As we all grow older, we start to see changes in our appearance—a gray hair, a laugh line, a malfunctioning valve in our artificial kidney—that signal the inescapable truth that we are all slowly deteriorating into a crumbling pile of dusty bones and desiccated skin, doomed to spend the remainder of our lives farting in front of a television and awaiting the cold embrace of Death. Of course, there are always a few people who make this process all the more unpleasant by seeming to remain at a fixed age forever, and to add insult to injury many of these people are also massively successful and wealthy celebrities with access to exotic surgeries and treatments to keep them youthful until they can finally retire to their underground mansions on the Moon. Here are ten big names who turn out to be older than you thought. Note: The first picture of each celebrity was taken 10-12 years before the second.
JOHNNY DEPP, AGE 49
Although legions of pudgy girls from drama club don’t want to admit it, veteran actor Johnny Depp is old enough to be their dad even though he still looks as fresh as he did in "Edward Scissorhands" (actually, considering he was playing a stitched-together corpse in that film, it’s fair to say he looks even better).
Twice named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, he’s also been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s highest paid actor, and was recently adopted into the Comanche tribe, presumably to make his upcoming role as Tonto somewhat less offensive. What’s the secret to his longevity? Nobody knows, so we can only assume that he finally mastered the mystical secrets of his pirate treasure
GEORGE CLOONEY, AGE 51
First appearing on TV in 1978, but not in any way noticeable until 1994 and his role on "ER", George Clooney nowadays divides his time between “serious” films (where he has a beard and/or mustache) and “fun” films (where he assists Brad Pitt in committing crimes), using the latter to pay for the former.
His trademark salt-and-pepper Caesar cut, first sported during his turn on "ER", is a permanent fixture regardless of which kind of movie he’s acting in. Clooney is also known for his charity work, his international activism, and his single-handed mission to personally apologize to everyone on Earth for his role in "Batman & Robin".
IMAN, AGE 57
Somali supermodel Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid may not be as prominent as she was at the height of her fashion career, but as the CEO and face of her own cosmetics company and the goodwill ambassador for a number of children’s relief charities she’s still very much in the public eye.
While Iman humbly insists that her graceful good looks are typical to most Somali people, her face and figure show no evidence of the 35 years she spent in the often stressful modeling industry. Her supernaturally youthful appearance is particularly striking compared to her husband of twenty years, obscure British musician and goblin king David Bowie, who has spent much of his late career slowly turning into a mummy.
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CHOW YUN-FAT, AGE 57
Growing up poor and working a number of jobs in Kowloon, Chow Yun-fat lucked into a three-year contract with local Hong Kong TV station TVB, where he played a number of roles in soap operas and daytime television before hitting it big with a role in hit crime series “The Bund.” While known to American audiences primarily for his action films like "Hard Boiled" and the wuxia epic "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", Chow has played a wide variety of roles in Hong Kong and Chinese cinema, from comedy to romance to historical drama (notably, he played Confucius in the 2010 film of the same name).
His distinctive looks and youthful appearance have played a major part in his success, earning him the nickname “The Babyfaced Killer,” and even though he’s pushing sixty he retains the round cheeks and soft features that made him a breakout TV star instead of Hong Kong’s handsomest taxi driver.
JACKIE CHAN, AGE 58
Born Chan Kong-sang to refugees from the Chinese Civil War, Jackie Chan has been a stunt performer and actor since the early seventies (when he worked alongside Bruce Lee), performing fight scenes and dialogue with an energy and enthusiasm he was known for even as a child, when his nickname was “Pao-Pao” meaning “cannonball.” Today, Chan acts, fights, and even sings with the same manic, comic intensity that won him his fame in his twenties, and the most noticeable difference between his performances then and now is that he has a slightly less goofy haircut than he did in, say, Police Story.
What’s particularly striking about Chan’s age is that he’s alive at all1, as he insists on coordinating and performing his own stunts (and even some of his costars stunts) and as a result has broken most of the bones in his body several times over. Chan has recently announced that he’ll be doing less action work, expressing a desire to move into more dramatic roles where he will presumably hit fewer people with chairs.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, AGE 63
It’s sort of hard to think of a time when Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t regularly appearing in movies, but for the first twenty years of his life Jackson was originally set on becoming a marine biologist and/or an armed revolutionary in the Atlanta-area Black Power movement. In fact, Jackson was suspended from Morehouse College (where he first got into acting) after an incident where he and several other students held the board of trustees hostage, demanding reforms in school curriculum and administration.
After his mother convinced him to abandon the movement (at least the part of it which carried guns), Jackson was briefly employed as a social worker before his return to Morehouse and a Bachelor of Arts in Drama. Jackson credits his ageless appearance to his baldness, a look he adopted when he first “felt this big hole in the middle of my afro” and later embraced as an aid to his acting career. Jackson is generally allowed to choose his own wigs for his roles, despite his publicly stated preference for the silliest hairstyles he can get away with wearing.
STEVE MARTIN, AGE 66
While Steve Martin didn’t always have white hair (the change apparently started in his twenties), it was mostly or totally white at the peak of his fame—his eighties film career and his guest appearances on "Saturday Night Live", where he hosted or acted so often that many people ended up believing he was a permanent member of the cast. The hair and his smooth, unlined features make it hard to remember that he played Father of the Bride more than twenty years ago. Could his secret be the revolutionary Steve Martin’s All-Natural Penis Beauty Crème:
CHUCK NORRIS, AGE 72
Okay everybody, take a minute to get all the jokes out of your system, blah blah blah beard with a fist in it, here’s hoping someday this meme will share the same internet graveyard with Mr. T Ate My Balls. The pertinent Chuck Norris fact is that he’s 72 years old and in astonishing shape for a man who once got his ass kicked by Bruce Lee (as did Jackie Chan, come to think of it… maybe they know something we don’t).
When he’s not writing articles for WorldNetDaily about how the President is a Martian homosexual, Norris is involved in a number of charities, including veterans’ rights and care programs, children’s medical care in India, and the Make-A-Wish foundation, where I can only assume he spends his time beating up the enemies of dying children.
TINA TURNER, AGE 72
Every pop star with a vagina and one or two songs about being “sassy” eventually attempts to lay claim to the title of diva, but all it takes to show them up as a bunch of pitch-corrected also-rans is an appearance by Tina Turner. Born in 1939 as Anna Mae Bullock, she first began singing professionally in St. Louis after attracting the attention of pioneering musician and horrible asshole Ike Turner.
Her solo career began when Ike became too coked up to do anything but try and murder her, and went on to span entire decades. Most recently she toured the country in 2008, and has contributed her still-powerful voice and talents to several compilation albums. Who runs Bartertown? Tina runs Bartertown!
Next: The Best Celebrity Photobombs
KEANU REEVES, AGE 48 / 165 / 1198 / IMMORTAL
Extremely versatile but humble in the way only a Canadian can be, Keanu Reeves has been active on stage and screen since 1985, during which he has not aged or changed in appearance in any notable way except for sometimes growing a beard. While it’s possible that his role as Ted Logan allowed Reeves to master the secrets of time travel, a simpler explanation may be that he is an ageless immortal, periodically faking his death to re-invent himself in a new life—a skill uniquely suited to an actor of his range.
Evidence in support of this theory can be found at unbiased scholarly resource KeanuIsImmortal.com, where one can find a portrait of French physician and actor Paul Mounet, who bears a striking resemblance to Reeves and apparently “died” under mysterious circumstances in 1922. Not enough evidence for you? Then consider the account of legendary Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who in at least one portrayal looks sort of vaguely like Keanu Reeves if you squint.
Other possible Keanu sightings stretch back over the centuries (Jesus of Nazareth? Alexander the Great? The cave paintings at Lascaux?) but Reeves himself remains strangely silent on the issue, which is out of character for the normally approachable actor considering that he was willing to address BBC to clear up the issue of whether or not Reddit had correctly guessed that he was sad. Should Reeves disappear mysteriously during the filming of the new Bill and Ted movie, don’t be too shaken up—he’ll pop up again within a few hundred years to lead humanity in the coming war against the machines. Excellent!