StyleBistro Exclusive: Mary Steenburgen on Love, Laughter and Beauty over 50


Mary Steenburgen (Getty)
Mary Steenburgen doesn’t waste any time worrying about getting older—she sees it as a blessing. In an exclusive interview with StyleBistro, the Academy Award winner explained what makes her feel beautiful—and how she reached her perspective. “I feel really lucky to just be here in this moment in time,” Steenburgen said. “My life is vibrant.”

Steenburgen told us that in the years approaching her fifth decade, she was “preoccupied with worry about aging. When I got close to my 50th birthday, it felt like such a huge, daunting number."

“And then I started thinking about how lucky I was and how grateful I was to have my husband in my life and my incredible four children, and I started really coming at it from a place of gratitude—that I get to be alive, that I get to be experiencing this. And I decided to make a ritual, like a moment of my 50th birthday, rather than to see it as a bad thing.”

Steenburgen, who splits her time between homes in Ojai, California, and Martha’s Vineyard, decided she wanted to celebrate the entirety of her life.

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen (Getty)
“I thought, ‘Some people don’t know me as well as they might, because they don’t know the Arkansas part of me, or the Martha’s Vineyard part of me.”

So she invited everyone dear to her heart to California. “It was this funny, wonderful coming together or all the parts of my life,” Steenburgen said. “From that night on, I honestly have never given a second though to worrying about losing my looks and about aging. I just don't think about it anymore."

Like many of the women featured in The 50 Most Beautiful Women over 50, Steenburgen reflected on certain freedom that comes with reaching a certain age. “In some ways, there's something very freeing about being over 50, because it's like, maybe people don't expect so much from you, so when you look good they're blown away or whatever,” she joked. “I keep getting told by young men—not men my age, but young men—that I'm very beautiful, so there's something really fun about being this age and not thinking about it or worrying about it. If I have a bad day, I don't fret about it, and I don't stare at my wrinkles, and I ever lay awake at night thinking about it.”

Steenburgen believes it’s important to continue to seek challenges. “I scare myself, I do things that are scary to me.” She recently shot a pilot for FX, Outlaw Country, in which she plays a country star—a role that required lots of singing. It also awakened Steenburgen’s creative side: She’s been writing and recording songs.

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen (Getty)
When asked what makes her feel beautiful, Steenburgen—who has been married to actor Ted Danson since 1995—replied, "the fact that I get to love someone so much and that I'm loved back so deeply. Because of that one amazing and very lucky fact, my life is filled with a lot of laughter and a family that I adore and get a huge kick out of. I just think that those things are far more powerful than any creams or procedures. I don't think there's a substitute for loving and being loved, in terms of beauty."

Steenburgen also recommends maintaining a good sense of humor: “Humor does beautiful things to a face.”

Browse Mary Steenburgen's latest pictures (click any thumbnail below):

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  • Mary Steenburgen in Mary Steenburgen Walk of Fame
  • Mary Steenburgen in Mary Steenburgen Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
  • Mary Steenburgen in Premiere Of "Did You Hear About The Morgans?" - Arrivals
  • Mary Steenburgen in Premiere Of "Did You Hear About The Morgans?" - After Party
  • Mary Steenburgen in 'Did You Hear About The Morgans' New York Premiere
  • Mary Steenburgen in Artists For A New South Africa's Jabulani Celebration

I'm Zimbio's music editor. Into music, cats, karaoke, and shiny things. Follow me: Twitter | Google