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31 August 2006



Her ass over tit comment about the shoes she was wearing as Ms. Mirren was climbing the stairs was, for me, was also so refreshing.


Perhaps it's the syndication and mass-availability that does it, as the lovely Barbara Feldon (http://www.imdb.com/gallery/granitz/3670/Events/3670/BarbaraFel_Mazur_448708_400.jpg?path=gallery&path_key=0058805) has aged with honest beauty, if not quite so honest as Ms Mirren, who is about 10 years her junior.

It's not quite a poster, but I'll trade you this (http://www.moviemarket.co.uk/Photos/P201408_C39308.html) for this (http://www.imdb.com/gallery/mptv/1064/Mptv/1064/5651-0070.jpg?path=pgallery&path_key=Feldon,%20Barbara).


P.S. Sorry for all the urls; I wasn't sure if html was allowed.

chelsea girl

Oh, HTML is allowed, baby. It is so allowed, it's wanted.



Thanks for the totally there post, CG. I *think* what's going on isn't so much that being *old* sucks as much as *being over 23* sucks. People panic into early surgery, and however well or poorly our natural bodies age, reconstructed flesh ages even more poorly. Once you start, collagen here or an eyelid there, you're sort of screwed.



Ah, yes, we've noted mutual admiration for Helen before... It's that "head held high, honest smile, twinkle in the eyes" self-confidence that makes all the difference.

Another contemporary of Ms. Mirren's is Dame Judi Dench -- who, in most films I've seen her in, portrays a character who is fierce/stern/cold/resentful (Chocolat, Shakespeare In Love, etc.). However, have you seen her in the 2005 film "Mrs. Henderson Presents"? There's something very sexy, there... and I found myself surprisingly aroused, never having been such before by the good Dame...



It's sad to see actresses nowadays...and they are unrecognizable because of the work they have had done.

I saw Barbara Feldon at a Proust Day reading last year. I was maybe 10 feet away from her. And we admired her beauty and how she had not mucked it up by getting work done. Then we looked up her age on IMDB and marveled even more.

The Minstrel Boy

one of my hollywood heroes is john barrymore. he was in the twilight of his career just as plastic surgery was gaining a grip on an already visually obsessed town and asked if he was considering a lift or something to which he replied sardonically:

No, I think I deserve this face.


The natural aging process is beautiful. Great post.

J Morgan

Style or Substance ?

I would offer for example Robin Weigert who plays the character of Calamity Jane, on the HBO series Deadwood. I could never see a Farrah Fawcett, Loni Anderson, or that ilk playing such a character.
Secondly there is in that series actors and actresses who break the mold, actresses such as Claudia Ettinger, and Molly Brown are not only great performers, but just incredibly sophisticated and classy.

chelsea girl

See, J. Morgan, I'd like to see more style and substance together, holding hands, singing gleefully. Helen Mirren did, of course, star on television in the Brit show Prime Suspect. I would love to see more actresses here who are like her, like Barbara Feldon, like Candace Bergen (and I know, she's had work done, and I know her belt and blouse at the Emmies were just awful, but in general she is all about style and substance), like Lorraine Bracco, like Debbie Mazar, like all the actresses who have somehow strode/are striding the line between Total Babe and Serious Actress, between Style and Substance.

chelsea girl

J Morgan

Right....Edie Falco, Judy Davis, Sarah Paulson, Joan Allen. and in a different vein Amy Goodman. All percoloate intelligence, beauty, and a sexuality that lights me up from head to toe.


It is sad to see women having to protray a younger look. Then again, we as a culture love our men to be distinguished, refined, and all that bs. Perhaps it's a evolutionary trait we posses, but it's a glaring problem. The other thing is rather simple: Sexy is Sexy, regardless of age.

paul nagy

You forgot Juliet Binoche.


Helen Mirren. Charlotte Rampling. I would go with either one forever.


Hey Hey Hey wait a minute right there. Okay, Helen Mirren was foxy in the Cold War drama White Nights. She is just so stunning and beautiful it's insane.

She plays a great character, with fabulous clothes, still deeply in love with Barishnikov's (spelling whatever) character, but accepting of who she is and what he is even though it is so painful.

It's a pretty movie anyway, but she is a strong and beautiful female character. I believe she's russian.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Sorry to Rant. I just love Helen Mirren.

P.S. She was 40 when she did White Nights.


Hi CG,

What do you think would have become of Marilyn Monroe if she'd lived long enough to age? Would she have gone gracefully? Would Marilyn have ever grown up?

This morning, I found an ENORMOUS cardboard poster of Marilyn in a dumpster. I pulled her out, a tiny bit frayed around the edges, and then balancing her above my head with both hands, carried her home.

She was surprisingly weighty.

Once inside out apartment, I took a few moments to consider where I could put her. I decided on right above the couch: She fills the entire wall there, in black-and-white, dabbing herself at the neck with Chanel perfume, one strap of her dress slipping down her plump creamy shoulder, cleavage showing, head tilted back, and her eyes closed. Her hair shines as brightly as a halo. Seriously.

Marilyn Monroe has always made me cry----catch my breath, and then I cry. Marilyn has struck me, always, as a ten-year-old girl with big boobs, a child trapped inside a woman's wrappings. Like her soul couldn't keep up with her body.

Strangely enough, Eva Braun strikes me the same way.

So does Farrah Fawcett.

Is this innate or imposed?

It's a mystery I ponder a lot.


chelsea girl


I've written on Marilyn here on my pretty dumb things, and if I had any facility with code, which I do not, I'd plunk that link right in here.

I regret you'll have to do the searching work, but it's there--two pieces, actually, one on Marilyn Monroe and one on Marilyn Munster, my Maralynities.

chelsea girl

ps. And Eva Braun makes you cry? For real?


Great post. And I think Helen Mirren looks terrific. And she is -- and was -- a babe.



Thanks for this post. As a POST-menopausal over-educated strumpet, I am aspiring to become what psychiatrist and author Jean Shinoda Bolen calls a "juicy crone."

"To be involved and engaged in life is a juicy proposition. Every juicy crone taps into a wellspring or a deep aquifer of meaning in her psyche."

Juicy crones are smart, compassionate, courageous and humorous. They are also unafraid of aging and of being who they are.

Helen Mirren is a juicy crone.




I'd actually disagree with your assessment of Helen Mirren. She was extremely beautiful in her youth. Check out this picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mirren.JPG

She was quite beautiful.

chelsea girl

Henry et al,

I never meant to disparage the inestimable pulchritude of Helen Mirren. I don't always take the time I should to write these posts, and what i'd probably say now, with a few days of thinking under my cerebral cortex, would be that while Helen Mirren was/is beautiful, her beauty was never marketed in the same way that the beauty of the Angels was.

She was never sold as a Total Babe. She was sold as a Serious Actress. Her worth--interior, exterior, metaphoric and literal--was never just in her looks, while the Angels were pretty much all about the face value.

Forgive my lapse in thinking and writing. It happens to the worst as well as the best of us.

chelsea girl

Lorraine Grimes

I am long time fan of the divine Dame Helen Mirren and, I am thrilled that she is finallyachieving the fame and recognition deserves.

I agree that she is an inspiration to all women on how to age gracefully (and sensuously) withoutundergoing the knife.

If you think she looked fabulous at the Emmy's,check this photo taken at the Venice film festival last week: http://updates.absolutely.net/20060902/queen_20_wenn823181.html

Lorraine Grimes


The website for Dame Helen's picture at the Venice Film Festival must have been cut off.

Here is the actual link: http://updates.absolutely.net/20060902/queen_20_wenn823181.html

tom paine

I agree with you, though with a caveat that Helen Mirren has never had to make her bread from her looks, and has often taken roles like "Prime Suspect" that are anti-glamorous, whereas the three Angels were never considered real actresses, except perhaps Farah for "The Burning Bed." And the reaction to that was rather Johnsonian, along the lines of his appreciation of the woman minister.

The problem with aging in Hollywood is that women are already marginalized when they're young, whereas aging male stars are still paired with much younger pussy. And I use that term because that's all many female roles are: so actor's squeeze, married, GF, affair....

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