Defining the Meaning of “Boob Tube”: TV’s Hottest Women Over 40

Every few months or so, Hollywood dusts off the latest draft of an old, well-thumbed script – the celebrity going through a heartwarming turnaround. Sometimes it’s beating addiction. Other times it’s getting over heartache. Usually, it’s just losing the baby fat. But rarely has Tinseltown churned out a comeback story like the one happening right now to Valerie Bertinelli.


The adorable teen starlet who shot to “America’s Sweetheart” fame on the long running sitcom “One Day At A Time” over 30 years ago has weathered her share of controversy and even a whiff of scandal, but her sunny disposition always managed to shine through and fans never forgot her.

Of course, we only stay young forever in the movies and Valerie Bertinelli is no exception. As she has matured, the temptation for that second helping was less and less ignored and acting offers began to tend toward the doughty. Luckily, Valerie plays a mean doughty. But all that has changed. In the latest rewrite, Valerie Bertinelli is adding a few lines to the script that truly elevate the story and America’s giving a standing O.

Over the last year and a half or so Valerie became a Jenny Craig spokesperson, filled her days with rigorous exercise and transformed herself back into one of the hottest women on the planet by losing more than 50 pounds. Never mind that she’s in her 40s… there are stars out there in their 30s who have all but given up. But with the publication of her unblinking memoir “Losing It… One Pound At A Time” and her stunning snaps in a long lost two-piece, Valerie Bertinelli is inspiring millions of admirers.

Naturally, we got to thinking about other actresses who have hit the dreaded (for Hollywood) number “Four-Oh” and wondered how some of them are faring. Turns out the genre is alive and well. Here’s a list of TV’s Hottest Women Over 40 – arranged by bithdate. It just got too hard to sort out the understudys ever since Valerie Bertinelli tore up the script.


10. Holly Hunter

This Southern “Miss Firecracker” first exploded on the scene with an Oscar nominated turn as the ethics-bedeviled producer in Broadcast News in 1987. Since then she’s received mountains of praise for her intense roles as tiny-bodied and big hearted women in film roles as diverse as “Always” and “The Piano.” But male viewers are lusting over her first TV role, as Grace Hanadarko, the spitfire, hard-drinking lady cop who uses her ageless beauty to get her men (nightly) on Saving Grace.

Almost makes me wish for a night in the county jail.


9. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

JL-D is, of course, best known as man-crazy Elaine Benes from Seinfeld. Despite rumors of a curse that hovers over the cast members from the show, Dreyfus has found renewed TV success as a single mom on the prowl for everlasting love on The New Adventures Of Old Christine. Enjoying a rare Hollywood romance success story, Julia has been married to fellow Saturday Night Live castmate Brad Hall since 1987.

Lucky guy.


8. Vanessa Williams

With a penchant for making history, Vanessa Williams has certainly stirred the pot during her wide-ranging career. Crowned the first Miss America of African-American descent, she had to relinquish the honor when some nude photos popped up. Did that stop her? Hell no. Her first TV appearance was on The Love Boat, where she actually played herself, and the actress-slash-singer tore up Ugly Betty last year.

However, publicity stills were tightly controlled…


7. Mary-Louise Parker

Parker spent the first half of her acting life lighting up the stages of Broadway. But TV fans got their first look at her singular beauty with some supporting and recurring roles on The West Wing, and have always clamored for more since. Last year, we got our wish when ML-P bared it all for the cameras on the Showtime hit series Weeds as pot dealing mama Nancy Botwin. Luckily for us, the show has been picked up for another 2 year run.

Expect a few more bubble baths.


6. Teri Hatcher

A former 49ers cheerleader, Hatcher first lit up the small screen as Dean Cain’s Lois Lane on Lois & Clark. Dabbling as a glamour magazine columnist proves she’s got the brains to go along with her beauty, wildly immortalized as Jerry’s breast fixation on Seinfeld. These days she holds millions of men transfixed each week as the klutzy Teacher’s Assistant Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives.

Guys… they’re still real, and they’re still spectacular.


5. Kyra Sedgwick

A descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Sedgwick is as close as you can get to American royalty. But drifting along in the movies over the last 20 years, Kyra was more well known as the wife of Kevin Bacon. Until 2007, when she scored a Golden Globe award for her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson on The Closer, the beautiful, brilliant cop with a sweet tooth.

It’s like taking candy from a babe.


4. Lisa Edelstein

Edelstein’s wild youth lead her to being dubbed the first “celubutante” way back in the ’80s. She spent the next decades playing small, but pivotal roles on shows like Mad About You and Seinfeld. These days she’s got faces glued to the screen, wild over speculation that her character, Dr. Cuddy is secretly in love with the obnoxious, but brilliant Hugh Laurie on House. If the series gets a long enough run, Cuddy may just get her wish and settle down with the bad Doctor before she hits 50.

Well worth waiting for.


3. Pamela Anderson

Still rocking the bod that shot her to fame after being “discovered” on the Jumbotron at a Canadian football game in 1989, Anderson has dabbled in many aspects of the Arts. Showing she’s more than just a hot blonde, Pamela has tried her hand at everything from modeling to writing. But it’s series TV work that has landed her in the dreams of every red-blooded male, with turns on shows from Baywatch to her last run on Stacked.

Isn’t it time for another Playboy cover?


2. Kate Walsh

After playing a string of roles as the “pity” girlfriend for the likes of less than drop dead gorgeous Drew Carey and Norm McDonald, Walsh finally scored a Mimbo, playing the Ex of “Dr. McDreamy” (Patrick Dempsey) on Grey’s Anatomy. Maturing very well, she’s parlayed that gig into a starring role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the spinoff Private Practice.

Score one for the redhead.


1. Jennifer Aniston

The newest entry on the list lands her at the top, but Jennifer Aniston is no stranger to “Hottest” lists of any kind since she exploded in America’s consciousness as Rachel Green on Friends. More recently she’s been working on her “Girl Next Door” image, wrangling with Angelina Jolie over her acrimonious split from former hunky hubby Brad Pitt and spinning a turn as Alec Baldwin’s sexy – and demented – stalking cougar on 30 Rock.

Can’t wait to see what 50 looks like.

Leave a Comment

  1. ~db~ says:

    You completely lost me at Pamela Anderson. Ugh.

  2. Mary-Anne says:

    Clearly, you are too young to edit such a list. I suppose six out of ten isn’t bad, but stick to what you know, barely post-pubescent females whose names will be forgotten in about 10 minutes.

  3. Mijonju says:

    so true.. i already forgot some of them on my way down here when i scroll

  4. Dee says:

    Major props for including Holly Hunter, Mary Louise-Parker, Kyra Sedwick, and especially the gorgeous Lisa Edelstein!

  5. Cut,O. says:

    Lisa Edelstein! Julia Louis-Dreyfus! But, Pamela Anderson, what.

  6. Not bad. I guess the whole point is women on tv currently… considering the size of the gene pool, it must have been hard to find 10 women who haven't totally hit the wall yet!

  7. Slimrock says:

    Got to agree Pam Anderson does nothing for me. Guess I can not get past the bad plastic. Now when she was the real Pam Anderson, playmate of the year 1990 through 'Home Improvement', before surgery, yowsa!!

  8. CooperAnderson says:

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins by a mile!!!