Ernie Hudson, 78, on people lusting after him online: ‘It’s been a little bit of a surprise’

Every once in a while, an unlikely sex symbol is born. In this case, it’s Ghostbusters actor Ernie Hudson. That’s right, folks, Winston Zeddemore is now known as Winston Zaddy-more. Actually, make that Winston Grandzaddy-more. 78-year-old Hudson made people sit up and take notice of how fine that man has aged. Ernie recently attended the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire premiere in London when a wardrobe mishap caused him to take his suit jacket off and pose on the red carpet in just his t-shirt and jeans. And that, friends, is how the Internet suddenly started making innuendos about how Ernie could bust their ghost anytime he wanted to. People caught up with Hudson to ask him about becoming social media’s new crush in his late 70s.

“Sweet baby Jesus I’m lusting after someone’s Grandpappy,” one user wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Another called the actor “the epitome of tall, dark and handsome,” while one other wrote they were watching the actor’s movie Miss Congeniality in honor of the star “being 78 and still hot.”

Asked about the reaction, Hudson chuckles and tells PEOPLE, “It’s nice to be noticed. It’s been a little bit of a surprise in the last couple of days.”

To Hudson, it’s a surprise because he says he’s looked relatively the same for most of his adult life, it’s just that no one noticed until now. “I’ve always been in what I consider fairly good shape,” says the father of four. “But normally, when I do those press conferences, I’m usually in a suit or a sport coat.”

The Michigan native never worked out regularly until recently. “I’ve always tried to be healthy,” says the two-time cancer survivor. “My career hasn’t been about focusing on my physicality. The most important thing for me is just to try to maintain your health, just common-sense stuff.”

“I see these guys who really pump up and they got these massive arms and six-packs and all that, that’s not what my career has been about,” adds Hudson, who, in addition to playing Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbuster franchise, has also starred on the HBO series Oz. “I’m usually the warden or the principal, or I’m usually the guy in the suit.”

Once he hit his 70s, Hudson—a star on NBC’s Quantum Leap and BET’s The Family Business (which he also exec produces)—says he noticed that “fat began to gather on the lower stomach, and it wasn’t going away.”

Now he hits the gym three days a week for an hour at a time. He also works with a personal trainer and a Pilates instructor.

“When I see this guy,” Hudson says of his trainer, “he will put me through some stuff that I feel like for the next couple of days I’m going to be sore. As painful as it is, I actually kind of enjoy it.”

Hudson says he and his wife of nearly 40 years, Linda Kingsberg, try to hit at least 10,000 steps a day — which is not too difficult since they have a dog. He also credits looking good to his mental health. “I’ve always looked at physicality more from a spiritual perspective than a physical,” he says. “The spiritual thing dictates the physical more than the other way around. So when I’m in a good space, I’m aware of just how I’m living my life, the other things fall in place.”

As for diet, Hudson only generally eats between noon and 7 p.m. each day. “I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, so I do eat meat, but then again, I try not to do it too often,” says the star, who pushes himself to drink a few bottles of water a day to keep himself hydrated.

He’s also adamant about skincare and wears sunscreen and uses moisturizer, too. “With a lot of Black men or men of color, there’s a darkness that starts to set in under the eyes,” says Hudson. To remedy that, Hudson says he uses vitamin C “to keep the coloration even.”

Now, with all the care Hudson puts into his health having garnered so much recognition — he quips that his wife has noticed too.

“As I get older now and I get more attention, she travels with me now everywhere,” he says. “She never used to in the past. She was like, ‘Okay, I’ll see you later.’ Now it’s like, ‘No, we’re going together!’ “

[From People]

“I’m usually the guy in the suit.” Well, somebody let that man not be in a suit for once! Those guns deserve to be seen more often! But in all seriousness, Ernie looks so damn good for having just turned 78 in December. He sounds so grounded and well-rounded, too. It’s kinda crazy that he didn’t really start working out regularly until his 70s, too. Those are some good genes, right there! And good on him for placing so much importance on mental health as well. That really is so important towards your overall health, including physical looks. I wonder what skincare products he uses, too. Oh, and not that anyone needs this comparison, but the 45th President of the United States turns 78 in June, and Ernie looks about 20 years younger than he does. Ernie is seriously #goals for getting older.

Photos credit: James Shaw / Avalon, Robin Platzer / Twin Images / Avalon

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16 Responses to “Ernie Hudson, 78, on people lusting after him online: ‘It’s been a little bit of a surprise’”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    Drop the name on your face cream, STAT.

  2. Shawna says:

    And Paul Rudd is right there 😅

    • Schrodinger's Kate says:

      Yeah Shawna I saw Paul there, too! Both men look fantastic. I can’t believe Ernie is 78.

  3. Blithe says:

    Dayum! ✨

    It would be pretty awesome if he gets offered different types of roles, and or opportunities repping skincare or something like that — because of a wardrobe mishap.

  4. MsIam says:

    No way, 50 max, lol. Yes Ernie has aged better than fine wine. Yum!

    • bettyrose says:

      I would tots agree, but I was in elementary school with Ghostbusters was first released, and he was definitely a passable adult. I could buy 60 ish even though he looks 40, but I can’t deny the math of him being older enough at that time to play an adult.

  5. Chantal1 says:

    I didn’t know that hes a two time cancer cancer survivor. That’s amazing! He still looks good and handsome and is another underrated actor with a long career! His comment about his wife travelling everywhere with him now was cute and funny. I’m definitely going to watch the new Ghostbusters movie.

  6. Flower says:

    Fine wine !

    Me thinks his wife has influenced him bc how does he know about Vit C serum ??? !!!

    • MsIam says:

      Well with him being an actor, he’s used to getting his face looked at closely. A lot of the better known makeup artists rep skincare lines so I’m sure Ernie got some tips along the way.

    • Bananapanda says:

      He’s been sitting in make up trailers for 40 yrs. 😜 You can pick up a few tips along the way.

      He was dreamy in Grace and Frankie.

  7. tealily says:

    Love Ernie, love this for him!

  8. DaniM says:

    Self care AND skin care?!

    *kisses fingertips* Incroyable.

  9. Kate says:

    Wait, did y’all not watch Grace and Frankie though? That’s when I was like “oh that Ghostbuster can get it!”

  10. Steph says:

    Damn! He’s my mother’s age, but looks younger than me! I like that he spoke about using sunscreen, moisturizer, and vitamin C. How often do men discuss their skincare routine? Skincare is viewed as a woman thing when it really should be a people thing. Go Ernie! Smash toxic masculinity!

  11. BlueNailsBetty says:

    Ernie was a snack back in the day but now he’s a whole meal and a dessert.

    I love this for him.