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Andie MacDowell Was Scrutinized for Choosing to Stay Natural & Had to Defend Her Graying Hair

Gaone Pule
Jul 21, 2022
09:10 P.M.
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Veteran star Andie McDowell began her Hollywood career through modeling and has since graced the cover for leading magazines such as Vogue and appeared on advertising campaigns for Armani. However, the aging process has not been easy for her.

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Hollywood starlet Andie McDowell is an actress and a fashion model. She got recruited while on a trip to Los Angeles, California, by a rep from Wilhelmina Models.

McDowell later signed with Elite Model Management in New York City in 1978. Years later, she transitioned to acting and made her movie debut in "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" in 1984.

Model Andie MacDowell posing during a photoshoot for US Vogue magazine in the 1980s. | Source: Getty Images

Model Andie MacDowell posing during a photoshoot for US Vogue magazine in the 1980s. | Source: Getty Images

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After studying method acting, McDowell made several more appearances in successful films such as "Four Weddings and a Funeral," Groundhog Day," and "Short Cuts."

The South Carolina native is best known for her roles in movies including "Monte Carlo" and "Sex, Lies, and Videotape." It was her modeling career that elevated her to a career in acting.

Actress Andie MacDowell gracing the cover of Grazia magazine wearing winter clothes in 1985. | Source: Getty Images

Actress Andie MacDowell gracing the cover of Grazia magazine wearing winter clothes in 1985. | Source: Getty Images

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After gracing the cover of Vogue, McDowell worked with leading brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Anne Klein. McDowell's commercial work for Calvin Klein opened up acting opportunities for her.

MCDOWELL HAS BEEN MARRIED TWICE

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McDowell enjoyed her flourishing career through her 20s and 30s before walking down the aisle for the first time. She wed former model Paul Qualley in 1986.

The couple did not plan on "having children," she told People once. But despite that, McDowell gave birth to their first child, a son named Justin, in 1986. McDowell and Qualley later welcomed two more kids, daughters, Margaret, born in 1990, and Rainey, who arrived in 1994.

Andie MacDowell and Paul Qualley attending  the 12th Annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards at Lincoln Center in 1993 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Andie MacDowell and Paul Qualley attending the 12th Annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards at Lincoln Center in 1993 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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As she experienced challenges in her career, McDowell and Qualley decided to call it quits and divorced in 1999. When speaking to People about the end of their marriage, the mother of three said it was not easy:

"It's not an easy transition. I think that the sooner you can let go of any anger, the better off you are."

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McDowell found love again when she remarried former high school classmate Rhett Hartzog in November 2001. The duo wed in front of 450 guests in a lavish ceremony held in Asheville, North Carolina.

However, McDowell filed for divorce in 2004, and like her first separation, the experience was heart-wrenching. A source described the pair's divorce as a "painful and very private time," as no other details of their separation were disclosed. She and Hartzog parted ways after three years of marriage.

During that period, McDowell faced the hard truth of a declining career. She appeared in movies that critics and audiences heavily criticized.

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Andie MacDowell attending L'Oreal Legends Gala at The American Museum Of Natural History on November 8, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Andie MacDowell attending L'Oreal Legends Gala at The American Museum Of Natural History on November 8, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Her career became stagnant as directors wanted to work with younger actors, and she had already reached her 50s. But McDowell told Fox News in April 2016 that she made peace with the fact that she may no longer have the opportunity to play leading roles like before:

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"I may not be the lead or I may not get the starring roles that I used to because so many movies revolve around youth but I refuse to go away because I enjoy it. I always find a way to get work. It may not be the best parts I used to get, or it may not be as easy, but I’m still here."

With the aging came scrutiny in Hollywood, especially when McDowell turned 40. People assumed that she might never find work again because of her age.

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In an interview with NPR's "Fresh Air," the Golden Globe nominee recalled an incident where she was insulted by a journalist who asked her what aging felt like now that she was "losing her beauty," which left her shocked:

"I had the craziest things said to me when I turned 40. I just couldn't believe it. I told her that I really don't feel like I'm losing my beauty; it's just a different kind of beauty."

The L'Oreal ambassador explained that when people evolve, they age, which is a natural process. She emphasized that aging has nothing to do with losing one's beauty.

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During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, McDowell revealed that her hair started going silver, adding that her daughters noticed the change and complimented her.

They even encouraged her to keep the silver color. Now in her 60s, McDowell said she eventually "fell in love" with her new look and chose to keep it:

"I have to say, I've never felt more beautiful. I'm not saying that everybody has to go do this, but it suits me."

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Although she previously tried Botox and once considered plastic surgery, McDowell shared that she had learned to embrace the aging process. That said, she has avoided cosmetic surgery on her face and is going the natural route.

McDowell turned 64 years of age in April 2022. In July 2021, the "Along for the Ride" star flaunted her gray hair during the 2021 Cannes Film Festival red carpet with salt-and-pepper-hued curls.

Andie MacDowell arriving for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film "Annette" at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on July 6, 2021 in Cannes, France. | Source: Getty Images

Andie MacDowell arriving for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film "Annette" at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on July 6, 2021 in Cannes, France. | Source: Getty Images

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Her hairdo featured a side part and a low ponytail. McDowell turned heads in a pastel pink outfit by Versace Atelier and Prada.

The "Maid" star previously revealed that she stopped dyeing her hair after taking a break from work. Although her daughters gave her a thumbs up on the look, her managers objected. Regardless, she followed her heart and decided to keep it.

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In an interview with Vogue, McDowell noted that women in Hollywood are treated differently from men, especially regarding aging.

She made a prime example with actor George Clooney, who has had gray hair for a while but has not been bothered with his appearance. Hence McDowell said she should not be on the receiving end when it comes to her hair because no one makes noise about his:

"Why is my gray hair an issue and George Clooney's, isn't?"

Andie MacDowell attending the 6th Annual InStyle Awards on November 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Andie MacDowell attending the 6th Annual InStyle Awards on November 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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That said, McDowell told People in June 2022 that she was content with gray hair, adding that her older sister – who is 18 months older - already had silver hair and thought she looked "more beautiful."

"During COVID, I could see the roots with my face and with my skin and my eyes, and I liked it. I felt that I would be happier. And I am happier. I really like it," said McDowell.

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