I was watching The Good Wife Sunday night (love that show!) and was happy to see her no-good, cheatin' husband finally kicked to the curb! While I was enjoying that turn of events, I noticed Chris Noth's almost-completely-gray hair and realized that thru the wonder of television, we have seen this wonderful actor age right before our eyes. He went from a skinny, young, brash detective on the original (and best) Law & Order, to the suave and studly Big on Sex and the City, to this newly gray haired, handsome governor. I know he is the not the only actor we have watched grow up or older over the years...Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael J Fox. But I don't recall ever being able to flip thru channels and see other stars in all the stages of their lives at all times of the day the way we can with Chris Noth.
We all have photos of ourselves when we were either skinnier or chubbier or makeup-less or hair-challenged. I have one particularly horrid photo from the 80's where my hair was permed to the rafters and I was wearing what appears to be a sofa slipcover in a lovely blue/pink/purple/green floral. In it I am at some function, wearing eye glasses large enough for 3 people, at a table with 9 other banquet attendees. The only thing that makes me happy about that photo is the shot of the guy next to me in burgundy and blue plaid pants with a tie the width of his chest and mutton chops that almost meet in the middle of his face. My dad was stylin'.
The difference is we can turn those photos over, close the album or take that awkward 8th grade school picture right off the wall. Honest, Mom, I have no idea where that one went. But when you have lived your life in front of us on TV, you really can't escape. Last week I was watching Hollywood Game Night and Michael Weatherly was reflecting on his 12 seasons on NCIS. He said the problem with it being in syndication while the show is still running is that people must be wondering why they replaced him with an older, fatter guy who looks just like him.
There are a lot of reasons why I am happy I am not a celebrity. Sure, the money would be great, but I can't imagine having people snap my photo as I struggle to get my 35 lb dog, who no longer jumps, into my car as I leave the vet's office. How awful to see online video proof that yes, I really did dance with that very young college guy at that bar on St Patrick's Day. It's bad enough to have friends with long memories...I don't need those moments immortalized. And I really cannot imagine having to watch myself age from my 30's to my 60's nightly on any number of TV channels.
Cary Grant retired from films in 1966 when he was only 62 and, at least to my eyes, still an incredibly attractive and virile leading man. He retired in part to spend more time with his daughter, but also in part because he wanted to be remembered as he was in the films he had completed. He said he didn't want people to watch him as a character actor in his 80's and say "wow, he used to be so good looking". I believe he sold himself short there. I have seen photos of him in his 80's and I have to say that sentiment did not occur to me.
As for Chris Noth, I will continue to watch this man in his many and varied roles for as long as he wants to continue acting. As Jennifer Garner said recently of her Draft Day costar, Kevin Costner, "there's still a lot of handsome there".