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Despite his divorce drama, you can bet Cruise still had lots to celebrate when he turned 50 on July 3. "Here's how I've lived my life: I've never been late to a set. I make films I believe in. I feel privileged to do what I love," he told Playboy's June issue. The actor, who added that, "I haven't, and I never would" have cosmetic surgery, credits his boyish looks to spending time with family and living his life to the fullest. "I train, go without sleep," he said. "I just go hard."
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She hit the half-century mark on Nov. 11, but Moore has hardly aged a bit since her Brat Pack days. The secret to her eternal youth? "Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize," the former Mrs. Kutcher told Marie Claire. Coincidentally, Moore's St. Elmo's Fire co-stars Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy and Ally Sheedy are also celebrating the big 5-0 this year!
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Millions of Americans met George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, and Jane, his wife, when The Jetsons soared into living rooms on Sept. 23, 1962. The animated sitcom lasted only one season, but it heralded a new future beyond meals in a pill and sassy mechanical servants: It was ABC's first series broadcast in color.
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She made her acting debut at age 3 as the Coppertone girl and the two-time Oscar winner is still going strong. So it's no surprise that Foster, who turned 50 on Nov. 19, has no fear about growing older in Hollywood. "There's a nice thing about turning a certain age where you've made so many life decisions; so many non-chosen paths are behind you, and you don't have to worry about them anymore," the actress/producer/director told More magazine. "All those arbitrary goals that you have as an actor and filmmaker, I feel like I already did them. So I can check them off."
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Who could ever have imagined that Ferris Bueller would be 50? Broderick, for one! The actor, who celebrated his birthday March 21, reprised his role as the fast-talking high school student for a 2012 Super Bowl ad after years of trying to distance himself from the character. "I figured since everybody thinks of me that way anyway, maybe it would be nice to be in on it," Sarah Jessica Parker's hubby told the New York Times. "Why wouldn't Ferris Bueller have become middle aged?"
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KMART AND WALMART
The national discount stores both opened for business 50 years ago – Kmart in Michigan on March 1, Walmart in Arkansas on July 2 – and as a result, most Americans today have never been more than driving distance from bargains and blue-raspberry Icees. Imagine a world where Paris Hilton never got to ask of Walmart: "Is that where they sell wall stuff?" Is that a world you'd want to live in?
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Judging by her appearance, you'd be hard pressed to guess that the former American Idol and X Factor star turned 50 on June 19. But it's true, and Abdul has age-earned wisdom to pass on. "I'm so excited to be turning 50 this month!" she Tweeted. "Lessons learned: listen to your body, #respect what it says. Be #mindful of what you eat."
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On Jan. 17, Canadian-born Carrey turned 50 – old enough to be the dad of an American Idol contestant and a grandpa! Though he's best known for his rubber-faced movie antics, he's certainly more philosophical than Ace Ventura off camera. "Fifty years: Here's a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love," he has said. "Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren't doing what you love, then what's the point?"
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SPIDER-MAN AND THE HULK
In May 1962, a gray-skinned goliath of immeasurable strength and in definite need of anger management wreaked havoc on a U.S. Army base. Three months later, New Yorkers reported sightings of a teen in a red-and-blue suit swinging from building to building. Both the Hulk (who later turned green) and Spider-Man, of course, were the spawn of Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee, whose heroes helped usher in the Silver Age of comic books and provided Hollywood with material for several modern-day blockbusters.
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JON BON JOVI
All of New Jersey lamented the fleeting nature of youth on March 2 when resident rock god Jon Bon Jovi – yes, he's still alive! – marked his 50th birthday. The musician reflected on how everything changes and yet stays the same – even his hair – after decades of music stardom: "[My hair] was very famous, but you know what? I never had a mullet," he said. "I was Cousin It. I just had a big ball of hair. ... Fortunately I still have it. ... There's no weave in there, baby."
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What better way to knock out your 50th year than to throw a birthday bash with Mike Tyson and your bride-to-be in attendance? That's exactly what outspoken funny lady O'Donnell did shortly before her March 21 milestone. For her part, the comedian is grateful to be turning another year older. "My mom died [of breast cancer] at 39," she told PEOPLE, "so I'm on the bonus plan."
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"LOVE ME DO"
On Oct. 5, 1962, Britain was filled with the screams of teenage girls when four mop-topped boys from Liverpool known as the Beatles released their first single, "Love Me Do." (They'd previously recorded a single earlier that year under the name the Beat Brothers.) Though "Love Me Do" didn't exactly set the world on fire, it cracked the U.K. Top 20, led to TV appearances, and to a string of No. 1 hits that paved the group's way to Beatlemania and eternal superstardom.
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It's been a dramatic year for Crow, who was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor just weeks before turning 50 on Feb. 11. But the singer probably wouldn't want to make a big fuss over either event. "We talk about defining moments, but I think nothing can define you," she has said. "They're all refining moments. You're constantly refining yourself and refining your life."
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Welcome to the AARP jungle, Axl! The onetime Guns N' Roses frontman turned 50 on Feb. 6, and while his lean-rocker days are long behind, perhaps he greeted the next chapter in his life with lyrics from his former band's album Chinese Democracy: "Do as you got to, go your own way …. Time's short, your life's your own, and in the end, we are just dust 'n' bones."
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JAMES BOND, MOVIE STAR
On Oct. 5, the same day the Beatles released "Love Me Do," a suave British spy snuck onto a Jamaican island, seduced a bikini-clad Ursula Andress and toppled the nefarious machinations of a madman bent on foiling the U.S. space program. His name was Bond, James Bond, and the movie was Dr. No. Countless Bond girls, ingenious Q gadgets and vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred) later, the film series continues its run as one of the most successful film franchises in movie history.
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The 40-Year-Old Virgin turned 50 on Aug. 16, and he's still getting plenty of action, career-wise. The comic actor has been racking up movie roles since leaving The Office in 2011, including the Meryl Streep dramedy Hope Springs and sequels to his hits Despicable Me and, yes, Anchorman.
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Did Brooks celebrate with Friends in Low Places on Feb. 7 or was he Much Too Young (to Feel This Damn Old)? Neither! The country superstar spent his big day at a ceremony honoring his music producer Allen Reynolds. "My wife [Trisha Yearwood] said, 'It's your 50th. Dream as big as you want,'" Brooks said. "And I couldn't find anything in my heart that I wanted to do more than to see this guy get a little bit of what's due."
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WARHOL'S SOUP CAN
In 1962, a relatively unknown illustrator named Andy Warhol chose his next, perhaps most controversial subject for a painting: the Campbell's Soup can, which was the focus of Warhol's first one-man exhibition on July 9. What followed was a firestorm of debate about whether the result was really art. Though the initial response was underwhelming – actor Dennis Hopper bought one of the paintings for $100 – Campbell's Soup Cans laid the foundation for the rise of one of the most successful and influential artists of the 20th century and are now considered among American culture's iconic and self-defining images.
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ROLLING STONES CONCERT
Billed as the Rollin' Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor and Tony Chapman made history on July 12, 1962, when they played a set of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry covers at London's Marquee Club. It was the first stage performance of one of music's most successful and important rock bands, and the group plans to return to the club to mark the big anniversary, having reportedly patched up the usual internal rivalries and spats.
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Sixteen years after its debut, The Daily Show continues to earn strong ratings, thanks to politically savvy host Stewart, who turns half a century old Nov. 28. But it's his offscreen skills – playing dad to two children – that Stewart is most proud of. "It is an amazing opportunity to be able to ruin someone from scratch," he joked to Oprah Winfrey.
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For Stanley Kirk Burrell, it's always Hammertime, particularly on March 30, when the rapper turned 50. Since his heyday in the late '80s and early '90s, the rapper has appeared in several TV commercials and his own reality show, been the subject of a TV movie, and still continues to put out tracks – after all, he's too legit to quit.
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MARILYN MONROE'S DEATH
The world was shocked when the woman who was arguably the biggest sex symbol of all time was found dead of an apparent suicide in her Brentwood, Calif., home on Aug. 5, 1962. Monroe was 36 years old. Though her death ended a brilliant but fading career, her legacy lives on, with generations of stars attempting to capture her essence both on and off screen.