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6 Celebrities Who Became Household Names After Going Gray

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a scene from the film 'Pretty Woman', 1990. (Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images)
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a scene from the film 'Pretty Woman', 1990. (Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images)

Though gray hair is often viewed as a mark of distinction and experience, these silver foxes didn't get their big breaks until after they had a few streaks. Check out these well-known stars whose silver strands are just as recognizable as their talents.

  • 1 Richard Gere
    In the 1980s, <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/richard-gere-9309229#hollywoods-leading-man" target="_blank">Gere</a>
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    In the 1980s, Gere enjoyed some success with chestnut hair in films like "American Gigolo" and "An Officer and a Gentleman." However, Gere didn't truly become America's sweetheart until the 1990s, when he starred in the hit film, "Pretty Woman," opposite Julia Roberts. His perfectly tousled salt-and-pepper hair helped him carry off the role to a T -- and romcoms haven't been the same since.
  • 2 Alan Rickman
    Don't be fooled by Severus Snape's jet black hair. The star of Harry Potter fame is actually silver-haired in real life. <a h
    Arthur Mola /Invision/AP
    Don't be fooled by Severus Snape's jet black hair. The star of Harry Potter fame is actually silver-haired in real life. Rickman started his career in the late 1970s with a series of small TV roles before finally landing his first movie role as a villain opposite Bruce Willis in "Die Hard." He was in his early 40s by that time and was sporting just the slightest touch of gray in his hair. His career has since blossomed, as we all know, with roles in blockbuster hits like "Love Actually" and "Sweeney Todd."
  • 3 Jon Stewart
    You may not know it, but before he became one of America's favorite satirical news anchors, Jon Stewart was a brown-haired ta
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    You may not know it, but before he became one of America's favorite satirical news anchors, Jon Stewart was a brown-haired talk show host on MTV in the 1990s. In 1999, Stewart got his own show on Comedy Central, and it was somewhere around then that he started sporting a little gray. News has never been so sexy since. We're sad that he's leaving the show at the end of this year, but luckily we still have Anderson Cooper to satisfy our silver fox fix.
  • 4 Judi Dench
    Though she's now an A-list actress, for <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/judi-dench-9271553#acting-debut" target="_bl
    Keith Hamshere via Getty Images
    Though she's now an A-list actress, for much of her career, Judi Dench was performing onstage. She had some notoriety in her native England, but it wasn't until she starred as spy boss M in the Bond franchise that she really became a household name. Dench first appeared in "Golden Eye" in her early 60s and was M for both Pierce Brosnan and the new Bond, Daniel Craig . Since then, she's appeared in dozens of popular films including "Shakespeare in Love" and "Pride and Prejudice."
  • 5 Jane Lynch
    Prior to starring in smash hit "Glee," Jane Lynch spent many years trying to get her big break, and enjoyed a number of guest
    Bravo via Getty Images
    Prior to starring in smash hit "Glee," Jane Lynch spent many years trying to get her big break, and enjoyed a number of guest roles on shows like "Criminal Minds" and "Boston Legal." She was around age 50 when "Glee" started airing and she says her younger self might not have liked it. "The teenage Jane would spiral into despair if I told her she’d have to wait until she was 40 to have real success. She wanted it all to happen right away. But now I’m glad it turned out like that. It was the perfect path for me," Lynch said in an interview with The Big Issue. We think just a touch of silver suits her.
  • 6 Morgan Freeman
    It may be hard to believe, but fame came late to Hollywood great Morgan Freeman. For many years, Freeman mostly worked as an
    John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive via Getty Images
    It may be hard to believe, but fame came late to Hollywood great Morgan Freeman. For many years, Freeman mostly worked as an off-Broadway actor. In the late 1980s, though, the tide started to turn for Freeman, who was 50 by this time. He starred in films such as "Glory" and "Driving Miss Daisy," earning his first two Oscar nominations. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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