Age in Hollywood, especially for a woman, is not always pleasant. This is a town infamous for pushing youth and often treating a woman as if her career is over when she hits 40. It has changed a bit in recent years providing more options for older actresses, but there’s still a clear preference for youth. However, there is hope yet. The role of the on-screen mom is one that will never be lacking for TV and movies. On television, the mom can be everything from the wise and sensible voice on sitcoms to a much darker influence on dramas. But she can also be a surprisingly sexy persona… While some actress’ careers are better off in the past, others are able to rise up and be majorly successful in later years to a surprising degree.
In some cases, they don’t really change all that much, able to handle aging well. In a few cases, they can be even hotter as mothers than they were in their single prime. Many are able to balance everything from comedy to high drama and do it in fantastic style. Several have won Emmys for their parts while others simply hold viewers’ interests high. It’s remarkable to see how so many ladies have managed to elevate themselves and more so how several have ended up playing mothers on multiple TV shows and looked great in the process. There are plenty of choices, but here are the biggest examples of ladies who were already hot TV starlets only to get sexier as TV moms and how they always make their shows worth watching.
20. Tricia Helfer
Tall and blonde, it’s no wonder Tricia Helfer got her start as a model and standing out nicely. In 2003, she began her role on Battlestar Galactica and the promo images of her in a tight red dress helped sell the show by itself. As the Cylon Number Six, Helfer got slews of amazingly hot scenes in multiple parts, most involving her nude and in sexy situations. She showed off in Playboy as well before moving onto non-sci-fi parts. This included cop shows like Dark Blue and Killer Woman that showed her still quite sexy. Now, on Lucifer, Helfer plays the mother to the Devil himself, escaping Hell after centuries of imprisonment to take on a human body. Called Charlotte, this being is taking on a mortal life that has her as a mother to some kids she has no idea how to handle. Helfer is terrific selling her character’s bafflement at such things as the need for clothes and her blasé attitude towards having sex with strangers. The show is a wicked delight and Helfer fits in well to make “mother from Hell” a literal thing and quite hot.
19. Keri Russell
A star on the revival of the Mickey Mouse Club in the early 1990s, Keri Russell got parts in various “kid” movies before a part on the short-lived soap Malibu Shores. In 1998, she rocketed to fame as star of the WB drama Felicity as a college student in New York. Critics hailed the role and audiences were so attuned to it that many feel Russell’s decision to cut her curly locks short led to a downturn in ratings. She played in a few films like Mission Impossible III, but it didn’t seem too daring for a while. In 2013, Russell had a fantastic comeback with FX’s hit The Americans. Her role was amazing as Elizabeth Jennings, a suburban mom in early 1980s Washington who’s a deep cover KGB agent. Russell has earned major award nominations for the part which has her donning disguises and getting into incredibly hot scenes that often show her “assets” a lot. The chemistry between her and Matthew Rhys was so intense that the two were married with Russell having a son in early 2016. Russell continues to show how hot she can be on the show as Elizabeth tells her daughter about her real heritage, but is still a cold killer and heating up the Cold War nicely.
18. Jaime Pressly
Jaime Pressly had a very memorable debut in the 1997 Poison Ivy: the New Seduction, a role that had her almost totally naked throughout. This led to slews of “hot blonde” roles in movies like Not Another Teen Movie, but she had a good part as a dancer on the WB series Jack and Jill that showed some talent. In 2005, Pressly stunned critics by taking on the role of the nutty Joy on the comedy My Name Is Earl and won massive hails for it. Her wild performance was hysterical and earned her an Emmy award. A big turn was that, to avoid a long jail sentence, Joy became a surrogate mom only to have to raise the kid herself. Pressly was a truly fun sight to enjoy as she got into this “trailer trash” gal with a funny seductive side and many cited her as the best part of the series. Pressly later returned in the short-lived I Hate My Teenage Daughter, playing one half of best friends who realize that their daughters have turned into the very “mean girls” who made the moms’ lives miserable in school. Currently, Pressly stars on the CBS hit Mom, but showcased how her turn as a sexy mom was a true “joy” to watch.
17. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
It’s rare to find a woman who remains a major TV star for two decades and can boast winning multiple Emmys for three different shows. Julia Louis-Dreyfus embodies that as well as being a much sexier woman than given credit for. A stint on Saturday Night Live showed her comedic chops which she then put to full use as Elaine on Seinfeld. Balancing great fashion, terrible dancing, and some hot hook-ups, she won an Emmy for the part. At first, she seemed to have been hit with the “Seinfeld curse” with the short-lived Watching Ellie. But then Louis-Dreyfus broke it with The New Adventures of Old Christine as a divorced mom wrestling with her husband marrying a younger woman with the same name. Even as a more “run-down” woman, Louis-Dreyfus looked great, winning another Emmy and showing how sexy she could showcase. Currently, Louis-Dreyfus is riding high on HBO’s hit Veep as the bumbling VP Selina Meyer. While dropping F-bombs constantly, she looks terrific in nice dresses, the comedy is amazing and showing her sexiness has grown with age, handling being a (rather poor) mom to a growing daughter. It’s earned her five straight Emmys and showcased that Louis-Dreyfus is as talented as she is sexy, which says quite a lot.
16. Jennifer Morrison
A former child model, Jennifer Morrison got attention in various movies and random TV shows. In 2004, she started her major role as Cameron Chase on House, the sharp doctor aiding the title character and putting up with his abusive nature. Morrison stood out with a nice style, getting some sexy stuff but sticking to medical clothing a lot more. She then had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother for more attention. In 2011, Morrison latched onto her part as Emma Swan on Once Upon A Time, an ex-con startled by the arrival of the son she gave up years ago. He leads her into a fantastic world where fairy tale characters exist and she’s the heroine. While dressed in a red leather jacket most of the time, Morrison does look amazingly hot through it all, balancing the crazy adventures constantly and getting some sexy times with characters. While her character is more the heroine, she handles being a great mom as well and shows how sexy the adventuring heroine can be.
15. Catherine Bell
A woman who just doesn’t seem to age, Catherine Bell had a variety of minor TV roles before showing up on the first season finale of JAG. While her character was killed off, the producers loved her so much that they brought her onto the show as Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie. While dressed in Navy fatigues, Bell still looked amazing; especially for scenes with her character at a beach or showing off in men’s magazines. In 2007, Bell was part of the cast of the Lifetime hit Army Wives as a woman dealing with a troubled son. Again, she was terrific, with great sexy storylines like an affair. Bell also began The Good Witch, a series of movies for Hallmark Channel as a possibly magical woman in a small town. In 2014, she finally starred in a regular weekly series with her Cassie Nightingale now raising a teenage daughter with powers of her own. In sleek dresses, Bell looks stunningly hot and shows how her sexy appeal remains magical over the years.
14. Lori Loughlin
The former model had a variety of minor roles that didn’t lead to much until 1988 when Lori Loughlin got a part as Rebecca Donaldson on the comedy Full House. The producers and audiences enjoyed her so much that she was given a regular role and soon started dating John Stamos’ Jessie. They were eventually married, and Rebecca was soon raising twin sons, looking great in the role and very hot when she could be. After the series finished its long run, Loughlin continued to defy time, looking great in various TV show parts. Summerland had her raising her niece and nephews after their kids died and gave a great chance to see Loughlin in beach wear. Loughlin returned as the mom who moves her kids to Beverly Hills in a revival of 90210 and got more sexy times there. She currently stars as a widow on the Hallmark Series When Calls the Heart and no matter the time frame, showcases a “gal next door” vibe that still looks sexy as hell.
13. Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham would admit her early TV credits weren’t that notable. They included such short-lived shows as Townies and MYOB that showed a sexy brunette but the material around her was not quite equal to her talents. In 2000, Graham latched onto what has become her most famous role as Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. The fast-talking and quirky Lorelai was a winner as she and Alexis Bledel forged a terrific team, more as best friends than mother-daughter with great humor. The show was a long hit to show Lorelai getting sexier at times, especially with boyfriend Luke. In 2010, Graham got another winning role as Sarah Braverman on the NBC series Parenthood. A divorced mom handling raising two kids, she got another great casting as totally believable as Mae Whitman’s mother. Recently, Graham returned to her signature role in the Netflix revival of Gilmore and still looked fantastic as ever. It’s rare to stand out as the sexy mom of two shows, but Graham proved a winner in each.
12. Connie Britton
The feisty redhead got attention first on Spin City as the wild Nikki, prone to dressing in hot outfits and having a terrific affinity for sleeping with the wrong guys. Connie Britton had recurring roles in 24 before landing the part of Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights. The acclaimed series had her and Kyle Chandler hailed as one of the best marriages on TV, both helping the other out, Britton believable as the mom of both a teenager and a newborn and looking utterly sensational during its run. Britton then starred in the first season of American Horror Story as a mother handling ghosts in her home even as her teen daughter created problems. Currently, Britton is back in yet another motherly role on the series Nashville, playing a country music star who handles her teen daughters growing up. In gorgeous gowns, Britton is terrific and looking sexy as hell in most any setting. Showing how she plays some of the hottest moms TV has known, Britton has just gotten sexier as time has gone by.
11. Julie Bowen
This fun blonde has always been more successful on television than in movies. After various roles on shows like ER, she got major attention as the love interest on the cult TV series Ed, balancing its nice humor with plenty of steamy stuff. She later joined Boston Legal as a hot attorney with antics such as giving birth right in the middle of the courtroom. In 2009, Julie Bowen joined Modern Family as Claire Dunphy, at first the classic “smart mom” of TV. Thankfully, the show has focused more on how she’s as nuts as the rest of her clan and throwing herself into the wild antics. An annual episode is Claire and husband Phil trying to have a Valentine’s Night where they role play sexy characters…which always backfires on them. The fact that her TV daughters are played by Ariel Winter and Sarah Hyland helps to sell how hot a mom Claire is and showcases how being nutty can never rob how hot a suburban mom can get.
10. Marcia Cross
The gorgeous redhead got her start on One Life to Live for a year, showing a nice humor to her role which led to a recurring part on Knots Landing. In 1992, she landed her biggest role as Kimberly Shaw on Melrose Place. At first just a seductive vixen, Marcia Cross erupted into a full-blown psycho who was also the most popular character on the show. She had roles in various shows before a regular part on the popular drama Everwood. In 2004, Cross returned to the limelight on Desperate Housewives as Bree Van de Kamp. The tightly wound homemaker was a winner with her great humor and looked fantastic, especially with bits like seducing her ex in hot red lingerie and showing off nicely. She was a wild mother, prone to things like thinking it better her son was a killer than gay and even faking a pregnancy just to cover up that her unwed daughter was the one knocked up. But through it all, Cross was a great focus to help the show. Cross recently started a recurring role on Quantico as a mother who puts her duties as Vice President over her own family and showing how redheads have a style all on their own.
9. Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere got her start as a kid on soaps like One Life to Live and Guiding Light leading to various kid roles like Remember the Titans. She starred in the last season of Ally McBeal as the title character’s daughter and various guest roles. In 2006 came her breakout as Claire, the cheerleader whose powers made her indestructible on the hit show Heroes. While the show faltered in quality in its last seasons, Panettiere still was a highlight as Claire growing. In 2012, she took on the role of Juliette Barnes on the ABC series Nashville, growing from a selfish diva to a fun character. When Panettiere became pregnant during the show’s third season, it was written into the script and Juliette showed the struggle of motherhood. In a bizarre case of “life imitating art,” a storyline about Juliette dealing with post-partum depression ended when Panettiere checked herself into treatment for the same condition and had to leave the show for a bit. She would return to the show with Juliette still sexy and with the show moving to CMT, she looks ready to continue showing herself stronger and hotter as a mom than a cheerleader.
8. Julianna Marguiles
After just a few roles in television, Juliana Marguiles landed the part of Carol Hathaway on ER. Originally, the pilot ended with her dying of an overdose but the producers loved Marguiles’ performance so they brought her back as a regular. She would win an Emmy and several SAG awards with Carol balancing various romances and other issues while looking incredibly stunning. Marguiles had a few quiet years after leaving the show in 2009 but she roared back with The Good Wife. The hit series had her as the wife of a disgraced official who turns to her law career and balances raising their teenage kids. Still looking hot as hell, Marguiles got very steamy stuff as Alicia showed off some great sexy times and showed a flawed but compelling figure that earned her two Emmy awards. The show may be over now but Marguiles proved in her performance that when it came to being a hot mom, she wasn’t just good but great.
7. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt had roles in various kid shows like Kids Incorporated. She came to fame in 1995 with a recurring role on the hit Party of Five that proved very popular. She even headlined a short-lived spin-off while hitting movie stardom with hits like I Know What You Did Last Summer. After some time on the downside, Hewitt returned to prominence in 2005 with Ghost Whisperer. The hit series had her as Melinda Gordon, who talks to ghosts and helps them cross over to the other side. In the final season, Melinda had a son with the series then jumping forward five years as he was inheriting her powers and Melinda great as a hot mom. In 2012, Hewitt returned to TV on The Client List, a Lifetime series as a single mom who gets a job as an erotic massage artist to make ends meet. That included sensational shots of her in steamy outfits to show off her still incredible body. The show ended with the irony of Hewitt becoming pregnant in real life and showing she’s as hot a mom off-screen as on.
6. Danielle Fishel
Few child actresses have grown in so many ways as Danielle Fishel on-screen. In 1993, she began her role as Topanga, the ultra-quirky student on the ABC comedy Boy Meets World. As the series went on, her role grew more significant as she soon became the girlfriend of main character Cory. A major shift was when Fishel had a growth spurt and basically showed up in between seasons far more curvaceous, especially in the chest. Indeed, late in the show’s run, she had a memorable spread in Maxim magazine to show how hot she was. Fishel would take time away from TV for college before hosting the clip show The Dish for several years. In 2014, she returned to her iconic role on the new series Girl Meets World as a married Topanga and Cory raise their teenage daughter. While she doesn’t show off that much (it is the Disney Channel), Fishel looks astounding, barely aging since the show ended and showing how well she rules the sexy world.
5. Mary-Louise Parker
The quirky Mary-Louise Parker got attention in various movies like Bullets Over Broadway and Fried Green Tomatoes. On television, she had a recurring role in several episodes of The West Wing as a political operative with a scheming side and some nice bedroom scenes. She also earned an Emmy and Golden Globe for the mini-series Angels in America. In 2005, Parker starred as Nancy Botwin on the hit Showtime dark comedy Weeds. Lost after the death of her husband, Nancy turns to selling pot to make ends meet while handling one son who’s a total mess and another who’s a budding sociopath. As this was on Showtime, Parker had no problem showing off her body in various scenes, from a skinny-dip in a pool to some steamy love scenes. Handling the wild mix of comedy and drama, Parker won a Golden Globe for the series and showcased a mom who remained among the sexiest on TV and smoking in so many ways.
4. Eva Longoria
After getting attention on The Young and the Restless, Longoria starred in the brief reboot of Dragnet. Her casting as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives was a surprise as even creator Marc Cherry admitted that the 5’2” Longoria was an odd choice to play a former supermodel. However, he loved her attitude and sultry bearing which ended up being key to the character. Starting off with an affair with a younger man, Longoria got very sexy times on the series, including the hottest outfits and loved flaunting her beauty. In season 5, the series took a five-year “time jump” with the great twist of how Gabrielle (openly stated to be the worst idea of a mother) was now raising two young girls. The series did its best to make her look “frumpy” but even in baggy clothes and ragged hair, Longoria looked stunning. One episode had her fretting over going out with no makeup, oblivious to how no one noticed any difference. Longoria has only had one show since, the short-lived Telenovela, but her evolution of Gabrielle from just a sexy looker to a nice mom was another reason to love Housewives.
3. Sofia Vergara
The gorgeous Columbian actress had a bit of a rough start due to her thick accent but her amazing looks and sensational body were able to get her ahead. She starred on some short-lived series like Hot Properties and The Knights of Prosperity that showed her flair for comedy, not to mention how well she filled out some nice outfits. Finally, in 2009, Vergara got her big break as Gloria on Modern Family. A key part of the comedy of the show is people wondering just what in hell led this single mom to marry a man twice her age (Ed O’Neill) with a whacky family of his own. Much of the show’s humor plays on Gloria mangling the English language while sometimes not even understanding how incredibly sexy she is. It got hotter when she became pregnant by Jay to add another child to this nutty clan and Vergara continues to amaze on the series. She’s known for her incredible curves but Vergara showcases one seriously hot mama to shine above so many others in TV.
2. Julie Benz
The gorgeous blonde came to prominence as Darla, the centuries old vampire on the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While she was killed off, the character was resurrected on the spin-off Angel, at first human then turned into a vampire again. A big turn was her handling a magical pregnancy that pushed her into the plotline majorly. Realizing she couldn’t handle it all, Darla sacrificed herself so her son would live, a surprisingly heartfelt moment. Julie Benz bounced around in guest roles before returning to prominence as Rita on the hit Dexter. As a single mom dealing with an abusive ex, she brought nice gravity and lightness to the show, unaware her new boyfriend was a serial killer. Even if she was “dressed down,” Benz looked hot and many cite her death as the downturn in the show’s quality. Benz later starred on the ABC show No Ordinary Family as a mom with super-speed and was quite great in the part. She’s moved to motherhood for Hawaii Five-O, but set to return on the new version of Training Day as a madam, showing Benz can be a hot mother in many ways.
1. Teri Hatcher
Teri Hatcher had a long road to fame, starting as an NFL cheerleader and one of the dancing “mermaids” on The Love Boat. She came to fame with a guest role on Seinfeld as a woman Jerry is dating and who causes the gang to wonder whether she had a boob job (leading to the classic line “They’re real and they’re fabulous!”). This led Hatcher to the role of Lois Lane on the hit Lois & Clark. Not only was she popular but the image of her in nothing but a Superman cape became the first “break the Internet” download. When the show ended, Hatcher’s career faltered, eventually reduced to doing Radio Shack commercials with Howie Long. So it was a surprise when Marc Cherry cast her as clumsy Susan Meyer for Desperate Housewives. The show was an instant smash with fans loving Hatcher’s goofy performance as Susan, balancing locked out nudity with some fun comedy and looking sensational through it all. She won a Golden Globe and thanked Cherry for casting her “when I couldn’t be more of a has-been.” Hatcher would later play the mother for the title character in the short-lived Jane By Design and a recurring role as a single mom on the new version of The Odd Couple. In any role as a mother, Hatcher proves she is, indeed, fabulous.