They Never Looked Better

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  • Some stars really look better as they get older. Whether they’ve cut their hair, bulked up or just plain become more dignified, they are so much more attractive than they were a few years—or a few decades—ago. Here are a few:

    George Clooney

    The absolute king of looking better now than he did then, Clooney, 50, was kind of a cute guy when he guested on shows like “The Golden Girls.” Now, though, he’s probably the world’s number-one heartthrob, thanks to his Cary Grant-like elegance, his silver hair—and that killer smile.
  • Helen Mirren So you thought Mirren, 66, always carried herself with dignity? Not really. Years ago she was a long-haired blonde actress teetering on the edge of bimbohood (we’ll spare you the picture of her in massive 1980s corkscrews). Today, she dresses in simple, chic, pricey clothes, and most important, she’s learned what kind of haircut really flatters her.
  • Mark Harmon Today the "NCIS" star is considered the nicest guy on TV. He’s certainly one of the handsomest. Silver hair works better for Harmon, 60, than that bowl cut and hairy chest (not to mention the groovy chain). Kind of looks like early Tom Cruise, doesn’t he?
  • Sharon Osbourne Ozzy’s wife can appear scary indeed. But just give Sharon, 59, a couple of talent shows to host, a best-selling autobiography and a first-rate makeup job—and see how much better she looks!
  • Daniel Craig What can we say? We’re stunned. Who would have thought that Craig, 43, the latest James Bond actor, once looked like an unemployed Renaissance Faire worker?
  • Christie Brinkley Let’s not kid ourselves – Brinkley has always looked good. But in her Sports Illustrated cover years, she could come across as just another bleached California blonde. Today, at 57, she rocks a 1940s glamour look (the red lipstick, the Veronica Lake hair) that makes her stand out in the usual crowd of under-dressed, overly made up celebrities.
  • Colin Firth As the ruler of England in “The King’s Speech,” Firth, 51, somehow managed to be royal, elegant and vulnerable all at once. Apparently he didn’t develop that appeal overnight. In his first feature movie, “Another Country,” he looked more like an eccentric English farm boy. Or a minor character on “Big Love.” Your call.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis She’s toned, silver-haired and really concerned about your indigestion (at least in those yogurt commercials). Seriously, though, Curtis, 52, looks so much better than she did back when she was trying to be a bikini blonde with a hairstyle (wig?) that looks like something her mom, actress Janet Leigh, would have worn.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker What would ”Sex and the City”’s columnist Carrie Bradshaw have thought about the young Sarah Jessica Parker? Where to start? The sprawling curls, the synthetic fabric, the puppy-dog eyes--we’re sure it would have been worth a column. Today, Parker,46, knows the virtues of straight hair and a really good fashion stylist.