There are film, music and television stars that we mostly associate with their legendary image and status today, which they have achieved during decade upon decade of dedicated work and success. But even octogenarians were young once, you know. When you see Christopher Lee you probably think Saruman, but when your grandparents see him they probably think of the handsome World War II pilot he was. Here are fifteen such examples of beautiful people who had the good fortune of growing old while doing what they love and finding a lot of success and happiness along the way.
1. Meryl Streep
Although she has been part of the lives of film lovers for decades, it is hard to believe the legendary actress will turn 68 this coming June. The New Jersey-born who also writes and sings. She contemplated quitting acting and studying law during college, but luckily she decided against it. Still incredibly charming, Streep was a real heartthrob bringing something very European on the screen during her youth, as attested by her role in Sophie’s Choice. A performance in which she played a Polish concentration camp survivor, it cemented her status and won her her first Academy Award.
2. Angela Lansbury
Famously known for her big doe eyes, the London-born icon is 91 years old. She landed her career-defining role in Murder She Wrote at the age of 59, but this American-British-Irish actress has had a lot of success in film, theater and television both before and after. In addition to acting, she has also produced, wrote and sang. In the 1960s, The New York Times famously dubbed her the “First Lady of Musical Theater.”
3. Scott Wilson
If you only know Scott Wilson from the hit AMC show The Walking Dead, you really know less than one side of a rare coin. The 75-year-old landed his first acting role in the 1967 classic In the Heat of the Night alongside Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger which won five Oscars. That same year he was already on the cover of Life magazine and has had more than 50 film credits since. His latest role is in the original Netflix series The OA.
4. Ellen Burstyn
The 84-year-old says although Hollywood is always looking for a fresh face, she will be acting as long as she’s breathing! The classy Detroiter started her theater career in the 1950s, later finding success in films such as The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist and Requiem for a Dream. In a career spanning six decades, she has won numerous awards, including being one of only 23 people to have won the Triple Crown of Acting: Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award in the acting categories.
5. Martha Stewart
We all know Martha Stewart as the woman behind a media empire centered around good food, domestic arts and entertainment. What many people don’t know is that the cooking star modeled to help pay off her school tuition while she attended Barnard College in New York City. The New Jersey native stated in the documentary Makers, “I got enough jobs modeling at $50 an hour, which was a lot of income at the time.” Could you imagine what would have happened if Stewart pursued modeling as a profession? She would have probably been equally successful and we would have known and loved her the same.
Check out the video for ten more stars who used to be absolutely gorgeous when they were younger.