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July 19, 2005


Damn, if you aren't a rare gem! I think that I get prettier as I age, but I do have rare moments of angst when I consider that I haven't been carded in five years. I'm grateful to live in Baltimore, the city which some travel magazine recently deemed "the ugliest in America," and they were talking about the people who live here, not the grimy streets and 19th-century architecture.

You just scored about 10 cool points, Danny.


I wore a turtle neck today so that people couldn't see the wrinkles on my neck. Now I find myself looking at them in a whole new way.
Thank you Danny.
When people have the courage to be authentic, like Liv Ullman and you, it is a gift to everyone.


My 52nd birthday is next month, and you just made me feel happy about it. Your wife is a very lucky woman!

A wonderful post to read in these days of the seemingly required (bad) plastic surgery for aging actors. I agree wholeheartedly on the beauty of naturally aging women.

Looking forward to seeing this film, thanks to you. And I don't understand why others don't see her as more beautiful than women her age with plastic faces?

As an artist, I've got to cast my vote with wrinkles as well. There's nothing like a few well-placed (or well-earned) facial lines to really make a person more interesting and beautiful-looking.

Sometime, I don't remember anymore, I wrote a blog post about how awesome Lance Henriksen's face was. Finally found it here:

I can't wait for age to strike me.

There is something nice about a natural look.

Glad to see some men posting on this subject! I'm not even saying I'm against plastic surgery if that's what someone wants to do. In this town I've seen very skilled examples of it (usually meaning you'd never know they had it) as well as examples that make attractive people look so unreal that their faces frighten children! I'm just so appreciative of people like Liv Ullmann who don't hide their natural aging from public view or try to surgically alter it.

For a real guilty pleasure, check out terrifying, mean-spirited, and fascinating website called

I had to link to this one. I just know Ronni will too.

You know, Danny, one thing that strikes me about so much plastic surgery is that in order to keep looking young, you have to end up looking like a completely different person! Who would even recognize Faye Dunaway? I've seen many other examples that I can't think of right now. You wind up looking like this anonymous, generic fake-young person. One of the things you give up is your very identity. Because your identity, your expression, is supposed to deepen over time.

Even Nicole Kidman is starting to look weird. You're supposed to have a blank face when you're 20. You're NOT supposed to have a blank face when you're nearing 40.

Maybe the best surgeons avoid this effect? I doubt it can be avoided.

Here's Nicole on

Interview me, pleeeze??

They're gonna be beating your door down. I'm hoping I got there first, because your questions have got to be the best.

Beautiful post, Danny, about a time of life that is not only ignored by the media, but actively discouraged from being displayed or talked about. amba's right - I'll link to it too, just as soon as I finish up this comment.

How lovely too that you chose Liv Ullmann to fall in love with. Katharine Hepburn and Maggie Smith were/are beautiful old women too, but like Judi Dench, Liv doesn't have their scultped cheekbones that are prevalent in the few older women who are, on rare occasions, publicly noted for their beauty.

Bravo, Danny.

As a woman who is graying and wrinkling, I thank you for this post, Danny. It's a very important one for us all in so many ways. I felt the need to link to it today, especially after seeing "Crash" last night and realizing how our fear of strangers because of stereotyping about all "isms" is so tragically damaging.

By the way, I have always loved Liv Ullman. Her book, "Changing" had a tremendous affect on me when I read it so many years ago.

Thank you, Danny.

A number of years ago, before I would yet be considered old, I was at the airport waiting to catch a flight. In the same area, an old woman waited. She was frail and wore thick glasses. Not a centimeter of her face was unwrinkled. She was beautiful. The lines told the story of her life--an uplifting story it was.

I remember thinking at the time, "I hope I am like that when I am old."



Thanks, Danny, for the smile you put on my face today.

I wish all men had your gift of compassion and appreciation.

What did one commentor say: "Danny for President"? Yes, indeed.

A cyber-trail from a couple other blogs led me here, to see your "Six Feet Over" post (which I enjoyed even though, working my way up via Netflix, I'm only at the second disc of the third season), but this is the post that grabbed me with a theme that's close to my heart. I'm a 51-year old musician; I made the traumatic decision a few years ago (after my son's brain cancer surgery) to stop coloring my hair, but being in the entertainment business, which doesn't care much for aging participants, I felt guilty about NOT getting plastic surgery. Here's a post I wrote on the subject of 'Silver Threads'. I'll be back to visit your blog again!

I agree. I certainly notice wrinkles and I've thought them increasingly sexy for a long time. I don't know that is really the wrinkles and gray hair per se, but maybe a sort of comfort of comaradery with a sense of shared perspective which you can only get with a similar number of years.

When I was 10 or 12 my parents had lunch with a company employee and his wife. She had just turned 30 and I was stunned to imagine that a woman could be pretty at such an advanced age. When I was 10 the being 30 years old and being 300 years old seemed very similar.

When I was 14 I worked at our public library with a much older, worldly and sexy woman of 15. At that time I thought 20 was old.

When I was in my late 20's I thought early thirties was a bit old but mid 20's was okay. In my 30's I thought 40's were stretching it and 20's were a bit young.

In every age range I felt most attracted to ages around my own and my definition of sexy kept changing to fit with my age at any time. For some time I've found myself calling the news announcers in their 20's and early 30's kids - and I'm only 57. Which reminds me that as a very young boy I met a friend of an uncle of mine, a WWI vet who had flown airplanes in that war. He was only 50 give or take but I thought he was truly very old.

I know there is a middle area at the halfway point to the current average lifespan but I have never called myself middle age. And elderly seems to receed further with each year. Instead I just see people living.

I know those "kids" I mentioned earlier are sexy, I can see that, just not for my taste. If someone came around with a real offer to give me a 20-year old body I might take it but I would wind up hanging around with people in my real age range. I don't think I would have the patience to go through my 20's again - or 30's or 40's. Having friends in all age ranges is great but my hangin' out preference is with persons within a few years of whatever is my current range.

But I don't try to tell women their wrinkles look good. Some things are better not said, at least to someone's face. It shines, I suspect, an uncomfortable spotlight for the moment and can be ackward. But in this forum, maybe it can be reassuring. I think each age range values the companionship of age-similar perspectives. That has been my observation about me.

thank you for this well-articulated post. i am a 28-year old woman, and still get carded regularly, so i can't say that i'm facing the discrimination that comes from being considered less attractive due to age. but i do notice changes in my face and body that signify gravity's honest work on me, and time's travelogue (i used to say ravages!). and i notice comcommitant changes in my personality. changes i used to rail against, changes that i now welcome. i am coming to love the process of growing up, growing older. if we saw more images like the ones you describe, we'd all fear it less. i think our fear of aging is connected to many other disturbing trends in our uber-industrialized and technologized nation. we go to the store and buy chicken breasts. most people think of chicken now as this tidy thing that comes in cellophane. so we don't have to think about the crowded chicken farms and the conditions that require antibiotics to be given to the chickens, etc. we've never had to kill one, so we don't question how it gets to the grocery store. we're so insulated. it makes us scared of life's natural processes.

Thank you for a beautiful blog about "Liv" (and life!) I admit, the motivation for my original search was information about Saraband --offered as a 'Reward' to frequent MySony site visitors. Then, as I remembered the name, but not the face of Ms. Ullman, I was compelled to find a website that displayed her (preferrably photo)image to tweak my memory.

Thanks, Danny, for the wonderful photos in your blog. Even more, THANK YOU for the loving gifts of your graceful and gently expressed commentary. I am a mid-50's-yr-'old' woman who, five years ago (for better or worse), married a good man, who is now in his mid-30's. We've been through many proverbial mountains and valleys of married life together. When my self-esteem is low, I sense his lack of pride to be seen with me, because of my mature appearance. Like Liv, I am of Norwegian descent, and lived part of my life in Tokyo. (Also, my maiden name was Miller -- hopefully we're related!)

I feel blessed to have found your site! I shall keep it bookmarked, to easily return when the wind is knocked out of my spirits by society's shallow, irrational prejudices!

Danny, the caring and compassion you express with words is a true and
wonderful gift! If there were more people who think and write the way that you do --the world would be a far better place!!

Thank You!


Thanks for the post .... very well done. I actually think that Liv is much better looking *naturally* than many of the Hollywood stars who have had so many plastic surgeries that they look ... *plastic*. Lou K Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery

Since Liv Ullman became a star in Holland, after her role in "A Bridge Too Far" that was filmed in Holland and after 'Scenes out of a Marriage", I considered myself as an extremely lucky fellow. My wife, who is ten years younger than Liv, is/was an exact clone of Liv, they could be twin sisters!!
Complete strangers told my wife: "Do you know that you are a spitting image of Liv Ullman??" and while she was aware of that likeness, she always anwerred: "Yes I know that." And even now so much later, I always get frightened when I encounter pictures of Liv where she is the spitting image of my own wife. And I should lie, when I should say that I don't like it to be married to such a fantastic beautiful wife, who is the spitting image of one of the most beautiful women in the world. Regards: A.M.B.

This is one of the best articles that I have ever encountered on the internet.It almost makes purchasing this laptop an end to itself in the best possible sense.I have always loved this actress and will see this film because of this blog,but I will also like to tell you, Danny,that you have given me back a sense of dignity and even joy that age discrimination has begun to rob as I approach sixty,and even as a very youthful looking woman....I have felt ridiculed,humiliated and devalued......Thank you for your brilliant sensitivity and courage to love what I love which is authenticity.

Danny, thank you for a welcome and intelligent male viewpoint on the natural process of aging. I have lived in Los Angeles on and off the last 30 some years and in between in New England’s countryside - a respite from Southern California’s cloned females. I consider myself a natural female.

I have always admired Liv Ullman for not falling into the traps of Hollywood and having the courage to say no. There is no comparison between her and other “aging” women, famous or not, who’ve been made to believe that youth is everything. It is not.

If only more men would realize that, but they too have been brainwashed by media and by youth culture and are missing out on mature, female companionship that has so much to offer.

Hollywood celebrities do not interest me, but I have been following Liv’s career. Today she is as busy as ever having recently directed “A Streetcar Named Desire” in New York. She is an inspiration to women of all ages and all cultures.

Today, I watch Liv on HBOs MasterClass... and for me it was a rude awakening. I had photographed her back in 1978, when she received the "Key to the City", of San Francisco from Mayor George Moscone. I recently seen Kathleen Turner,too. But then again, my father replaced me in my mirror. Somehow, we never see our selves aging!

I too saw HBO's masterclass, and marveled how beautiful Liv Ulmann is at 72. Why can't women (and some men) face the fact that tampering with mother nature does not make one look better. It makes them look desperate.

Thanks so much for what you wrote and how you wrote it. This face reader couldn't agree more.

If this is not considered obnoxious, you might get a kick out of a recent post on this very topic at my blog:

She is definitely perfect. Natural beauty of an old women. She really is pretty.

Ohhhh Danny! You've become our hero. How warm, sensitive, WISE and welcome you are. I'm terrified of everything from needles to diets; absolutely allergic to LA and tobogganing fast towards 70. I lived in Europe during the heady days of Liv and Ingmar and thoroughly appreciate the idea of aging gracefully ~ almost needless to say. Whenever I look at Joan Rivers I'm so glad I'm puffy and wrinkled.

Liv Ullmann really looks good at her age. She has all my respect, no fancy operations... simply beautiful and natural.

This is the best thing I've ever read about Liv Ullmann. I've always thought that the older she gets the more beautiful she is.Apart from being one of the best actress of all times, for me, she is also the most beautiful actress in the world. Charlotte Rampling and Helen Mirren as well, though they are younger.

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