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Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are still working at their age – Why?

 Article by Anna Letitia Cook

Judi Dench i,age

My favourite actresses – along with Maggie Smith. Judi Dench, 81, Maggie Smith will be 81 at the end of the month and Helen Mirren a spring chicken at a mere 70!

All of them are fabulous, active, much in demand and obviously love life! So what is their secret and how do they keep it…  Well I think the words ‘love life’ give us a clue.

They all keep working at their age and show no signs of stopping. So, why do they do it? It’s not for the money, it’s not for the fame – they obviously have as much of that as they want. It is for the love of their art! They do what they love and they love what they do!

Not only that – they know who they are. They are down to earth, direct, no-nonsense and don’t have airy-fairy illusions. If they like, or don’t like, something they have no hesitation in speaking up. They are comfortable with themselves, happy in their own skins. Not for them all the panic-stricken thoughts of plastic surgery, botox, nips and tucks or any of the other ‘aesthetic procedures’ that some may consider. They carry their grey hair and wrinkles as part of their natural charm and balanced love of life.

Where do they find the energy? Not only are they still appearing in blockbusters, but also on the stage. Both filming and stage performances are known for their gruelling schedules, long hours, and pressure! Again, they know themselves well, they know their craft and passion fuels energy. We can see that ourselves in our own daily lives. When we are doing something we truly love we have endless energy and we will organise our day to best generate more for our passions.

We can be as active and dynamic as we choose to be

They show us how ageing is ‘cool’, we can be as active and dynamic as we choose to be. Just think of some of the films that have come out recently like Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, all about how you manage ageing and longevity. A few years ago no film financiers or distributors would have touched it, never imagining for one moment that it could be an interesting subject, let alone a hit – but it earned over $135 million worldwide. The second best exotic marigold hotel added to its already fabulous cast by including big screen heartthrob, Richard Gere, aged 65.

People’s previously negative views on ageing are changing. We can see for ourselves that we now have the opportunity of enjoying our life and taking, or creating, more time for our own dynamic, fun and fulfilling lifestyle as much as these three great Dames. Put more focus on your passions and interests, incorporate more of them into your daily life and see your energy, satisfaction and quality of life levels take off…


Do what you love and love what you do!


Anna Letitia CookBio:

Anna Letitia Cook is particularly passionate about mentoring women executives, and the 50+ sector, in finding clarity in their career choices. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd, focusing on helping women shape their own future. Creator of the process SCOPE for career, fulfilment and success, she is currently working on her first book ‘Liberate Your Career: The Women’s Guide to Freedom and Fulfilment’, with plans for a second, ‘Glass Ceiling Grans’, early next year. On the personal front, Anna lives in the beautiful French countryside, she has 2 grown children and looks forward to becoming a granny (hopefully sooner rather than later)! She is a committed dog lover and accomplished horsewoman, passionately interested in ballet, and a devotee of adventurous hiking and trekking.

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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