Forty and Fabulous!

From Kelly Ripa to Matt Damon, see which stars are better than ever at the big four-oh

01 of 13

KELLY RIPA

KELLY RIPA
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Being a cool mom (plus plenty of exercise) has helped the Live! With Regis and Kelly stay young, but she’s not looking to rewind the clock. “I wouldn’t go back and be 20 again if you paid me a million dollars,” she told Good Housekeeping. “I love my grown-up life, I love being with my family, raising my kids; there’s no pressure.”

02 of 13

JENNIFER CONNELLY

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Far from letting 40 slow her down, the actress welcomed her third child, daughter Agnes Lark, on May 31. She rocked her signature sophisticated and fashion-forward style throughout her pregnancy, looking more chic than ever. Perhaps her relaxed parenting style is enhancing her red carpet glow!

03 of 13

MATT DAMON

MATT DAMON
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40th birthday bash was actually pretty low-key, and that’s the way the actor prefers it at this age. “I felt a great sense of calm turning 40,” he told Access Hollywood. “All of those bigger questions have been answered for me, and now it’s about enjoying living the life that I’ve chosen and I love that!” As a dad to four girls, he also has reprioritized family over a Hollywood lifestyle. “What I really want now is health, I want to be healthy and be there as much as I can to hang out with my family,” he said.

04 of 13

DENISE RICHARDS

DENISE RICHARDS
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“I feel better now than in my 20s! It’s all good, I love it!” the (and new adoptive mom!) gushed to Access Hollywood of her recent milestone. Though she had some bumpy patches in her 30s, the star says her life experiences have made each birthday even better. “It’s a wonderful thing. I’ve experienced so much. I think it’s wonderful to embrace it.”

05 of 13

JON HAMM

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The Mad Men and Emmy nominee may be entering midlife, but he says it’s all just beginning for him. “I don t let myself forget that for 15 years after I left school I struggled to make a living,” he told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “Now it s so nice not to have to worry about how I m going to pay my bills. And that s a problem I ve had for far longer than I haven t had it.”

06 of 13

CLAUDIA SCHIFFER

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Mike Marsland/WireImage

She hit her stride in her 20s as one of the world’s top supermodels, but at 40 she shows no sign of slowing down, landing the cover of German Vogue last year and welcoming a new daughter, all while maintaining her enviable figure. “In my 20s, I had no idea, she said of her former fitness routine in the London Times. I never set foot in the gym and I ate whatever was available at the moment I was hungry. Today I eat only organic food and try to exercise three times a week so I am thinner today than I ever was, which is great because now I can eat more food!” Up next for the model: launching her own knitwear line!

07 of 13

SANDRA OH

SANDRA OH
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Like Hamm, the Grey’s Anatomy got her big break in her mid-30s, and she keeps going full steam ahead, garnering Emmy nominations for her role as tough Dr. Cristina Yang as well as film projects like The Goree Girls. She split from husband Alexander Payne in 2007 but found love with musician Andrew Featherston.

08 of 13

BROOKE BURKE

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Gary Gershoff/WireImage

As a co-host of Dancing with the Stars, she’s got to be in fighting form. But the mom of four takes it all in stride (often in her Skechers Shape-Ups, for which she is a spokesmodel). Burke admits to working hard to maintain her figure, but says in the end, being 40 is just a number – her attitude is what matters. “It’s really about being comfortable in your skin at every age,” she told Shape. “I feel better now than I ever have before. I feel stronger, I feel more confident, I feel healthier. I feel like I know my body better.”

09 of 13

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE
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She’ll be 40 in November, and is looking forward to the next step, thanks to a loving fiancé, a brand-new baby, and a successful battle with cancer in 2009. “This chapter of my life is bigger, better, more exciting. I’m looking forward to everything my life has to offer,” she told PEOPLE. “I feel incredibly grateful.”

10 of 13

TAYE DIGGS

TAYE DIGGS
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Given his reputation as a hunk, the new “daddy” phase of the actor’s life (he and wife Idina Menzel are parents to son Walker, nearly 2) has taken him totally by surprise. “I never thought I’d be caught… doing the grunt work stroller in one hand and diaper bag in the other,” he dished to Good Housekeeping. “I always thought I’d have everything worked out, but when you’re in it, you’re not thinking about looking cool.” Learning to rap children’s books to Walker has even given him a little more street cred!

11 of 13

MARY J. BLIGE

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Kristina Bumphrey/Startraks

The singer said it best herself: “No more drama” as she hits her 40th birthday! “I strive to be educated, to grow older gracefully, be happy and comfortable with myself,” she said on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Though her early years were tumultuous, her plan for her 40s is to use her experience and success to inspire other women going through similar troubles. “[I hope] to have helped more women with my walk – not with what I’m saying but what they’re seeing.”

12 of 13

SANAA LATHAN

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Ben Gabbe/Getty

The actress, who lends her voice to The Cleveland Show, turns 40 just one day after the Emmy Awards. No doubt her birthday wish includes an outstanding animated program win for the nominated show. And the icing on the cake? She s co-starring alongside and in the upcoming Stephen Soderbergh film Contagion. With her flawless complexion and ageless appearance, may we suggest a skin-care line next?

13 of 13

RACHEL WEISZ

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The British beauty has entered her 40s with a bang: In June, she and secretly tied the knot in front of his daughter and her son in N.Y.C. Though she went through a painful split last year, the actress remains ever optimistic as she ages. “I enjoy getting older,” she told the U.K.’s Independent newspaper. “I just think that things get easier and you get wiser and more experienced The 20s are excruciating; they were for me.

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