Thursday, January 19, 2006

In Praise of Older Women

I got this in email this week, and I know it was meant to be a joke. The tag line was "How in the world did they get old and we didn't?" But it set me to thinking about the staying power of many on this list.

Think of actresses/singers/models who are popular today. How many of them will be going strong and remembered like this when they are in their 60's-70's-80's? Can you imagine Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton showing up on a list like this in 2056?

Too many of today's role models have no talent except perhaps for titillation and the ability to shock. Most of the women on the list below have great resumes of acting roles in both movies and TV. Their reputations for excellence will last long after they have exited public life.

I don't know how long this email has been rolling around in web-space, but the ages should be fairly accurate, even if they are off a year or two.

Some of the younger people reading this may have no idea who some of these women are, and I suggest you google a few to see for yourself the stature they achieved in their professions. They make far better role models than most who are lauded today.

Brigitte Bardot 71
Stella Stevens 68
Sophia Loren 71
Gina Lollobrigida 78
Deborah Kerr 94
Lena Horne 88
Kay Starr 83
Patti Page 78
Annette Funicello 63
Barbara Eden 71
Angie Dickenson 74
Doris Day 81
Joan Collins 72
Julie Christie 64
Leslie Caron 74
Carroll Baker 74
Ann-Margret 64
Debra Padget 72
Julie Andrews 70
Ursula Andress 69
Rita Moreno 74
Jean Simmons 76
Julie Newmar 72
Kim Novak 72
Jane Powell 76
Debbie Reynolds 73
Shirley Temple 77
Jane Russell 84
Kathryn Grayson 83
Esther Williams 82
Elke Sommer 65
Gale Storm 83
Jill St. John 65
Liz Taylor 73
Mamie Van Doren 74


Inanna said...

Jean Simmons does the voice-overs for A&E (I think) on their Mysteries of the Bible series. I still love her voice. And Julie Andrews is 70? She rocks.

Paul said...

Usually, the sight or sound of some beautiful, well-known actress sets my heart to pitter-pattering.

Right now it's out-and-out clattering! Thanks!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Judy..Firties! I LOVE this list and I think it may be pretty accurate, age-wise....Gaugibg by Elizabeth Taylor, in particular....I agree...I cannot imagine Paris Hilton on any list at all..but maybe I'm wrong...

I hope you will stop by today..I finally put up my post about "The Plant" know the one that got blown oveerr by those winds...

ET said...

The women on the list, or at least the ones I have seen lately, prove that true beauty is ageless.

Sonia said...

Yes, you are right!How many of the news stars will be going remembered like those on the list when they are in their 60's-70's-80's?
As I am 63, I know the most part of the list.

Peter said...

There are some of my early heart throbs on that list Judy, and as someone said , the ones we get to see now are often still beautiful people, and not just in looks either.

Ronni Bennett said...

What would be interesting in relation to this list, is another list of their contemporaries who didn't last, and see how they compare to today's Paris Hiltons. I don't think they would be much different from her except for having revealed a little less flesh due to the sensibilities of the times. (Doesn't someone do these lists under a title like "Where are They Now?"}

But there are some excellent young actors and musicians - male and female - today who will last. It takes a few years for their talents to develop and it usually becomes evident by their early 30s.

Carolyn said...

When I was very young and extremely skinny, folks said I resembled Sophia Loren. I wish I still did! She was my idol, along with Barbara Eden & Jill St. John from this list. I remember a lot of these ladies in movies, TV too. Didn't Gail Storm do "My Little Margie"?

Oh, I always thought Janet Leigh was a beauty too :)

Anonymous said...

At 71, Mary Tyler Moore is pure class and gorgeous to boot.

utenzi said...

I hear what you're saying, Judy, but I don't agree. I recently watched the MGM tribute movie "That's Entertainment" and they kept saying similar things to that Email you received. However the list of actresses in your post is pulled from 10s of thousands of performers. The ones on the list are the ones that stood the test of time. Some of the actresses of today will ace that test also--we just won't know which ones for decades.

srp said...

Debbie Reynolds is still amazing and I always loved Debra Kerr. Jean Stapleton is very classy as well. I don't know how old she is now.

Hale McKay said...

Great post. It might be a dated list, but all of them listed truely are the greats. Some of them will still be around when Paris Hilton fades into obscurity where she belongs. (Some credit to Paris though, she was smart enough to be born to the Hiltons.)

Gerbera Daisy said...

The ladies on this list are just that...they are truly ladies. Whereas Britney Spears and Paris Hilton do not fall into the lady category.