!) LOL

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonder how long they had to work on her each day to get her to look that "hot". Lotsa make-up goin' on there, I'd imagine.

 

Still, she's not that bad for a woman her age. But she's no Jane Fonda beauty, that's for sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...