Meryl Streep, 60 years old, is Vanity Fair’s January cover girl


Sixty-year-old Meryl Streep is the “cover girl” for Vanity Fair’s January issue. My guess is that Meryl is promoting her two roles this year – It’s Complicated, with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, and Julie & Julia, in which Meryl will likely get her bajillionth Oscar nomination for playing Julia Child. I don’t care for the cover image they used of Meryl – she’s such a beautiful woman who is aging so, so well. So why did they chose an image that makes her look washed out and… shall I say it… old? It’s like Vanity Fair is trying to say, “Look, we have someone other than a twenty-something twit on our cover! Meryl is so old!” Inside the magazine (and online), Vanity Fair does include some gorgeous portraits of Meryl throughout the years, all done by Brigitte Lacombe (slideshow here). For Meryl’s part, she tells Vanity Fair: “I can’t remember the last time I really worried about being appealing.” Here’s Vanity Fair’s cover story preview:

Hollywood is no place for older women—or is it? In the cover profile of Vanity Fair’s upcoming January 2010 issue, Leslie Bennetts investigates the mystery of how, at age 60, Meryl Streep has become the industry’s “new box-office queen.”

The evidence is indisputable:

• Her 2008 screen musical Mamma Mia!, Bennetts writes,“has grossed $601 million worldwide, despite some cringe-worthy reviews (for the movie, not its much-lauded heroine).”
• The Devil Wears Prada, also from 2008, in which Streep played a demanding fashion-magazine editrix, has raked in $324 million around the world.
• And Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, released earlier this year, has earned $121 million and counting.

Producers hope for comparable results from It’s Complicated, a Christmas release featuring a love triangle between Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. All this unexpected success has had the effect of exploding several long-standing myths:

• There is no life after 40 for women in Hollywood. Au contraire! “It’s incredible—I’m 60, and I’m playing the romantic lead in romantic comedies!” Streep says to Bennetts. “Bette Davis is rolling over in her grave.” And while Streep’s success is no guarantee that other actresses will fare any better than they traditionally have, it’s a step in the right direction. “She broke the glass ceiling of an older woman being a big star—it has never, never happened before,” says Mike Nichols.

• Talent of Meryl Streep’s caliber should be reserved for dramatic roles. Who says? Sure, she made her name jerking tears in prestige dramas and has accumulated more Oscar and Golden Globe nominations than any other actor, male or female, but she’s always had a lighter side too. (Bennetts unearths a Time-magazine quote from 1989 that reads, “Surprise! Inside the Greer Garson roles Streep usually plays, a vixenish Carole Lombard is screaming to be cut loose.”) And it turns out that the same meticulous approach that made her a great dramatic actress works in comedy as well. Ephron, who directed Streep in Julie & Julia, says, “I would love to take credit for that amazing performance, but the truth is that she had read everything about Julia Child, she played the cooking tapes over and over between setups … and she even suggested that I cast Stanley Tucci as her husband.”

• There’s no money in making movies for women, particularly older ones.
Regarding Mamma Mia! and its aforementioned box-office haul of more than a half-billion dollars, Streep says, “It’s so gratifying because it’s the audience that nobody really gives a sh-t about.”

[From Vanity Fair]

I guess what Vanity Fair and I are trying to say is something along the lines of “Meryl is a goddess who should be worshipped with grapes, chocolates and lithe young men.” No, I get it. Meryl is awesome, and her recent box office victories are really important for Hollywood and for women. Maybe I’m totally wrong about this, but I think Meryl is one of the few over-40 actresses who has a significant male fan base, too. My dad loves her. My mom loves her. I love her. She brings generations together. Plus, she’s just really cool and she’s the best actress to ever work in films. Bold statement, yes, but I stand by it. Meryl is better than Bette Davis. She’s better than Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren, and Ingrid Bergman and whoever else they want to throw at her.


Vanity Fair’s cover and Lacombe portraits courtesy of Vanity Fair online.

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29 Responses to “Meryl Streep, 60 years old, is Vanity Fair’s January cover girl”

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  1. Firestarter says:

    Nice pictures. Great actress.

    Nuff said.

  2. Lem says:

    Right on Meryl! Rock on! Love you!

    (that first b&w is STUNNING, that should have made the cover. STUNNING!!!)

  3. Dorothy says:

    Totally the best actress of all time, but I don’t really believe that she doesn’t want to be appealing…. I get not being vain or weight obsessed but appealing???

  4. Firestarter says:

    My favorite pic is the top middle. She looks just lovely!

  5. Kevin says:

    Her career will certainly last longer than Jolies, fo sho!!! (sits down and lights a cigar, anticipating the arrival of the loons)

  6. snowball says:

    She’s great – and I agree with Mike Nichols, there’s really no one her age that still can pull off the lead in romcoms.

  7. Trillion says:

    She’s amazing and so versatile. Diane Keaton, Diane Weist, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn and a few others have also kept their careers going. Bravo!

  8. Trillion says:

    HOw could I have forgotten…Deneuve!!!!

  9. Meow Mix says:

    Couldn’t agree more about the cover shot. With all those fab photos why did they choose that one?

  10. Raven says:

    Hate to disagree with Mike Nichols but I thought Diane Keaton did a bang-up job as the lead in the romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson
    in 2003. That does not take away anything from Streep’s performance in these films, however. And as far as I’m concerned, there can never be too many good films for mature adults with age appropriate female leads.

  11. Sumodo says:

    Shock value is why they chose the cover…people will think–ooooh she’s unwell–and buy the mag only to find she’s faboo. Meryl is in a class all her own, the female equivalent of Paul Newman. I have a theory I live by: If you don’t care about getting old, you won’t get old! Live, love, EAT! (Sorry, Wolfgang!)

  12. MizzExpert says:

    She was her best yet in Julie & Julia! Absolutely delightful!!!

  13. Karin says:

    The sign of a great actress is when you can’t even see her because you are looking at the character she portrays. Meryl Streep is such an actress and deserves to receive and choose interesting roles right up to the day when (and if) she decides to call it a day. Like Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith show, there are fantastic roles out there even after the age of 60 if you’re the caliber for them.

    On a light note, if you enjoyed Mamma Mia (and esp. in case you did not), check out French & Saunders’ spoof of it (in two parts) for the charity Comic Relief – hilarious (esp. about Pierce’s singing abilities or lack of)!!

  14. hatsumomo says:


    Her face is quite perfect. She just looks so pretty with no make up on! A rarity!

  15. Vermithrax says:

    Top right pic for me.
    I heart Meryl.

  16. TwinkleToes says:

    Hey Kevin, at least she has never needed cheek implants like Madusa or Angelina Jolie. * lights cig, drinks chocolate coffee and waits for Angelina1 or Cheyenne*

  17. Eileen Yover says:

    I was about to write exactly what LEM did-I would have chosen the first black and white with her hair up. The cover pic looks like a Glamour Shot.
    Love Meryl!!
    Seriously Kevin and Twinkle, I can’t beleive you guys just opened this for AJ Fanatics to come in! You just love watching the Freak Show unfold! lol

  18. Cheyenne says:

    I just wish she would get rid of that mousy blonde hair and go for that platinum hairstyle and cut she had in “The Devil Wears Prada”. She was drop-dead gorgeous in that movie.

  19. nnn says:

    She is not the best actress of all time, she is in the top 10, maybe even the top 5. The number one spot belongs to Katherine Hepburn and it will probably stay that way for at least another century.

    It’s ironic cause Katherine Hepburn who was nominated 12 times as a lead (winning four Oscars as a lead actress, the record holder) and was surpassed by Meryl with 13 nominations in a lead role, 1 win as a lead and 1 as a supportive role) particularly disliked Meryl claiming famously that she could recognize Streep’s constant search for tactics during a performance.

  20. Prensa Rosa says:

    She’s a gorgeous woman, no doubt. And those pictures are fab, but I have to say: too much Photoshop.

    I’m not sure why, though. She’s Meryl.

  21. lucy2 says:

    I love everything about Meryl – her talent, her attitude, and her movies. I think she’s awesome, and makes even cheesy movies like Mamma Mia fun and entertaining.
    I’m looking forward to this new one.

  22. TaylorB says:

    In those top 3 pics I think she looks like ‘Hanks’ wife in Californication. I forget her name, lovely woman, recently widowed. No matter… Meryl looks fantastic, for any age.

  23. Kevin says:

    #19, can’t read the name, way to bring it with the statistical information! BRAVO!! Natascha McElhone plays Hank’s wife in that series Taylor…and she is gorgeous I agree.

  24. TwinkleToes says:

    That second picture in looks so much like me. Now I know why people would always say I looked like her (but prettier) back then. nnn, yeah but Katherine Hepburn was handsome and not really pretty so she just misses the mark and she was a good actress for back then but not for today’s day. Also, her annoying Hollywood half British/American accents that everyone used back in the day makes her performances so dated.

  25. GatsbyGal says:

    I always thought she was a weird-looking woman, but now that she’s gotten older the look really suits her. Wow she sure is beautiful in those photos. Hope I look half as good when I’m 60.

  26. lucy2 says:

    I think she has such elegance and class, and that’s a big part of her beauty. But she also seems accessible, someone you’d want to have lunch and talk with.

  27. TaylorB says:


    Thank you, that was just buggin me to no end. I am no good at looking things up on the ‘intertubes’, I generally end up irritated and shutting down the ‘puter.

    Anyhoodle, she sure is a very good actress, and the poor thing has had such a terrible year losing her husband so suddenly. She has been such a trooper, bless her soul. I just can’t imagine how she has kept it together.

  28. rraven says:

    Love meryl streep. I actually never noticed but she does look like natasha McElhone, whom I love (d) in the truman show

  29. Ninny says:

    Gorgeous, talented, intelligent. Love her.