25 Amazing Celebrity Tips About Turning 50
"Just like the weather is the great equalizer, so is aging."
When you’ve lived an entire half-century, it’s common to start fretting. Have I done everything I should have? Do I have too many wrinkles? Where did all the time go? But turning 50 doesn’t have to be terrifying. For proof, just turn to the world’s most reliable fount of surface-level inspiration: Hollywood.
From Paul Rudd to Courteney Cox to Keanu Reeves to Sandra Bullock, these age-defying red carpet regulars proudly live life to the fullest. To put your mind at ease about passing this milestone, we’ve rounded up 25 snippets of sage aging advice, straight from 50-something (and older) A-listers.
Jennifer Aniston: It’s just the beginning.
Turning 50 isn’t the end of one era—it’s the start of another, according to Jennifer Aniston. “I don’t think life stops after 50. If anything, it gets more and more exciting,” Aniston told Glamour in 2017. “For some reason, we don’t honor or pay respect to aging. It’s something that we look at as a negative, and yet every single person on this planet does it.”
Nicole Kidman: Embrace every birthday.
Big Little Lies star Nicole Kidman revealed she was extremely excited to reach the age of 50. “I’m very, very happy to be 50,” the actress said during a 2017 interview with Australia’s Stellar magazine. “I think that’s what happens with birthdays once you get to a particular age, you’re just like, ‘Yay, okay, here we go.'”
Will Smith: Complete your bucket list.
Will Smith saw turning 50 as a chance to tackle his fears. When Smith turned 50 in 2018, he launched his Will Smith’s Bucket List series on Facebook. “Part of what I’ve been doing in my 50th year is trying to experience all of the things I’ve never let myself experience before, and I’m doing my bucket list experience,” Smith said on The Ellen Show. “What I’ve discovered is how cancerous fear can be in experiences in our life. You can’t be happy if you’re scared—so I’m really confronting all the things that I’ve ever been scared of and I’m finding this really exuberant freedom in life.”
Cindy Crawford: Don’t try to halt the aging process.
“No matter what I do, I’m not going to look 20, or 30,” iconic supermodel Cindy Crawford told NewBeauty in 2016. “I just want to look great for 50. I exercise, eat healthy, and take really good care of my skin. There’s pressure on women to do the undoable, which is not age. But it’s about looking great for however old you are, regardless of what that number is.” And for more on the Crawford family, read our exclusive Q&A with her husband, Rande Gerber!
Helen Mirren: Enjoy the fun of living longer.
For Helen Mirren, there is no other choice but to accept (and enjoy) getting older. “You only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else,” Mirren told AARP Magazine in 2017. “The idea of dying young when you’re 25 is kind of cool—a bit romantic, like James Dean. But then you realize that life is too much fun to do that. It’s fascinating and wonderful and emotional.”
Emma Thompson: Be the best 50-year-old you can be.
Emma Thompson doesn’t see the point in worrying about getting older. In 2014, when Thompson was just turning 55, she had an open conversation with The Guardian on life after 50. “If you look after yourself and you’re healthy, then you’ll have the energy to do things,” she said. “But not to recognize getting older for what it is? I do think the infantilization of our generation is one of the huge issues of our time. People wanting to be 35 when they’re 50 makes me think: Why? Why don’t you be 50 and be good at that?”
Harrison Ford: Don’t let age define you.
Actor Harrison Ford doesn’t see age as a defining factor in who someone is. “I just don’t think of age and time in respect of years,” he said in a 1998 People magazine interview. “I just have too much experience of people in their 70s who are vigorous and useful and people that are 35 that are in [lousy] physical shape and can’t think straight. I don’t think age has that much to do with it.”
Angela Bassett: Good things come to those who age.
For Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett, her later years brought a number of new joys—including her husband. “Maybe if you’re younger you have more energy—but that’s a big maybe,” Bassett said after just turning 50 in a 2008 interview with Good Housekeeping. “Because at this stage of life, I have more patience, understanding, wisdom, resources—and a husband. I didn’t get him until I was 39. But I got a good one.”
Marcia Gay Harden: Be free and joyful!
The celebrations don’t have to stop, or get less fun, when you turn 50. As she said to Good Housekeeping, Marcia Gay Harden’s 50th birthday was anything but boring. “I celebrated by throwing a big bowl on the pottery wheel, then going for a water ski at the lake on our property in the Catskills, and that night, skinny-dipping under the stars,” the actress revealed. “Just being free and joyful. And that’s how I felt about turning 50.”
Viola Davis: Focus on loving yourself.
For Viola Davis, turning 50 helped her gain the self-acceptance she always struggled with. “Turning 50 is making me reflect on my life in a way that’s more compassionate and forgiving,” Davis said in a 2015 interview with AARP Magazine. “I’m able to almost accept the old me.”
Julianne Moore: Don’t wish you were younger.
In a 2011 interview with The Telegraph, actress Julianne Moore said she wanted to appreciate every year of life, including age 50. “If you’re 50, you’re never going to be 50 ever again—so enjoy being 50,” she said. “If you sit through the year wishing you were younger, before you know it, it’s going to be over and you’re going to be 51.”
Oprah Winfrey: Take the time to reflect.
Oprah Winfrey, at the age of 65, is still an inspiration and icon to so many people. For Winfrey, turning 50 gave her a chance to reflect on the years she had already lived. “What I’ve learned in this first 50 is that if you can allow yourself to breathe into the depth, wonder, beauty, craziness, and strife—everything that represents the fullness of your life—you can live fearlessly,” she said in a 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. “Because you come to realize that if you just keep breathing, you cannot be conquered.”
Denzel Washington: Keep giving everything you have.
Actor Denzel Washington said he doesn’t see the point in not living when there’s only one life to live. “When I turned 60, I looked in the mirror and I said, ‘Denzel, this is not a dress rehearsal. This is life,’” he said at the 2017 AARP Movies for Grownups Awards. “It’s not a matter of how much you have. The question is what you’re gonna do with your talents, with your gifts. I knew in my heart at 60 that I wanted to serve God, to serve my family, and to see others do well.”
J.K. Rowling: Appreciate making it this far!
For Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, turning 50 was all about appreciating the life she still had. “My mother died at 45,” Rowling said during a 2015 interview with The Today Show. “You’ve got to celebrate every year you’re here in good health. What’s the alternative to aging? It’s checking out. I’d rather still be here. I still have children to raise, books to write.”
Diane Lane: Remember—you’re not alone.
In the entertainment business, getting older can be a frighting thing. But, for veteran actress Diane Lane, knowing she wasn’t alone helped. “I take comfort that aging happens to everybody. It’s part of life,” she told Good Housekeeping in 2010. “Yes, it bothers me when I have lines or puffiness or droops. But it connects me with the human race. Just like the weather is the great equalizer, so is aging.”
Sharon Stone: It’s just another birthday.
Basic Instinct’s Sharon Stone, for one, is not here for the sentiment that turning 50 has to be anything other than turning 50. After turning 55, Stone said she felt more confident and had a fresh outlook on life. “It’s not like 50 is the new 30. It’s like 50 is the new chapter,” the actress told New You magazine in 2013.
Diane Keaton: Appreciate your wrinkles and lines.
Many people feel pressured into getting cosmetic surgery to look younger, but actress Diane Keaton said she doesn’t want to change the face she’s been given. “If I wanted to be prettier, fillers, Botox, and a neck lift might help, but I think I’m past all that,” Keaton wrote in her book, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty. “My feelings come out in my face and show who I am inside in ways that words can’t express.”
George Clooney: Embrace your new looks.
Even at age 58, George Clooney is still considered one of the best-looking men in Hollywood. But he’s fully aware he’s getting older—and he’s not upset about it one bit. “I look at myself onscreen and go, ‘I don’t look like I did when I was 40—I know that.’ The people I’ve respected most in the industry over the years—Paul Newman, for instance. I just loved the way he handled growing old onscreen,” Clooney told Parade magazine in 2011.
Julia Roberts: Don’t obsess.
Actress Julia Roberts was not a fan of people obsessing over her turning 50 in 2017. “There’s nothing different about this birthday than any other one,” she said in a 2017 InStyle interview. “Really, people? Are we still in that space?”
Patti LaBelle: Become a better person.
For singer Patti LaBelle, each year is another year for her to become a better version of herself. In the 1998 book, Fifty on Fifty: Wisdom, Inspiration, and Reflections on Women’s Lives Well Lived, she shared her thoughts about turning 50. “Here’s what I know: I’m a better person at 50 than I was at 48 … and better at 52 than I was at 50. I’m calmer, easier to live with. All this stuff is in my soul forever,” she explained. “Just don’t get lazy. Work at your relationships all the time. Take care of friendships, hold people you love close to you, take advantage of birthdays to celebrate fiercely. It’s the worrying—not the years themselves—that will make you less of a woman.”
Cameron Diaz: See it as a privilege.
You could say that actress Cameron Diaz is anti-anti-aging. “There’s no such thing as anti-aging. We’re all aging, period,” Diaz told Access Hollywood in 2014. “Women take it as something personal that they are getting older. They think that they failed somehow by not staying 25. This is crazy to me because my belief is that it’s a privilege to get older—not everybody gets to get older.”
Candice Bergen: Don’t be afraid to get weird.
Turning 50 doesn’t mean you have to have a less exciting life. Former model and actress Candice Bergen said she is excited for the freedom that getting older gives her. “People can get crazier as they get older,” Bergen once said, according to Good Housekeeping. “I can just be weird whenever I want, and there’s the freedom of not caring what people think.”
Sally Field: You’ve earned the years you’ve lived.
Actress Sally Field said she’s not one to want to make herself seem younger than she actually is and doesn’t think anyone else should feel pressured to either. “I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, I have a right to have them,” Field told NPR in 2016.
Michelle Obama: Enjoy your new confidence.
Michelle Obama is no stranger to the scrutiny of turning 50, but she doesn’t mind. In a 2013 interview with Parade magazine, the former first lady opened up about soon turning 50. “I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman,” she said. “But I am constantly thinking about my own health and making sure that I’m eating right and getting exercise and watching the aches and pains. I want to be this really fly 80-, 90-year-old.”
Keith Richards: It’s a blast!
Rolling Stones guitarist (and Pirates of the Caribbean character actor) Keith Richards isn’t holding back his excitement when it comes to getting older. In 2016, the musician tweeted, “Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get, the older you want to get!” And for more ways to make the most of the big 5-0, steal these 100 Anti-Aging Secrets for Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever.
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