There are plenty of euphemisms about age, including “You’re only as old as you feel,” “Life begins at 40,” “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number” and “50 is the new 40,” among others.
And then there is the one from the cynics: “You’re only as old as you are.”
In any event, time moves on.
Sometimes entertainers reach one of those “landmark” ages and it comes as a surprise because they became famous long before, and that younger image is so planted in the public’s mind.
Let’s start with Tempestt Bledsoe.
No matter what she does in her career, most people will still think of her as Vanessa Huxtable, one of the Cosby kids on “The Cosby Show,” a television ratings sensation from 1984 to 1992.
Well, on Aug. 1, Bledsoe turned 40.
WHEN RAP music first emerged in 1983 by way of a trio from Queens, New York, called Run-DMC, is was clearly a very young person’s game. But today rappers in their forties and even fifties is fairly common.
Mos Def, one of the most talented in the genre and also an outstanding actor, will be celebrating his 40th birthday on Dec. 11.
His real name, by the way, is Dante Smith.
When you hear the word “supermodel,” certain names are among those that immediately come to mind, such as Naomi Campbell, Iman and, of course, Tyra Banks.
She, too, will be 40 in December.
Banks has graced the covers of top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle, walked the runways for a myriad of top designers, and has been featured in the advertising campaigns of such greats of the fashion world as Chanel, Ralph Laren and Yves Saint Laurent.
But Tyra Banks ranks higher than her contemporaries because she has also conquered television via “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Tyra Banks Show,” both highly rated.
THE CAREER of actor and television host Mario Lopez, who turns 40 on Oct. 10, has been one long success story.
He first came to the public’s attention in 1989 as a child actor in the popular sitcom “Save By The Bell.” Currently he is co-host of the entertainment news program “Extra” and hosts several other shows as well.
As an adult actor he was particularly effective in the made-for-television movie “The Greg Louganis Story.”
Faith Evans has been a successful recording artist since 1995, and has been in the upper levels of the national charts with such hits as “You Used to Love Me,” “Soon As I Get Home” and “Never Gonna Let You Go.” She has also been a part of numerous collaborations.
Evans hit “the big 4-0” in June.
BORIS KODJOE became a star — and a heartthrob — when he was a regular on the popular Showtime series “Soul Food.”
Although he is a very talented actor (his films include “The Gospel,” “Love & Basketball,” “Brown Sugar” and “Madea’s Family Reunion”), Kodjoe’s looks have regularly been focused on. In 2002, for example, he was cited by People magazine as one of “The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.”
Kodjoe reached age 40 on March 8.
Savion Glover — 40 in November — is one of the greatest in the history of dance, and with a style that is completely original. He learned from some of the greats, including Gregory Hines, and developed from there.
Glover was just a child in 1985 when he enchanted Broadway audiences in “The Tap Dance Kid.” Later he was featured in three additional Broadway shows, “Black and Blue” (1989), “Jelly’s Last Jam” (1992) and “Bring In ’Da Noise, Bring In ’Da Funk” (1996).
MAXWELL (real name: Gerald Maxwell Rivera), singer, songwriter, producer, musician, has always been somewhat of an enigma, which enhances his popularity. And not many recording artists would have the courage to take an eight-year hiatus.
He took the time off to just live life outside of show business.
Maxwell’s albums include “Urban Hang Suite,” “Embrya,” “Now” and “BLACKsummer’s night.”
He turned 40 in May.
No book about comedy would be complete without the inclusion of Dave Chappelle: funny, creative, often irreverent, and will become a member of “the 40 club” as of Aug. 24.
After doing a substantial amount of stand-up comedy, TV and film work, Chappelle landed his own sketch comedy show for Comedy Central titled “Chappelle’s Show.”
It was then that he became a major star. Among other things, the show tackled pop culture, racial stereotypes and politics. His Rick James parody is unforgettable.
Others who turned 40 this year or will soon are actor Omar Epps, rap star Twista, singer Wanya Morris (of Boyz II Men), rapper Nas, singer-television personality Nick Lachey, actor Rockmond Dunbar, producer-rapper-singer Pharrell Williams and hip-hop star Akon.