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The Face They Deserve: Actresses Who Let Themselves Age Naturally

posted by Nell Minow

The Globe and Mail has a great tribute to Dame Judi Dench, who appears as M in “Skyfall.”  

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There was Judi Dench in her seventh outing as M, James Bond’s boss, the head of MI6, looking like a woman who has spent nearly eight decades on the planet, drinking a bit of scotch and worrying about saving her country from giggly blond megalomaniacs.  You may be offended by my use of the word “old,” but only if you equate age with unsightliness, which I don’t. I’m not sure Dame Judi has ever been more beautiful, and that may be because she does not look like a peeled, hardboiled egg or a waxed chipmunk, as so many older actresses do these days. There are pouches at her eyes and her jowls, a fine web of lines near her mouth. She is 77, and we have forgotten what 77 should look like. She looks old, and she looks gorgeous. These two things are not incompatible.  In her memoir, And Furthermore, Ms. Dench keeps a diary of her trip to the Oscars in 1998, when she had a best-actress nomination for playing Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown. The diary is titled “Countdown to the Oscars, Or Will I Be the Only Unlifted Face in Hollywood?”

Bravo to Dame Judi and those very, very few brave souls who forego Botox and plastic surgery to show us the beauty of faces that reflect the full lives lived by those behind them –and the full range of expressions of the characters they play.  She looks more beautiful every year.

  • http://Philomenaandthedowryofherson Nice

    What I want to know is if Michael Hess left his estate and to whom? Wouldnt Philomena be entitled to anything? If he worked for the US government in a top career he left millions of dollars. She should have some of it for all the suffering she underwent.

  • Nell Minow

    Presumably Hess left his estate to his long-time partner. Hess worked for the Republican party, and neither they nor the government pay millions of dollars to any employees. The people who owe Philomena Lee for her suffering are the Magdelene nuns, but rather than pursue claims against them she is working to create a foundation that will connect biological mothers to their children who have been adopted, if they are looking for each other.

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