10 Birthday Lessons from Stars of the Golden Age

Today is my birthday, which usually provides some good bloggable material, but I already did the "Letter to My Younger Self" three years ago.  (You can read that one here).

And, while we did move to Chicago five years ago today (yes, today!), I thought about reflecting and collecting on all that's transpired but that would pretty much also look exactly like the "Letter to My Younger Self."

So, instead, I've combined things I love ~ old things, old movie stars, sayings and stories ~ with a birthday and 'aging gracefully' theme.

See below and thank you for reading!

And, if you'd like to give me a 'birthday gift' of sorts ...  well, I've been nominated for the Babble 100 ~ check it out here and give a birthday girl a Facebook 'Share' if you're feeling charitable ... or if you just like this blog.

Thank you again for reading! 


1. Theme birthday parties are not just for kids. 

elizabeth grace

Princess Grace's 40th birthday party in November 1969 was Scorpio-themed - that was her astrological sign, of course.  Elizabeth Taylor tried to steal the show, showing up with a big Scorpio on her dress.  That bitch.
Anyway, now I'm wondering if the Libra scales (my sign) might look less like a birthday party and more like a tacky lawyers' convention. Hmm, but, I could fit in to both. So, it's a possibility for my future 4-0.

2. Neither are fairy tales. 

audrey hepburn

“If I’m honest, I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Me too, Audrey.

3. People can be birthday gifts - literally.

ethel gene

If you're a Kennedy.

And you want Gene Kelly in a bow.

(But, I'm a Ronay and I want Channing Tatum in a bow. ... As a birthday gift! ... Never mind.)

As Ethel's son Joseph Kennedy explains, “At one point, Daddy and Uncle Steve [Smith] went outside to a car, and they pulled out a guy who was wearing a tuxedo and wrapped up all in ribbons with a big pink bow. They laid the guy down at Mom’s feet. He grabbed Mommy and danced her around the floor. It was a birthday present she would never forget.’’

4. Speaking of people, cut the negative ones out of your life ... and out of your birthday party.

doris frank

You know, like Frank Sinatra did for Doris Day.

According to Doris, Frank was a "very caring and very sweet" man on the set of "Young at Heart." At a party on the set, one of Sinatra's pals hurled a Kleenex box at Day (that she caught), and Sinatra escorted the man out of the building.

Those Jersey boys are chivalrous, aren't they?

5. With every birthday, keep writing (or drawing or baking, whatever your creative outlet is).

sophia loren

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age." ~ Sofia Loren

6. I repeat: keep writing (or whatever your labor of love is).

ingrid bergman

"The best way to keep young is to keep going in whatever it is that keeps you going. With me that`s work, and a lot of it. And when a job is finished, relax and have fun." ~ Ingrid Bergman

7. Enjoy the sleeveless years.


According to Lauren Bacall, "I can't wear bare stuff any more, but that's no great loss. Women of a certain age do not look fabulous in sleeveless tops."

8. Be beautiful on the inside, too.  At least, try.

Paul Newman

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being." ~ Paul Newman

9. The older you get, the wiser you get. The wiser you get, the more you realize it's OK to be wrong.

bette davis

From a documentary about Bette Davis: "Anyone who knows Davis knows the stories of how she couldn't stand working with Errol Flynn on the film. She thought he had a lazy approach to acting and did not find the shoot rewarding. Years later, at a birthday party for Davis in which her friend Olivia De Havilland was attending, Davis decided that they should all watch Elizabeth of Essex. De Havilland thought it was an odd choice and was worried that things would be awkward afterwards if someone mentioned Flynn's performance. They all sat and watched the movie and enjoyed it. As the movie finished and De Havilland started to worry about what might happen, Davis stood up and announced loudly, 'Damn he was good! I was wrong, he was brilliant!'"

10.  Me too, Ava G! Me too! ... Except for me, it's books instead of paint.


“When I’m old and gray, I want to have a house by the sea. And paint. With a lot of wonderful chums, good music, and booze around. And a damn good kitchen to cook in.” ~ Ava Gardner

Thank you again for reading! You can find me on Twitter @FernRonay or on Facebook here.

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Filed under: Celebrities

Tags: birthday, birthdays, Golden Age

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