Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Ageless Barbara Stanwyck

Today in 1907 Barbara Stanwyck was born. She has always numbered among my favourite actresses of all time. She was obviously beautiful. And she could be incredibly sexy without even trying. And she was extremely talented, one of the most talented actresses of all time. That having been said, I have always thought Barbara Stanwyck was remarkable for one other reason. She just did not seem to age! At the very least she did not age the way most of us do.



This is a picture of Miss Stanwyck from 1924 when she was a Ziegfeld Girl. At the time she was only 17 years old.



This photo is from around 1930-1931 She would have been about 23 at the time. She really does not look that different from when she was 17!



A picture of Miss Stanwyck from 1937. She turned 30 that year, and yet she doesn't look any older than when she was 25.



Barbara Stanwyck circa 1943. She still doesn't look that much older than she was in 1930. She would have been 36, but to me she still looks like she is in her mid-twenties!


This picture is from 1949. I think Miss Stanwyck looks a little more mature in this shot, but I think that is because of her hair and make up. At 42 she still looked much younger.


A publicity shot for the film Executive Suite, released in 1953. Barbara Stanwyck does look more mature than she was in her twenties, but not by much. At 46 she looks closer to 30.


A black and white promotional shot for the TV show The Big Valley, which debuted in 1965. By this point Miss Stanwyck had some grey hair and a few wrinkles, but she did not look terribly much older than she had been in the Forties. She was 58 when the show debuted, but would have looked closer to 40 if not for the grey hairs.

Many actresses age gracefully, but my point is that they do age. Aside from a few wrinkles and grey hair, Barbara Stanwyck appeared to age very little from her mid-Twenties to her late Fifties. This is even more remarkable when one considers that Miss Stanwyck never had plastic surgery and lived most of her life at a time before collegen and Botox. I suspect that her youthful looks were largely a result of good genetics and good care. It was either that or Barbara Stanwyck had discovered the Fountain of Youth. All actresses age, but none seem to have done so as slowly as Miss Barbara Stanwyck.

11 comments:

Silver Screenings said...

She really did look fabulous her whole life, didn't she? I'd often wondered if she'd had plastic surgery and was surprised to read in your post that she hadn't.

I really enjoyed your tribute to the Divine Ms. S. :)

Aubyn Eli said...

"Age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite variety." Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I agree that Stanwyck never lost her looks. I can't help wondering if the fact that she was never considered a great beauty ended up helping her in the long run because she didn't have so much pressure to remain a goddess. No need to trowel on the makeup and lift every wrinkle.

I do wonder how she maintained that trim figure all her life. Good genes? Exercise regimen? Whatever her secret was, it worked out well for her.

Thanks for joining in, Terence. Glad you could make such a memorable addition to the blogathon!

FlickChick said...

She was always 100% authentically true to herself. She understood her strengths and she never tried to be anything she wasn't. Good beauty advice, no?

KimWilson said...

She loved the outdoors and kept pretty active most of her life, so I think that helped as well. She aged much better than Kate Hepburn and Bette Davis, that;s for sure.

Lisa said...

Barbara was always beautiful not just because of how she looked, but because of who she was.

Judy said...

A lovely selection of photos - Stanwyck certainly did carry on looking good, even in very late roles like 'The Thornbirds'!

said...

How cool this post is!
I agree that she always looked younger than she really was, no matter in which period. Yet I also look younger than I am, I hope so much to age as gracefully as Barbara did.
Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)
Greetings!

geoford said...

I am glad you wrote this blog. Her youthful looks later in life were an important point-of-distinction versus other stars her age -- and there were several great Hollywood stars born around 1907. To see Barbara in the 1970s, for example, looking so young was really very shocking in comparison to the others who had a more difficult time with their looks.

geoford said...

I am glad you wrote this blog. Her youthful looks later in life were an important point-of-distinction versus other stars her age -- and there were several great Hollywood stars born around 1907. To see Barbara in the 1970s, for example, looking so young was really very shocking in comparison to the others who had a more difficult time with their looks.

Jeff Honeycutt said...

I don't know how she did it. Even during her latter years, she looked like a girl next to contemporaries such as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. You know she was forever broken-hearted when her long-time husband, Robert Taylor, left her. Ah ... old Hollywood.

Elaine GillianM said...

I adore Barbara Stanwyck, and the fact that she remained so youthful even into older age, is wonderful. Good genetics I guess. She was a lady with a tough image that hid a kind caring personality.
I follow other Golden Age Stars but none aged so well as Barbara, then her inner self was pure gold. She said why fight getting older it is just as it should be, or words to that effect. I love everything about her, even the sometimes sharpe edges, which make her human. Barbara never embraced the title of film star, but prefered film actress. And wasn't she the best.