Most people struggle with aging. Some do their damnedest to hold back the tides of time. But one man has said, "The hell with it. Get me a sandwich."
That man is Jack Nicholson.
Unlike other thespians his age, Nicholson has used his creases and ever-growing paunch to his advantage in movies like The Departed, The Bucket List, and About Schmidt, for which he nabbed his 12th Oscar nomination. And now, even at 76, the Easy Rider remains the coolest guy in any room.
Bruce Jenner ....Born: 1949 Once, Bruce Jenner was a world-class decathlete who dominated the 1976 Olympic games. These days, he’s better known as head of the Kardashian reality TV clan – husband to Kris and father figure to Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kylie, Kendall, and Rob.
As Jenner’s fame has changed, so has his face, morphing into a disconcertingly smooth plain with an ever-tinier nose at its center. While he’s freely admitted to plastic surgery – and even had it documented on Keeping Up With the Kardashians – a break from the family Botox sessions might not be a bad idea.
Joan Van Ark .... Born: 1943
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to let Mother Nature have her way.
Case in point: Joan Van Ark. The New York-born actress began in bit parts on TV dramas before hitting the jackpot as Valene Ewing on ‘80s nighttime soap Knots Landing. And in her heyday, she was undeniably gorgeous – curvy, blonde-haired, and blue-eyed.
But the knife has taken a toll. Multiple cosmetic procedures over many years have made Van Ark nearly unrecognizable. And by fighting the aging process, she looks older than ever.
Sean Penn .... Born: 1960
It’s tough aging under the glare of Hollywood cameras, especially when one of your first and most famous roles was an iconic teenager.
And, we’re all for looking gnarly, especially if it’s for another award-winning film.
AND, it’s possible that this is just an epically bad picture of Sean Penn.
That said, sunscreen is a good thing.
Marlon Brando .... Born: 1924 .... Died: 2004Despite having passed away in 2004, screen legend Marlon Brando remains the godfather of "Man, he didn’t age well," due in large part to his notorious struggles with weight. In his later years, the method actor showed up for movies like Apocalypse Now and The Island of Dr. Moreau carrying many extra pounds.
Sally Kirkland ... Born: 1941 There’s something to be said about dressing appropriately for your age. Helen Mirren pulls it off with panache at 67. Meryl Streep, 63, never looks dowdy or trashy. And at 66, Susan Sarandon makes 20-somethings seem like rank amateurs.
Sally Kirkland might want to take a note. Now in her 70s, the Oscar nominee is fighting maturation every step of the way, from her outrageous outfits to her party-ready updos (pictured). We’re big fans of wild style (see: Johnson, Betsey), but see-through dresses are better left to the grandkids.
Keith Richards .... Born: 1943
Can one truly say that Keith Richards is aging badly, when it’s a miracle the Rolling Stones guitarist is alive at all?
His legendary drug abuse would have killed most other people, probably instantly. Somehow, though, "Keef’s" managed to write hits like "Satisfaction" for more than five decades, with only a few (thousand) wrinkles to show for it.
And even if you don’t find Richards’ weathered appearance particularly appealing, cut the guy some slack. We can’t all look like David Bowie. (Can you believe he's 66?) Val Kilmer .... Born: 1959
Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Val Kilmer was the go-to guy for playing handsome jerks. Whether it was Top Gun’s Iceman, Chris Knight in Real Genius, or rock icon Jim Morrison, the Julliard-trained actor was the hottie you wanted to slap, smooch, or possibly both together.
But Kilmer’s notorious temper made studios reluctant to work with him, and by the new millennium, his career began to flounder, along with his physique. Currently, he can be seen in smaller-scale productions, looking quite a bit pudgier than his Batman days.
Nick Nolte .... Born: 1941 Fun facts: Nick Nolte was once a model, not to mention People’s Sexist Man Alive in 1992, thanks to his Oscar-nominated turn in The Prince of Tides.
And while those sun-kissed good looks have long given way to his patented rough-hewn persona, we can’t help but notice the actor’s recent evolution from grizzled to Gorton’s Fisherman.
We don’t fault him – there’s no one else we’d rather see as a craggy Vietnam vet, a craggy scientist, or a craggy police chief. But perhaps dialing the "weathered" back a bit - as well as the Santa beard - might not be a bad idea.
The One Who Came Back From the Edge:
Eddie Van Halen ....Born: 1955
He was a baby-faced rock mastermind who, in his ‘70s and ‘80s prime, was considered a bona fide, Jon Bon Jovi-level heartthrob.
Alas, by the mid-00s, a one-two punch of tongue cancer and addiction got the better of Eddie Van Halen, culminating in this infamous 2006 photograph. A stint in rehab soon followed, and the Dutch axeman re-emerged toothy, toned, and looking better than he had in several years.
Today, Van Halen is on tour with his namesake band, releasing new albums like 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth, crisis averted.