40 Actresses in Their 40s Who Are Still Conquering Hollywood (Photos)

From Amy Adams to Reese Witherspoon, these actresses aren’t letting four-plus decades slow down their career



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Celebrate the leading ladies of Hollywood who are still killing it in their 40s.

Amy Adams (1974) 

Academy Award-nominated Amy Adams is best known for roles in Disney’s “Enchanted” and “Arrival.”

Kerry Washington (1977)  

Kerry Washington broke out in films like “Ray,” two “Fantastic Four” movies and Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” but really came into her own on the small screen, picking up Emmy nominations for her work in Shonda Rhimes’ “Scandal” and for playing Anita Hill in the HBO film “Confirmation.” In 2020, she starred with Reese Witherspoon in “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Katherine Heigl (1978)

After her breakout role as Izzie Stevens in “Grey’s Anatomy,” Heigl went on to star in “Knocked Up,” “27 Dresses,” and “State of Affairs.” She recently starred in Netflix’s 2021 “Firefly Lane.”

Zoe Saldana (1978)

Zoe Saldana is best known for starring in science fiction films, ranging from “Avatar” to playing Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Reese Witherspoon (1976) 

A star since her teenage years, Witherspoon has expanded her profile with the Draper James fashion and home line as well as producing projects (that she often also acts in) such as “Wild” and HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”

Gwyneth Paltrow (1972)

Gwyneth Paltrow has been starring in notable Hollywood films since the early ’90s, most recently as a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pepper Potts.

Rose Byrne (1979) 

The Australian actress can do drama (the series “Damages”) or comedy (“Bridesmaids,” “Neighbors” and “Physical”). In 2020, she even played Gloria Steinem in the limited series “Mrs. America.”

Laverne Cox (1972)

Best known for her role in “Orange is the New Black,” Laverne is a fierce actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. She recently served as an executive producer for “Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen” and has acted in “Promising Young Women” and “The Black List.”

Sandra Oh (1971)

Emmy-nominated Sandra Oh is best known for her leading roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Killing Eve.” Oh became the first Asian woman to host the Golden Globes in 2019.

Andrea Navedo (1977)

Beginning her career in daytime soap operas “One Life to Live,” and “Guiding Life,” Navedo is best known for her role as Xiomara in “Jane the Virgin.”

Angelina Jolie (1975)

Academy Award winning Angelina Jolie has starred in “Girl, Interrupted,” “Maleficent” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” She has also written and directed several war dramas, including “Unbroken” and “First They Killed My Father.”

Eva Longoria (1975)

Besides starring on “The Young and the Restless” and “Desperate Housewives,” Eva Longoria launched her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, in 2016.

Penélope Cruz (1974)

The Academy Award winning actress has graced screens in films such as “Belle Époque,” “Sahara,” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Kate del Castillo (1972)

Upon receiving worldwide recognition for her leading role in “La Reina del Sur,” she began her acting career in Hollywood, starring in “Under the Same Moon.” 

Tracee Ellis Ross (1972)

Tracee Ellis Ross broke out in the hit series “Girlfriends.” She stars in the popular ABC series “Black-ish” and recently starred in “The High Note.” She also received a spin-off series in “Mixed-ish.”

Jessica Alba (1981)

As a Golden Globe nominated actress, Alba has tackled everything from “Fantastic Four” to “Sin City” to “LA’s Finest.”

Jessica Chastain (1977)

Academy Award-nominated Jessica Chastain made her film debut in “Jolene” and has since been the leading lady in “Miss Sloane” and “Molly’s Game.”

 

 Leslie Mann (1972)

Leslie Mann is most known for her roles in comedy films like “The Other Woman,” and “Knocked Up.”

Stephanie Beatriz (1981)

Her debut as Detective Rosa Diaz in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” earned Beatriz the role of Carla in the hit musical film “In the Heights.”

Natasha Rothwell (1980)

As a writer and actress on “Insecure,” Rothwell has supporting roles in “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Love, Victor.”

Charlize Theron (1975)

From “Mad Max: Fury Road” to “Long Shot,” this Academy Award-winning actress can do it all.

Natalie Portman (1981)

The “V for Vendetta” star received an Academy Award for her performance in “Black Swan.” She also starred as Jane Foster in “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World.”

Sutton Foster (1975)

After winning two Tony awards for her work on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster broke into Hollywood through her leading debut in “Younger.”

Kate Hudson (1979)

After her Golden Globe winning performance in “Almost Famous,” the actress and Fabletics founder has starred in “Bride Wars” and “Music.” 

Alicia Silverstone (1976)

The “Clueless” star has also starred in “Batman & Robin” and “Miss Match,” along with publishing two vegan cookbooks.

Michelle Williams (1980)

The “Dawson’s Creek” actress has starred in “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Greatest Showman” and “My Week with Marilyn.”

Amy Schumer (1980)

Comedian Amy Schumer is best known for her roles in “Trainwreck,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “Snatched.” 

Tyra Banks (1973)

From the “Tyra Banks Show” to 24 seasons of “America’s Next Top Model,” Banks has always had a place at the table in Hollywood. In 2018, Banks reprised her role as Eve in “Life-Size 2.” 

Vera Farmiga (1973)

Vera Farmiga has had success with hits like the “Conjuring” movies and Best Picture-winner “The Departed,” and landed an Oscar nomination for “Up in the Air.” She also picked up Emmy nominations for her work in “Bates Motel” and the 2019 miniseries “When They See Us.”

Rebel Wilson (1980)

The Australian actress is best known for “Pitch Perfect,” “How to Be Single,” and her leading role in “Isn’t It Romantic.”

Jada Pinkett Smith (1971)

The “Girls Trip” star is best known for her ongoing talk show “Red Table Talk.”

Sanaa Lathan (1971)

Sanaa Lathan has starred in many cult classics like “Love & Basketball,” “The Best Man,” and “Brown Sugar.” She starred in the TV series “Shots Fired.” 

Bryce Dallas Howard (1981)

“The Help” actress received a Golden Globe Nomination for her performance in “As You Like It.” She has recently appeared in “Black Mirror” and “Jurassic World.”

 

Gabrielle Union (1972)

Gabrielle Union first had her breakthrough role in the cult comedy “Bring it On.” Since she’s starred in films like “Think Like a Man,” “Deliver Us From Eva,” and “Bad Boys II.” She starred on BET’s first scripted drama “Being Mary Jane.”

Sofia Vergara (1972)

Vergara has starred in films like “Soul Plane” and “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns.” In 2020, she wrapped a long run on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family.”

Isla Fisher (1976)

The Australian actress has starred in “The Great Gatsby,” “Now You See Me,” and “Tag.”

Uzo Aduba (1981)

Best known for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on “Orange is the New Black,” Uzo Aduba is also known for “In Treatment” and “Mrs. America.”

Chrissy Metz (1980)

Best known for her role as Kate in “This Is Us,” Chrissy Metz has earned nominations for two Golden Globe Awards.

Toni Collette (1972)

Toni Collette received recognition for her role in “The Sixth Sense.” Since, she’s starred in “About a Boy” and “The Hours.”

Carrie Coon (1981) 

Carrie Coon is best known for “Gone Girl,” “The Leftovers,” and “The Nest.”

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