Some men, like James Dean, die way too early and remain enshrined in the collective consciousness as eternally young and handsome. Others live long lives and have to constantly endure the comparisons between their current looks and their former, younger, more handsome selves. Here are seven actors and one musician who were gorgeous in their youth and still retain a certain attractiveness many decades later.
1. Nick Nolte
Not many people know that Nick Nolte, one of Hollywood’s greatest sex symbols, used to be a model before he got into acting. The Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee modeled during the late 1960s and early 1970s when he was named a Clairol Summer Blonde boy. He went on to play a series of leading roles for the next two decades, usually playing tough, temperamental characters, such as a small-town cop in Affliction and a NCAA basketball coach in Blue Chips. In 1992, People magazine named Nolte the Sexiest Man Alive, but in recent years the 76-year-old has unfortunately struggled with drugs and alcohol addiction.
2. Al Pacino
Alfredo James Pacino rose to global prominence on the waves of the phenomenal success of the Godfather and its sequel in which he played the leading role. He has had equal success portraying characters on both sides of the law, such as the true story of NYPD whistleblower Frank Serpico. Furthermore, Pacino has proved time and time again that success is far from being down solely to his good looks by finding success in theater, independent films, and finally an Academy Award in 1992 for his portrayal of an older blind man in Scent of a Woman.
3. Jack Nicholson
Although he has never been the proverbial pretty boy, Jack Nicholson’s unique facial features and charisma have been captivating audiences for decades. After starring in a series of low-budget horror films during the 1960s, Nicholson, 80, found huge success playing detectives, drifters, sailors and lovers in iconic films such as Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, The Last Detail and Easy Rider. Later on in his career, he has continued to prove his incredible acting range, from becoming the face of Stephen King’s The Shining to embodying the Joker, as well as playing characters such as a hypochondriac writer in As Good as It Gets and a retired actuary in About Schmidt.
4. Keith Richards
Legend has it that in the event of nuclear war, the only survivors would be a bunch of cockroaches and Keith Richards. The Rolling Stones’ guitarist has invented more catchy riffs than some would in ten lifetimes and has gone through more booze, drugs and women as most could not in a hundred. The 73-years-old is still touring with the Rolling Stones and his 2010 memoir titled simply Life, which documents his love of music, his relationships and addictions, has been critically praised and made it to the top of the New York Times non-fiction bestsellers list.
5. Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill was one of the most desired men of his generation for his boyish good looks and charm. He became world-famous after portraying Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars trilogy. During his early career, he starred in soap operas General Hospital and Texas Wheelers before George Lucas cast him in the biggest part of his life. In 1976, between the first and second Star Wars movies, Hamill was the victim of a car crash in which he sustained facial injuries which have become almost a myth since. The 65-year-old actor later said that the stories surrounding the extent of his injuries have been largely exaggerated. In his later career, Hamill has become one of the most famous voice actors of our time.
6. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood, 86, found fame as The Man With No Name in a series of spaghetti westerns in the 1960s, before creating the Dirty Harry series about tough, no-nonsense San Francisco inspector Harry Callahan. His tall, lanky frame, toothy smile, thick dark hair, as well as his rough taciturnity made him one of America’s most recognizable faces, and an “enduring cultural icon of masculinity”. More recently, the Californian has also found success as a producer and director, making critically acclaimed movies such as Letters from Iwo Jima, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and Changeling.
7. Mel Gibson
Once one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men, Mel Gibson became an icon of action movies with the Lethal Weapon series and cemented his status with the dystopian, post-apocalyptic Mad Max. In the mid-90s, he produced, directed and starred in the epic historical drama Braveheart that won an Oscar for Best Picture. The 2004 film Passion of the Christ proved to be both financially successful as well as controversial, as did some of Gibson’s comments which were deemed racist. After a ten-year hiatus from directing, the Australian once again found success in 2016 with the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge that won the Academy Awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.
Source:Gettyimages & Wikipedia
8. Gary Busey
Busey, 72, started his career in show business as a drummer in the 1960s, before landing small roles in films and television shows during the early 1970s. His big breakthrough came towards the end of that decade when he played rock star Buddy Holly in the 1978 hit success The Buddy Holly Story. The role won him an Oscar nomination and the National Society of Film Critics’ Best Actor award. After he sustained extensive head trauma in a 1988 motorcycle accident in which he was not wearing a helmet, Busey became known for his erratic behavior and eccentricity as much as he did for his acting and good looks. In recent years he has had a recurring role on HBO’s Entourage, in which he parodied his eccentric image.