Sooner or later, most people go gray. Instead of running from the inevitable, why not embrace your fading pigments like these celebs did? See how some of Hollywood’s most iconic silver foxes transitioned to salt and pepper and some to full on white.
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Then: George Clooney
George Clooney in the ’80s was all hair. You may be less familiar with this version of the actor, but before ER, Ocean’s Eleven, and Gravity, he rocked dark brown curls.
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Now: George Clooney
The term silver fox was practically coined for Clooney. The actor embraced his graying hair when he was just at the start of his movie career and it has since become his signature style.
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Then: Matt Leblanc
We were first introduced to Matt Leblanc’s signature dark hair on Friends, when he starred as Joey Tribbiani. Little did we know he died his hair. “I think it was the second season of Friends—way back then—that I started getting gray hair on the sides, so they started to dye it,” Leblanc said on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
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Now: Matt Leblanc
The actor fully embraced his gray hair when he said goodbye to Joey for good after his spinoff was canceled. His reason? He just didn’t want to be bothered with dying it anymore. Fair.
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Then: Richard Gere
As a young actor, Richard Gere had a thick mane of dark hair, which he sported in films like American Gigolo and Officer and a Gentleman.
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Now: Richard Gere
By the time Gere starred alongside Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, the actor was delightfully gray. Nowadays, Gere’s hair is more white than gray and he wears it proudly.
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Then: Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey was known for his thick brown hair when he rose through the ranks as a teen actor in the ’80s. Years later, the actor booked Grey’s Anatomy and stole viewers hearts as Dr. Derek Shepherd—a.k.a. McDreamy.
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Now: Patrick Dempsey
Over the course of Dempsey’s 10 seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, his hair went more and more gray. Now, he’s the definition of salt and pepper. Fun fact: His wife is a hairstylist and cuts his hair.
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Then: Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant’s floppy brown hair was one of his trademark features during his run as the go-to romantic comedy star in the 1990s.
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Now: Hugh Grant
A few years ago, the British actor decided to fully embrace his graying hair and honestly we think it was the right call.
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Then: Morgan Freeman
When Morgan Freeman was starting out in film back in the early ’80s, the actor had more or less the same haircut and facial hair he still has today.
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Now: Morgan Freeman
The only difference? The legendary actor is completely gray. We have to say, the style is more striking this way—and his film career certainly hasn’t suffered.
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Then: Daniel Day-Lewis
When Daniel-Day Lewis first arrived on the Hollywood scene, the actor sported long dark brown hair (as you’ll find many men did in the ’80s).
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Daniel Day-Lewis (Silver Fox)
The British actor—who is known for his intense method acting—has gradually grayed throughout the years and gone shorter as well. His bold eyebrows on the other hand have stayed dark.
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Then: Eric Dane
Since his breakout role on The Wonder Years, Eric Dane kept his hair short and trimmed.
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Now: Eric Dane
Around the time that Dane joined Grey’s Anatomy, he found himself going gray. But he was on the show for six years so, if anything, it seems like fans were into it.
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Then: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
When Jeffrey Dean Morgan debuted on Grey’s Anatomy as reoccurring guest star, Denny Duquette, he was already sporting some gray in his beard, but his hair was dark brown.
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Now: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The star’s gray beard is now iconic and he seems to be embracing the salt and pepper on top of his head too.
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Then: Steve Carell
A fresh-faced Steve Carell skyrocketed onto the scene in 2005 thanks to The Office. His clean-cut look was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary.
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Now: Steve Carell
Since leaving Dunder Mifflin behind, Carell matured in both his career and appearance. The actor has taken on more serious movie roles as of late and has also started sporting a gray beard and hair combo.
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Then: Anderson Cooper
When Anderson Cooper first got his start in his 20s, he had ashy hair, but we’d hardly call it gray.
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Now: Anderson Cooper
Cooper says in his 30s he was salt and pepper and now at 52, he can’t find the pepper anymore. Even though most know the TV personality for his silver style, he says he misses his brown hair.
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Then: Pierce Brosnan
From Remington Steele to James Bond, Pierce Brosnan’s perfectly coiffed dark brown hair helped earned him a heartthrob status he’s continued to hold for decades.
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Now: Pierce Brosnan
At 66 years old, Brosnan is just another Hollywood star proving that you can get better with age.
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Then: Taylor Kinney
The Chicago Fire star has been in the limelight since the mid-2000s and when he first started out his hair was a deep, dark brown.
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Now: Taylor Kinney
At just 38 years old, Kinney is almost completely gray and is here to remind all of us that there’s no shame in embracing it. Honestly, we think he looks even better this way.
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Then: Idris Elba
Idris Elba began acting in the ’90s and sported a simple haircut with a goatee at the time—which is still his go-to look today.
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Now: Idris Elba
The difference is, now his beard is gray. But that’s not holding him back. In fact, just last year Elba was named PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive—gray hair and all.
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Then: Ben Stiller
Before he was a comedic film icon, Ben Stiller was just starting out in the business—with a full head of thick, dark curls.
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Now: Ben Stiller
Stiller’s sprinkling of gray in his short cut is a lesson to us all on how to age tastefully.
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