In Hollywood, no matter how much ruckus and turmoil is going on in Tinseltown; then, now, and forever, there has always been a helluva lot of stock put into youth, youthful looks, and overall beauty.
It is as paramount to the whole industry as Paramount studios is, and while there isn’t really an age limit to beauty, 40 seems to be a benchmark age for many of Hollywood’s elite. It’s the age where (most of) your looks start to give way to the sands of the hourglass and the figurative and literal cracks and wrinkles of time.
Some stars can fight back Father Time; some look like Dorian Gray; others look like his picture. Here are 10 Celebs In Their 40s Who Look 20 (And 10 Who Look Like Dried Up Raisins).
20. Raisin – Jennie Garth
When you see a girl at least once a week every week for about ten years, there is certainly an image ingrained in your mind of what she looks like. Case in point, the classic early-to-mid-nineties California cutie, Kelly Taylor, played by Jennie Garth on Beverly Hills 90210. She was the show’s It-girl, caught in not one, but two love triangles during the show’s run.
Considering the series is still on in syndication, like many other shows, Kelly remains forever in her teens and the actress that played her forever in her twenties. But that was seventeen years ago, the series ended in 2000.
While Kelly Taylor is forever young, Garth however is looking very much her 45 years, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing to age, especially when you’re Jennie Garth and you still look beautiful, just not as phenomenal as her younger TV alter-ego looked. Then again, Kelly was a young girl who hadn’t done anything yet, while Garth has lived a life, including three kids and three marriages.
19. 20s – Jennifer Aniston
With Friends over now for 13 years, it’s hard to believe that Jennifer Aniston, aka Rachel Green was just 35 years old. Now she’s pushing 50 and at 48 years old, she is still one of the most sought-after actresses of this or any other generation. How hot is Ms. Aniston? She’s one of the few celebrities that have a friggin’ hairstyle named after her, one of the few that can prance around and tantalize in her skivvies, even while pushing the big Five-Oh.
Not to mention, her body is one of the most sought after for people seeking plastic surgery. She’s frequently mentioned among “The Most Beautiful People” list in People. A few years ago, at 44, we all got to see a lot more of Jen and how much all of her Yoga and karate workouts have paid off during a steamy striptease scene in We’re The Millers.
18. Raisin – Cameron Diaz
With one the biggest, brightest smiles in all of Hollywood to match her tall, statuesque frame, Cameron Diaz was ready-made for a career in modeling, which landed her on the cover of Seventeen in 1990. From there, roles in The Mask and My Best Friends Wedding helped to establish her as an up-and-comer. Then THAT scene happened in There’s Something About Mary.
The rest is history – Diaz became a bonafide comedic megastar/sex symbol of the early aughts. Charlie’s Angels, Bad Teacher, and even rare dramatic performances in Gangs Of New York and Vanilla Sky helped Diaz showcase her dramatic chops as well.
Oddly enough, after a few flops Diaz started showing her age. Her bright-eyed, bright smile began to look more like the Joker and less like a Hollywood beauty. Granted, she’s still pretty, wrinkles and all at 45, but when you went from being one of the most beautiful people in the world to just average, that’s quite a dip.
17. 20s – Jennifer Lopez
Is there any more famous derrière in all of the world?! The most famous Bronx-native, Jennifer Lopez has made a career out of shaking her moneymaker first as a FlyGirl on In Living Color and then parlay that into a full-fledged acting and singing career to become one of the most powerful women in the world. Even now at 48, people still adore her most scrumptious asset.
But J.Lo has never rested on her laurels, unless she needed to sit. Cult-classic movies like The Cell, action flicks like Money Train, Anaconda, family movies, romantic comedies, hit singles in both English and Spanish; it’s really no wonder J.Lo looks as amazing as she does – she works her butt off!
Not only does J.Lo look 25, she still acts it from time to time too – taking bathroom selfies like she’s in the club. But obviously for J.Lo, the club is probably one of the most fantabulous in the world.
16. Raisin – Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix is an odd duck. Getting his start nearly 30 years ago as a confused teenager in Parenthood. Then he took a few years off from acting before resurfacing as a heartthrob in the making in films like To Die For, Inventing The Abbotts, and The Yards before gaining upper-Hollywood-elite status as Commodus in Gladiator.
Turns in Walk The Line and Ladder 49 cemented his status as a charismatic powerhouse actor. Then I’m Still Here happened. Phoenix’s attempt at a mockumentary detailing his retirement from acting and becoming a hip-hop star was so divisive that it almost derailed the guy’s acting career.
His looks were lost forever though. Sure he shaved his giant beard and trimmed his hair, but Phoenix also started to look older than his 36 years, seven years later the now 43 year old is looking haggard and tired instead of a vibrant actor.
15. 20s – Alyssa Milano
While there are plenty of crushes on this list, none are more crushable than the adorable and sultry Alyssa Milano. Take a look at her – does she look at day over 25?! The world might shed a tear or three when Alyssa gets her first wrinkle. She’s been the crush of many a red-blooded males since the mid-eighties on Who’s The Boss?
In order to shed the goodie-goodie image of Samantha, after the show ended, she started to show a little more skin in some B-movies before returning to TV in Charmed and finding a comfortable clothing medium.
Similar to a real relationship, you met (Who’s The Boss?), began to fall for each other (Commando), and eventually finally got to see her in all of her glory (Embrace The Vampire). Couple all of that, plus her love of sports that could rival any man’s – for anyone who grew up in the eighties, their adoration of Alyssa will probably never go away.
14. Raisin – Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal is the newest member of this list, having just turned 40 back in November. To be fair, she was never the traditional Hollywood beauty to begin with.
But kudos to Tinseltown for still casting her as a leading lady in plenty of films. She got her start in supporting roles in films directed by her father before shedding it all in Secretary, which is basically 50 Shades Of Grey, if it were a comedy starring James Spader and Maggie.
She also took over the role of Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, before again wooing Academy critics in Crazy Heart, and as a recovering drug addict in SherryBaby. She has most recently been part of the ensemble cast of HBO’s The Deuce. While she doesn’t have any trouble finding work, if the wrinkles keep on coming, she’s liable to be cast as a grandmother in the next few years.
13. 20s – Eva Mendes
It’s easy to hate Ryan Gosling, isn’t it? He’s a fairly attractive, fairly successful actor in his mid thirties who looks 30 is getting to live a dating dream – he’s with an older girl who is smoking hot and looks younger than he does! It’s part of the American Dream, inscribed on the Statue Of Liberty, right?
For the past six years he’s been playing house and making babies with the mega-beautiful Eva Mendes. She has seemingly stopped her career to focus on her family, but that doesn’t mean that she started aging. Mendes doesn’t look a day over early-20s, perhaps it’s time for her to come out of retirement to play a college kid?
Besides being the arm candy of one of the most successful actors of the past fifteen years, Mendes herself has branched out from the acting world and has become an entrepreneur, having a brand of linens at Macy’s and beauty products at Walgreens. When and if she does come back to the screen, no one can be accused of ageism towards her at all!
12. Raisin – Renée Zellweger
“You had at me hello,” is one of the great lines of cinema romance. Even if you never saw or even heard of Jerry Maguire, you know the line. At the time, Renée Zellweger, who delivered the line, was a fresh-faced 27-year-old with a cute raspy voice and face to match. Previously known for her work in cult hits like Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and Empire Records; Maguire really launched her career.
She could do no wrong from that point on throughout the late-aughts with titular and supporting roles in musicals, comedies, and dramas such as Chicago, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Cold Mountain; for which she won an award for her performance in every major awards show.
With a few career mishaps, she took some time for herself as returned last year with the third Jones movie. She appeared at a gala for Elle magazine a few years ago in 2014 at 45 and turned heads, but because the young girl that captured so many hearts was gone and in her place was a woman who looked every bit her 45 years, who didn’t even look like Renee, to the point that extensive plastic surgery rumors have persisted ever since.
11. 20s – Kate Beckinsale
“Vampires pretending to be actors pretending to be vampires.” – Louis to Claudia in Interview With The Vampire.
Perhaps British bombshell, Kate Beckinsale fits this description to a tee. She has played the Vampire, Selene in the Underworld series since 2003; and she has not aged a single day. Do you want more to feel pissed about that even at 44, Beckinsale looks like she would fit right into any college sorority – she’s a smoker. Not. One. Wrinkle.
Bad habits aside, Kate has been a force in Hollywood now for over twenty years, beginning with a role in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing, because apparently, all British actresses have to partake in adapting one of the Bard’s tales at some point.
10. Raisin – Tara Reid
To be fair, it wasn’t Father Time that did Tara Reid’s looks in, it was some really bad plastic surgery. The once-blond stunner who aroused audiences in The Big Lebowski and the American Pie films once tried to get a six-pack for a movie role by having liposculpting surgery, and a lift to correct uneven breasts.
The surgeries went horribly wrong and Reid has been left with the saggy stomach of a senior citizen ever since. Once considered one of the most beautiful up-and-coming actresses of her generation had been rendered fairly unrecognizable and uncastable – regulated to cheesy B-movies on SyFy ever since (all the Sharknado movies).
9. 20s – Sofia Vergara
With so much emphasis on being fairly thin-to-frail-to-stick-figure thin as far as a lot of beauties on this list go, thank Columbia for its finest export (besides coffee), Senorita Sofia Vergara. If you look up “va-va-voom” in the dictionary, a huge fold-out poster of Sofia will be there waiting for a multitude of fans.
For all that hubbub about Shakira’s hips not lying, Sofia’s have always told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Like many Latina actresses before her, she’s sassy and uses a pronounced accent for maximum comedic effect in all kinds of movies and TV shows, most notably Modern Family, where we get to see her hips and the rest of her every week for nearly a decade.
Isn’t too much time in the sun supposed to make your skin cracked and wrinkly? Then why does Sofia and every single one of her dangerous curves look like she’s in her late 20s at best? Heck, her husband, Joe Manganiello is considered an adonis, and he’s four years younger but looks at least ten years older than her – that might be what some would consider a Hollywood double standard.
8. Raisin – Angelina Jolie
Somewhere in-between being a dark goth-punk rocker actress who in her youth was game for anything and becoming a far more altruistic person who cares more about the world at large and less about her roles, Angelina Jolie started to look more and more like Morticia Addams and less like the to-die-for wild child vixen that enraptured countless souls nearly a decade before.
For devoted fans, this is a bit of a divide here – Jolie began her career as an action star who had wet, wild, and tantalizing picture shoots that were, well wet, wild, and tantalizing. Seemingly, as she acquired more children, she also acquired more clothing, which is a plus for her kids, so there’s that at least.
The good news for Ms. Jolie is that she isn’t a washed-up old hag by any means, but the last few years of her life must have either been rough for her or whatever she was into in her younger years finally caught up to her, since now she looks as old as she is but a few years prior still looked like a vibrant wild eyed 20-year-old.
7. 20s – Dwayne Johnson
November 1996 – if you had told any one, let alone any wrestling fan that the kid with a haircut that made him look like a pineapple would become one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time, let alone one of the most exciting and electrifying action stars of all time and by 2024 might be the President Of The United States, you might get locked up and tossed in a padded room.
Fast forward just a few short years and Rocky Mavia, aka Dwayne Johnson shed the babyface image and became the Rock, and the rest is history. He became everything that is listed in the first paragraph, except for the President.
Whether or not he will actually run and win for President has yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure – unless he isn’t dying his beard (see him on a recent EW cover), the Rock doesn’t look a day over 25, and he looks better than when he first debuted at Survivor Series 1997.
6. Raisin – Katie Holmes
While this list is dedicated to actors and actresses who are at least 40, you might be shocked to see Katie Holmes is on this list. While not quite 40 yet, the 39 year old is just a few months away from the benchmark. But looking at the former Mrs. Cruise, she fits right in on the wrinkly side of this list.
For several years on Dawson’s Creek, she was one of America’s Sweethearts. The girl next door with a pretty face and a winning smile. With some bit and starring roles sprinkled in-between the series’ run culminating in Batman Begins, her stock was certainly rising in Hollywood; then she married Tom Cruise.
All kidding aside about Scientology and Tom Cruise sucking the life out of her, look at how much makeup and airbrushing was done in certain pics of her today – and it still doesn’t hide any amount of gauntness in Holmes’ once cherub shaped face.
5. 20s – Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union just doesn’t look like she’s still in her twenties, she looks like she could still be in high school for crying out loud! The 45-year-old, corn-fed Nebraska native has been crushing it in Hollywood for over 20 years now, playing in all kinds of roles and ranging all kinds of ages. She has played high schoolers in Saved By The Bell: The New Class, Clueless, and most famously, 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring It On.
She also has played the girlfriend or wife in comedies and action movies like Deliver Us From Eva, Bad Boys, and now is the star of the BET series, Being Mary Jane, where she plays a successful news anchor, and for the kids, she’s the voice of Nala on Disney’s The Lion Guard.
4. Raisin – Melissa Joan Hart
While never on the tippy top of Hollywood elite, Melissa Joan Hart has been around as one of the most successful actresses of her time with a then unheard-of fete of having not one but two successful TV show runs – Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. While nowadays that might seem commonplace, not too long ago being on TV, let alone shows marketed towards kids were considered death mails for careers.
But Melissa Joan Hart was a success story, and dabbled in a few movies (Drive Me Crazy), and even shed her ridiculously goodie-two-shoes image for an early Maxim photo shoot way back in 1999. But that was nearly twenty years ago. Nowadays, the mother of three looks like, well a mother of three at 41-years-old might look like.
3. 20s – Pharrell
As one of the music industry’s most world-renowned and respected producers, Pharrell Williams spent a good chunk of his early days behind the scenes as part of the Neptunes producing music for Jay-Z, Britney Spears, and even early nineties raunchy song, “Rump Shaker.”
Then Williams’ funk rock band, N.E.R.D. started gaining some traction, and Pharrell showed his face more and more his own celebrity started rising as a producer, but now as a performer instead. Pharrell’s grooves are very childlike in nature, because anyone can listen to and get into them; a true testament to be able to make music that for the most part universally excepted.
Perhaps it’s the music that keeps Pharrell looking like a kid in his mid-twenties. His dumb looking hat is the kind of of hat that a quirky college would have, but Pharell is still looking good at 44, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down or aging up!
2. Raisin – Christina Applegate
While I don’t normally like to include myself in my articles (first rule of old-school journalism), I have to preface this entry with just how sad I am to see one of my first childhood crushes, Christina Applegate, aka Kelly Bundy, no longer on the super-hot list.
She’s still smoking hot. But she’s a smoking hot woman in her forties who looks like she’s in her forties. But this Kelly-fricking-Bundy, one of the hottest and funniest actresses of the nineties and early aughts. To see her look like less like the bombshell she once was is sometimes odd.
Christina has lived a life, and is certainly no longer looking like she did in her twenties. Older fans would surely appreciate this notion, but to see her in late teens and early twenties and nowadays can sometimes be a little jarring.
1. 20s – Jared Leto
How versatile is Jared Leto? To most kids that grew up in the 90s, Leto will always be a bad boy with a heart of gold on My So-Called Life. To people a little younger he’s part of the ensemble cast of the drug-addled Requiem For A Dream, not to tame mention the lead singer of Thirty Seconds To Mars, an experimental music act that he formed with his brother Shannon.
In reality, he’s all of these things – a Jack of (Jared of?) All Trades, showcasing his talents in a wide variety of projects, most recently in Suicide Squad and Blade Runner 2049. The only reason this guy looks older than he usually does is a big gruff beard he sports in Blade Runner.
Even with the beard, the guy barely looks thirty, even though he’s 41-years-old. Devotees of Jared Catalano, how old are you feeling right now? When clean-shaven, you can shave another 10 years off the guy.
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