"Old age ain't no place for sissies"
Oh wise and wonderful one, Bette, truer words were never spoken. However, there is real old age and there is Hollywood old age and they are definitely not one in the same!
Many times young stars play a character who ages throughout the movie and they are made up to look like an older version of themselves. Let's see how close the make-up artists' vision of old age came to the real thing:
|Bette Davis as "The Old Maid"|
|Bette as she really aged and telling it like it is!|
Bob Hope, Bing Crosby
and Dorothy Lamour
|Bing, Dot and Bob in "The Road to Utopia"|
(but not the Fountain of Youth!)
|Bing looking a little older, but still dapper|
|Dorothy maintained her glamour|
|So he has less hair, who cares? It was Bob Hope!|
|In "Good Morning Miss Dove," Jennifer Jones |
aged with nary a wrinkle!
|Hardly an old maid schoolmarm!|
Clark Gable and Norma Shearer
|Clark Gable and Norma Shearer as the |
make-up department saw them age in "Strange Interlude"
|Gable in his last film, "The Misfits." |
Rugged, natural and wearing his age like a man.
|Norma retired from the screen at a fairly young age, but remained the essence of chic. This was nobody's little old grandma!|
|As a grandmother in "Giant." Well, maybe the make-up man just couldn't make Liz look anything less than young and beautiful.|
|Some grandma! Liz aged beautifully until she was overtaken by illness|
Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara
|Maureen O'Hara and Tyrone Power in "The Long Gray Line"|
|Maureen O'Hara - no powered wigs for this glamour gal|
|We'll never know how Ty looked past age 44, |
but I'll bet he would have been beautiful
|Irene Dunne as Queen Victoria in "The Mudlark"|
|Irene Dunne retired from the screen, but not from life. |
A lovely and vital presence at age 64!
|Roz as "Sister Kenny"|
|Miss Russell looking like the star she is|
So, after looking at these pictures, this is what I learned: Hollywood makeup artists during the golden age evidently thought old age was white powered hair for both men and women and a little extra facial hair for the men. While no one is immune to the ravages of time, some stars showed us how to age gracefully and naturally (with a little help from the box of hair color, of course). I guess glamorous grandmas and grandpas don't make for dramatic stories!
Just a few of the many
who were taken too young
Sadly, we will never have the opportunity to see how they matured.
And a candle for some of the others who are missed and not forgotten
Lupe Velez, Laird Cregar, Montgomery Clift, Gail Russell, Judy Garland, Robert Walker, Sal Mineo, Carole Landis, Natalie Wood, Maria Montez, Mario Lanza, George Reeves, Dorothy Dandridge, Jayne Mansfield, Pier Angeli, Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley, Mabel Normand, Brittany Murphy, Heath Ledger, Leslie Howard.
R.I.P. Feel free to add the names of any I have not mentioned.