Time marches on. Faces sag. Wrinkles spread. Hair, if you’re male, moves from the top of the head to less desirable places. The body gives out and what you assumed was youthful invincibility turns into rapid decay. You are going to die. Unless you’re an entertainer. We don’t want to just assume plastic surgery is the cause in every case here, but some celebrities know how to look young — generally unchanging from first blush with celebrity to well into the time when everyone born at the same time as they is changing into sweatpants. Here are some that keep on keepin’ on, against all odds.
Paul Rudd, 46
Rudd isn’t that old, but he still looks generally the same as he did 20 years ago when he did “Clueless,” his movie debut. It isn’t just that his looks have for the most part not changed; he has that same youthful archness — that quality he brings to every role of being self-aware enough to be funny without tumbling into bitter parody. Alicia Silverstone could have bagged any rent-a-hunk for her first romantic lead. Instead she got someone cool, who would stand the test of time, in more ways than one.
Sandra Bullock, 50
In an industry that chucks its female stars when they start getting up in years, Bullock has remained at the forefront, in part because she doesn’t look close to her age. That’s in temperament too: Even moreso than Julia Roberts, she’s still able to bust out the excitable, panicky-giggly shtick that made her big in “Speed” and “While You Were Sleeping,” be it in a comedy like “The Heat” or the way she freaks out through most of “Gravity.”
Tom Cruise, 53
The heir apparent to Dick Clark’s secret, Tom Cruise can still pass for an action god well into his 50s, with stunts are sometimes semi-real — this, despite being older than Wilford Brimley was when he made “Cocoon.” (In fairness, Brimley has looked like an old coot since his 40s.) Part of that is fitness, part of that is an inhuman drive; keep yourself fit and lightning-bolt committed — and have untold millions — and you can look forever young.
Halle Berry, 48
Her acting work is a bit checkered — she's done plenty of bad films, though her true best work isn't in "Monster's Ball" but in "Boomerang,” back in 1992 — but Berry has consistently looked just about the same since her movie debut. Her debut, in fact, was as an addict in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever,” which is about as dishevelled as she’s ever been onscreen, which is to say not very.
Dylan McDermott, 53
The “American Horror Story” actor is another who mysteriously hasn’t aged. For that matter, neither has Dermot Mulroney, 51, the actor with whom he’s linked in name and general matinee idol-ness. They should play brothers.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 54
Recently the “Seinfeld” and “Veep” god played herself on the “Amy Schumer Show” sketch, ringing in, with Patricia Arquette and Tina Fey, her “Last F—able Day.” One of the jokes — along with the way women still tend to be judged primarily according to desirability to males — is that the only thing about her that has appeared to have changed about her is her hair.
We’re really not sure what to say here that we haven’t said about others. He just doesn’t look 42, or that much different than in the early N.E.R.D. days.
Ralph Macchio, 53
Did you know the Karate Kid could probably still pass as the Karate Kid? He hasn’t been in the public eye much since his heyday but you could be forgiven for mistaking he’s simply been freezing himself, briefly thawing to do “My Cousin Vinny,” the disastrous Artie Lang vehicle "Beer League" and the occasional public appearance to show off that, holy crap, he still looks like a kid bullies would pick on.
Demetri Martin, 42
The comic still looks like that guy hitting on you at a Greenpoint dive bar, but he was in fact born during the Nixon administration. One of the key practitioners of deadpan, lightly absurdist humor, the key to his eternal youthfulness may be that his entire shtick revolves around eternal youthfulness — as though he’s willed himself to stay young by simply thinking it.
Rob Lowe, 51
On “Parks and Recreation,” Lowe’s Chris Traeger was an outspoken and enthusiastic health nut, who popped vitamins like they were pills, served Ron Swanson Portobello instead of steak and once battled the man’s man in an ill-fated duel over who could create the best burger. In real life Lowe is a health nut whose lifestyle has preserved the good looks he might have destroyed had he continued being a youthful hellspawn.
Alyson Hannigan, 41
Like most actors in high school movies and TV shows, Hannigan was in her mid-20s when she did the first “American Pie.” She could probably still pass for the role, or reprise Willow on “Buffy” without anyone batting an eye. She looked like a teen in her 20s, and in her early middle age she looks maybe 30, but probably more like 28.
Anouk Aimee, 83
We’re not saying the great French actress (“La Dolce Vita,” "Lola," “A Man and a Woman”) looks young. But even moreso than Catherine Deneuve, who’s over a decade her junior, Aimee looks eternally the portrait of a regal, attractive woman. We’re not sure what’s going on France, but they appear to possess the age-defying formula from “Death Becomes Her,” available to its greatest screen queens.
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