Older Celebrities Who Used To Be Gorgeous

Old age catches up to everyone, unless of course we're talking about Christie Brinkley, who at the time of this writing was still modeling swimsuits in her sixties. (In fact, we're pretty sure she's a robot.) But for everyone else—even celebrities—time takes its toll. When stars remain relatively famous into old age, it's easy to forget that some of them were once real easy on the eyes, to use the parlance of their time. So, at the risk of this concept straying into the territory of listening to one's grandparents talking about sex, here is a list of older celebs you might have pined for back in the day.

Jane Seymour

Long before she made her way into millions of homes on television as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-98), Jane Seymour played opposite Roger Moore as Bond Girl "Solitaire" in 1973's Live and Let Die. Her look back then was classic '70s, with long, straight hair parted in the center and natural makeup. Her role as Solitaire even earned her a place on IGN's "Top 10 Bond Babes" list. It might surprise you to learn that Seymour even appeared in a Playboy pictorial in 1987—although she didn't pose nude. An Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, Seymour has serious acting chops to go along with her beauty. One unusual aspect of her looks relates to her eyes. She has a unique condition known as heterochromia iridum—giving her one brown and one green-colored eye. In addition to her Emmy and Golden Globe awards, Seymour, who turned 65 in 2016, has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and even has a diamond ring named after her.

Sir Ian McKellen

One of the most famous actors in the United Kingdom, Sir Ian McKellen, rose to prominence in Britain with his early roles on the stage and on the silver screen during the '70s and '80s. As seen in the photo above from his early years in London, McKellen had boyish good looks and charm that could not be denied. Even though he became prominent within England quickly—earning knighthood in 1991—McKellen would not become widely known elsewhere around the world until later in the '90s. He earned critical acclaim with his production of Richard III (1995), and would later become a household name with his portrayal of supervillain Magneto in the X-Men franchise. His role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001-03), and later in the Hobbit film adaptations (2012-14) would propel him to superstardom. McKellen celebrated his 77th birthday in 2016.

Sally Field

While perhaps best known for her roles in Sybil (1976) and Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Sally Field got her start in comedic television roles such as Gidget (1965-66) and The Flying Nun (1967-70). Field has always had a classic "girl next door" beauty that earned her many admirers, yet she has fought ferociously to avoid being typecast and boxed in by gender stereotypes. "I was the Flying Nun. And I was Gidget before that. These things were stamped on my forehead, stamped on my passport into the next part of my career," she told BuzzFeed. "So I had to fight. I had to overcome that."

After studying with acting teacher Lee Strasberg, Field managed to land more serious roles. Her portrayal of a union organizer in Norma Rae (1979) earned Field both a best female performance award at Cannes and an Academy Award for best actress. After breaking out of the pack, Field, who will turn 70 in 2016, appeared in numerous acclaimed roles in film and television, including Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Steel Magnolias (1989), E.R. (1994-2009), and Brothers and Sisters (2006-2011). Marvel Comics fans will perhaps remember her best as Aunt May in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel.

Steve Martin

While known for his talent as an actor and comedian, Steve Martin was also a serious heartthrob back in the day. Check out that intense stare and chiseled jaw! Before he became a star as a cast member on Saturday Night Live or in movie roles such as The Jerk (1979), Martin made his living doing stand-up comedy and writing for variety shows such The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-70) and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (1971-74). Fans were enamored with his self-effacing humor, expressive eyes, and boyish good looks, and he soon was selling out arenas filled with crowds numbering in the tens of thousands in the '70s. Martin, who celebrated his 71st birthday 2016, took a three decade hiatus from stand-up starting in 1981 to focus on other aspects of his career, including acting, writing, and music.

Cybill Shepherd

Before she became a movie star, Cybill Shepherd got her start as a young model—and for good reason. She was a blonde bombshell even as a teenager, winning beauty contests in the late '60s, which kick-started her successful modeling career. According to a 1973 article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, her appearance on the cover of a 1970 issue of Glamour caught the attention of director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast her in 1971's The Last Picture Show. "I think he noticed me because I was wearing a T-shirt with "'I love you' printed all over it," she told the newspaper. (The duo's professional relationship soon developed into a romantic one.) Shepherd's cinematic debut earned critical and box office success, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role. More box office hits followed, with Shepherd portraying beautiful women who attract the attention of the male leads in both The Heartbreak Kid (2007) and Taxi Driver (1976). Shepherd, who turned 66 in 2016, has simultaneously forged successful careers as both a singer and television actress, appearing in Cybill (1995-98), The L Word (2004-09), and Psych (2006-2014).

Dame Judi Dench

Widely regarded as one of Britain's best actresses of all time, Dame Judi Dench got her start at an early age in theatre productions. Her connection to the stage was not surprising, given her parents' professional connections to the York Theatre—her father was the York's doctor, and her mother was its wardrobe mistress. Although initially trained in set design, Dench became interested in acting and made her professional debut as Ophelia in a 1957 production of Hamlet at the Royal Court Theatre. As you can see from the photo above—taken from that Hamlet production—Dench was also quite a stunner. She proved she had immense talent to go along with her looks, starring in a multitude of acclaimed stage and television performances before earning international fame with her role as M in the James Bond franchise—a part she would continue to play for two decades. Dench will celebrate her 82nd birthday in 2016.

Clint Eastwood

No list of this sort would be complete without the iconic Clint Eastwood. His rakish good looks and intense blue eyes—along with his epic roles as morally questionable anti-heroes like the Man with No Name and Dirty Harry—would cement his status as a Hollywood sex symbol for decades to come. Eastwood, who turned 86 in 2016, began his career in the late '50s on the western television series Rawhide (1959-65). In the early '60s, looking to break away from his Rawhide role, Eastwood was offered a part in an upcoming Sergio Leone Western. He later told author Howard Hughes, in the book Aim for the Heart: The Films of Clint Eastwood (via The Clint Eastwood Westerns), "...I did get awfully tired of playing the conventional white hat. The hero who kisses old ladies and dogs and was kind to everybody. I decided it was time to be an anti-hero."

Martha Stewart

Yes, we're talking about that Martha Stewart—the same one who built a media empire focused on entertaining and domestic arts and was at one point convicted of insider trading. In her younger years, Stewart modeled to help pay for her tuition at Barnard College. "I got enough modeling jobs at $50/hour—which was a lot of money at that time," she said in the documentary Makers (via The Huffington Post.) Stewart, who turned 75 in 2016, even posed for Chanel in the early '60s before following in her father's footsteps on Wall Street. Va-va-voom!

Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges was practically destined to become a movie star. Growing up in an acting family—the son of actor Lloyd Bridges and actress Dorothy Bridges—Jeff got his start early, appearing on his father's television shows with his older brother, Beau. At age 22, Jeff made his major film debut in The Last Picture Show (1971), for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination. While his most iconic role as "The Dude" in 1998's The Big Lebowski featured Bridges sporting a decidedly scruffy look, as you can see from the picture above, he definitely cleans up well. In his long career, Bridges, who'll turn 67 in 2016, has proven that he has the acting chops to match his good looks. The man has scored countless awards over the years, including six Academy Award nominations and one win for Crazy Heart (2010).

Jessica Lange

We love Jessica Lange. From her worldwide acclaim as an actress to her humanitarian work on human rights and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Lange has made an indelible mark on the face of Hollywood. Lange, who celebrated her 67th birthday in 2016, still looks fabulous, but she was an even greater beauty in her younger days. She started modeling after being discovered by fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez in the early 1970s. She then caught the eye of Hollywood producer Dino De Laurentiis, who cast her as the damsel in distress for his 1976 remake of King Kong. Lange went on to build a stellar career as an actress. At the time of this writing, she'd won two Academy Awards, three Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes, one SAG Award, three Dorian Awards, and a Tony Award. She took home the Tony in 2016 for her "portrayal of a morphine-addicted Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night," reported The New York Times.

Sir Michael Caine

If you're only familiar with Sir Michael Caine from his role as Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, in the Batman film series, you're doing yourself a huge disservice. Known for his trademark working-class cockney accent, Caine has led a stellar career on the big screen that spans five decades of critically acclaimed and blockbuster hits. Caine is one of only three actors to be nominated for at least one Academy Award in five different decades. Films that Caine, who turned 83 in 2016, have appeared in—65 of them at the time of this writing—have grossed a massive $7.8 billion worldwide, according to TheNumbers.com. In addition to his acting prowess, Caine's looks also packed a massive punch, as evidenced by the smokin' photo above.

Brigitte Bardot

Although today she is recognized largely for her animal rights activism and outspoken views on Islam—which have earned her fines for inciting hatred, back in the '50s and '60s, sultry French actress Brigitte Bardot was perhaps the world's best known sex symbol. An aspiring ballerina and model in her younger years, Bardot made waves in her early roles in French romantic comedies—in which she frequently appeared nude. Bardot even became a sex symbol worshiped by other famous celebrities. John Lennon of the Beatles was reportedly "obsessed" when they were young, and Bob Dylan told Playboy magazine wrote that the first song he ever wrote was dedicated to her.

Bardot's impact on Western culture is undeniable. Time magazine called her the "original 'sex kitten.'" Her fashion style was popularized around the world—off-the-shoulder sweaters and dresses were later called the Bardot neckline, and the once-controversial bikini became an overnight sensation after she wore one in Manina the Girl in the Bikini (1952) and And God Created Woman (1956). According to CBS News, the teenage actress "made her debut at the 6th International Cannes Film Festival wearing a bikini in 1953." Bardot celebrated her 82nd birthday in 2016.

Dame Maggie Smith

Long before she made her mark as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise or as the indomitable Dowager Countess Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey, Dame Maggie Smith was quite the beauty. She built up her acting career in the '50s and '60s with appearances on stage, television, and the silver screen. In one of these appearances—a Broadway production of Mary, Mary—one reviewer called Smith a "gem of an actress, an undeniable dish." But as an 81-year-old Smith revealed to NPR in a 2016 interview, she never embraced her early status as a sex symbol. "That never was me. The 'dish' department didn't apply. I think it's got something to do with one not being a 'dish,' because then you become a character actor, and you have much more chance of developing and going on." Go on she would, earning numerous accolades over the course of her acting career, including two Academy Awards: best actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and best supporting Actress for California Suite (1978).

Betty White

Betty White, who celebrated her 94th birthday in 2016, has been a TV star for so long that she actually holds a Guinness World Record for it. However, most audiences know her best as "Rose" on The Golden Girls (1985-92), a role she played when she was already in her sixties. Identifying her with that goofy, lovable grandma personality makes it not only difficult but actually kind of icky to think of her as a sex symbol. However, White's career began as an adorable, dark-haired beauty who could pass for any one of the secretaries at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, and we all know they weren't exactly getting turned down for dates.

Dame Diana Rigg

While you may know her as Lady Olenna Tyrell—the Queen of Thorns—from HBO's hit television series Game of Thrones (2011-), fans of classic '60s spy TV shows will forever remember Dame Diana Rigg for her role as Emma Peel in The Avengers (1961-69) TV series. Rigg became hugely popular after her portrayal of the smart and sexy spy, and the role gave her opportunities to expand her acting career to the stage and the big screen. Rigg also has the unique distinction of playing James Bond's only wife, Tracy Bond, in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, opposite George Lazenby. While her acting chops are of the highest caliber, it's obvious that casting directors on Game of Thrones also kept her younger appearance in mind. When you compare early photos of Rigg, who celebrated her 78th birthday in 2016, with her on-screen granddaughter Natalie Dormer, the two definitely bear more than a passing resemblance.

Angela Lansbury

Yep, this is happening. The star of Murder She Wrote (1984-96)—yes, the lady who looks like your great aunt who always makes sure that glass dish of hard candy is full for your visits—was a doe-eyed hottie way back when. Angela Lansbury, who turned 91 in 2016, was 59 when she landed the iconic role of "Jessica Fletcher" on the famous crime series. But go find the movie poster for The Picture of Dorian Gray. If it was 1945 right now, you'd totally ask Lansbury out for a malt and take her to the sock hop.

Ricky Gervais

Look at that picture. Isn't it glorious? Would you believe this prime example of '80s cool is actually a young Ricky Gervais, when he was one half of new wave pop group Seona Dancing? It's no surprise that Gervais modeled his look after a young David Bowie, who Gervais called his "hero." Even though the group never hit it big with its music, we are eternally grateful that they were a thing—if only for the awesome photos that have surfaced of Gervais from that era. After the breakup of Seona Dancing, Gervais turned his attention to a career in radio and television, achieving worldwide fame with his role in the original UK production of The Office (2001-03). Since the widespread success of that series, Gervais, who celebrated his 55th birthday in 2016, has forged a successful career as an author, actor, comedian, and producer.

Helen Mirren

Still beautiful to this day, Helen Mirren, who blew out 71 candles in 2016, was nothing short of stunning as a young woman. In her first film role in 1967's Herostratus, Mirren delivers a totally weird, yet seductive performance in an advertisement for rubber gloves, which for some reason she's wearing with lingerie and fishnet stockings. In the aforementioned clip, she gives off a Jennifer Lawrence vibe, but with an English accent and an acting pedigree from the Royal Shakespeare Company.