Aging Hollywood Stars: Is 50 the new 30?

Written by Jennifer Strailey and Paul Wolf

Hollywood is helping debunk myths about aging and inspiring people to re-think what it means to be 40...50...60...and even 80!  Check out these celebrity A-Listers who are defying age and labels fearlessly.

What do Teri Hatcher, Heather Locklear, and Johhny Depp have in common? They're over 40 and each has been honored as one the world's 50 most beautiful people in People magazine.

Middle age spread, midlife crisis and male pattern baldness: not long ago these fateful words defined what was sure to be a sensible-shoe-wearing life after 40.

Not anymore. Not with people like George Clooney, Antonio Banderas and Felicity Huffman turning back time, redefining American beauty and getting a groove on.

Not content to fade into a sexless, slow lane existence, a generation is redefining what it means to be over 40, or even 50. We've snubbed society's expectation that we become blander, safer versions of our younger selves. We've refused to accept that age is an obstacle to anything we want to do. We're dating, remarrying, starting new careers, starting over, and determined to look good doing it.

This is no small thing, especially for women. As Goldie Hawn has said, "There are only three ages for women in Hollywood: babe, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy." This is still true, but the babes like Rene Russo, Susan Sarandon and Hawn are getting older.

They will never be senior citizens. But if anyone will make those years pulse with sensuality and style, it'll be Madonna. The only label she's ever embraced is Maverick, and that's just because she had to call her record company something. Her confidence, resiliency and in-your-face sexuality inspires bold self-expression at any age.

At 53, Madonna is sexier than ever because she knows what men like Sean Connery and Jack Nicholson, have always known: attitude is the best anti-aging potion there is.

So, leave the beautiful to People, because we don't care how Jessica Alba manages that youthful glow. We're captivated by celebrities over 40, who defy aging and labels and inspire us to live large in our 40s and 50s, wrinkles and saggy bits be damned.

Here we celebrate our favorite people past 40 who are as fabulous as they are fearless.

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