Like A Fine Glass Of Wine: 8 Hollywood Leading Ladies Who Have Aged Gracefully

June 12, 2012  |  
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Photo: Brown Sista

Some say ‘black don’t crack’; and while this may or may not be true, it’s certainly evident that there is an abundance of black women who have managed to age beautifully and gracefully. These women, most of them without plastic surgery, have managed to sustain their youthful beauty. And besides the physical, they possess a glow that appears to shine from the inside and out.

These women are subtly fierce and demonstrate poise and grace. From the start of their careers as young girls to now seasoned women, these ladies, just like wine, seem to get better with time.


Source: thirstyroots

Phylicia Rashad

At age 63, Phylicia Rashad is notably known for her role as Claire Huxtable from the Cosby Show. Although she hasn’t been a Huxtable in over twenty years, she still looks just as strikingly beautiful as she did when she played the role.  A trained theater actress, she has also played LenaYounger, in the  Broadway play, A Raisin in the Sun.

Source: Photobucket

Angela Bassett

Besides having a figure that women half her age would die for, 53-year old Angela Bassett is also both talented and beautiful. The Yale University Graduate, who played the role of Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It among a slew of other amazing roles, has had an advancing career and seems to take it all in stride. Plus she looks good doing it.

Photo: The Urban Daily

Maya Angelou

Seriously, what’s not to love about Ms. Maya Angelou? She is the epitome of a graceful woman who has embraced life. She has a smile that can light up a room and has shared enough wisdom to genuinely affect the lives of millions. At 84, Ms. Angelou is still full of wit, sass, elegance, and beauty, certainly holding true to the phrase ‘black don’t crack’ in more ways than one.






Somalian model, Iman is pioneer in the fashion industry. At 56-years old, she looks just as good as she did when she first graced international runways in the 1970s. The successful model, who is the face and founder of IMAN Cosmetics, broke down barriers in the fashion industry as a woman of color.




Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee and her husband Ossie Davis, were black America’s power couple. At 87 years old, the actress and playwright is now a sought after speaker and still actively engaged in the theater community. Ruby Dee was once quoted as saying, “The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity.” And she certainly exemplifies just that.

Photo: About.Com



Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll got her big break when she appeared as a contestant on the television game show, “Chance of a Lifetime” in 1954. She easily became a beauty symbol, but even still, Hollywood couldn’t deny her talent as an as an actress. Now at 76, Ms. Carroll is still stunning and full of life, attending a variety of film festivals and red carpet events outshining the young’ns.

Photo: Zimbio




Pam Grier

Pam Grier was arguably one of the most beautiful actresses during the Blaxploitation era, rocking a bold ‘fro and all. Now at 62 years old, she may have ditched the fro but she’s still just as fierce, only a bit older. Even after revealing details of extreme drug use and falling prey to irresponsible decisions and behavior back in the day, Pam Grier has still come out on top and is now more fierce than ever.

Photo: The Grio




Oprah Winfrey

Although she’s spoken publicly about her battle with weight, Oprah Winfrey is aging beautifully. She’s not afraid to try different styles, with both clothes and hair. Besides being a billion dollar woman, Oprah has a smile that can light up a room and is admired by women of all ages and races. At 58 years old, the owner of her own network, appropriately titled OWN, shows no plans of slowing down.

Photo: The Daily News


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  • me

    no white people??..racist much?

  • Kay

    you forgot VANESSA WILLIAMS

  • CJ

    Very inspirational article, would love to see these women in programming that allows women to age gracefully. May they continue to stay healthy and strong, and pray that we learn to respect and honor women not just for physical beauty but to encourage their inner beauty as well. Also, Jennifer Lewis, Afre Woodard, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Evelyn Braxton, Grace Jones, Tina Knowles, Patti Labelle and the list goes on…

  • CJ

    Angela Bassett is gorgeous!!! Love, love, love her beautiful, flawless skin and her cheekbones are a genetic gift. KeKe Palmer looks like a younger version of her.

  • Guest

    I just knew Vanessa Williams would be on this list…what happened?

  • Ruby Dee and Dionne Carroll are awesome women!!!

    • I do not know what is up with those women. It seems almost like they age a day for every decade. I don’t know how they do it. I know black don’t crack but they’re abusing the privilege. Beautiful.

  • RedButterfly81

    Black don’t crack!

  • RedButterfly81

    Black don’t crack!

  • saintsinno

    Joke list…right!!!


    Where are the 9 to 5 ladies, cooking and cleaning everyday and everynight, plus taking care of a family with a stressful job. Their job is to look like this, it’s their job with the help of makeup artists, stylists, doctors, etc. etc. etc.

    • Veratta Pegram-Floyd

      I hear your point but this article is specifically about Hollywood leading ladies.

  • Where is Cecily Tyson???? WTH

    • Darlene

      Exactly!!! How could they possibly exclude her????

  • J A SASSY aka salon22w

    Dont tell me black dont crack.. show me a 87 year old white woman that looks as good as Ruby dee.. OMG!! she looks great.. even with [plastic surgery they dont look like Ruby at 87.. black surely dont crack..

  • J A SASSY aka salon22w

    Black dont crack and most black women dont have all that plastic surgery botoz crap… whitw women not so sure.. they age awful and all that money they spend on surgery and still look old.. Angela Bassett looks better than most young white women.. and has lots of class..

    • There you go again mentioning white women. Chile you are obsessed.

      • J A SASSY aka salon22w

        I can mention what the h e l l i want .. miss nosey butt in my business… i tell the truth .. if i was obsessed i would be copying off WW.. and anybody who knows me knows im am black obsessed.. so get it right or have a seat!

  • Lucky502

    I love seeing our Sisters age gracefully. If you have to age why not be the absolute best you can be!? I know I’m still going to be a dimepiece because I’m doing what I have to do now!!

  • I love Maya Angelou and I woud include her on a lot of lists, but she does not automatically come to mind for this one.

    • cleojones

      true that.. not for this list.. they left out other folks that should have made this list instead

  • Sepia830

    Diahann Carroll is flawless. Halle Berry and so many others wish they had her beauty and grace.

  • SocialButterFly

    and Beverly Johnson.

  • TraceFace

    How could you leave out Tina Turner?

    • Darlene

      I totally agree….