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From Christie Brinkley to George Clooney, 13 stars offer wise words about aging

"I want people to know that old age can be wonderful," said Dick Van Dyke, who recently turned 90. "It's the best time of my life by far."
/ Source: TODAY

Sophia Loren's recent conversation with TODAY's Al Roker serves as a reminder that self-worth and beauty are not defined by age.

It's also inspired to take a look back at celebrities who have embraced the passage of time. Spanning the past three years, here are 13 A-list insights on aging that prove to be candid, uplifting and empowering.

1. Cameron Diaz

epa04455725 (FILE) The file picture dated 07 March 2010 shows US actress Cameron Diaz wearing a dress by Dominican-born US designer Oscar de la Renta during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA. According to media reports on 21 October 2014, citing his wife Annette de la Renta, Oscar de la Renta died on 20 October at the age of 82 at his home in Connecticut. EPA/PAUL BUCK *** Local Caption *** 02071130PAUL BUCK / EPA

Quote: "We don't honor the journey [enough], and who we are and how much we have to offer."

Talking with Oprah Winfrey for the talk-show host's "Oprah Prime" series in March 2014, the four-time Golden Globe nominee, now 43, ripped societal correlations of youth with beauty. "It's almost as if we have failed if we don't remain 25 for the rest of our lives, like we are failures," she said. "It is [perceived as] a personal failure. Like, our fault that at 40 years old that I don't still look like I'm 25. Oh, I'm sorry. I apologize I wasn't able to defy nature."

2. Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton Press Day
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 08: Dolly Parton press day. Dolly talking about her 2016 North American tour Dolly's largest tour in 25 years, Performing in over 60 cities also her New double disc album \"Biggest Hits\" At NOVE Entertainment on March 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)Getty Images

Quote: "I say I'm as old as yesterday but hopefully as new as tomorrow."

Parton, who turned 70 in January, didn't just share one of her many Dolly-isms while visiting the TODAY set in May 2014. As a TODAY guest back in 1986, when she'd just turned 40, the seven-time Grammy winner had a "good attitude" on aging, adding that it's an opportunity to "wise up about some things."

3. Charlize Theron

88th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Charlize Theron attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "I think, like many women, I was judgmental toward women as they aged. Women, in our society, are compartmentalized so that we start to feel like we're cut flowers and after a while we will wilt. I realize now that's not the case — we can celebrate every age."

In a W magazine interview published in April 2015, four months before the Academy Award winner turned 40, Theron appeared to embrace the passage of time. "Now that I'm older, I know I'm not missing out on anything. Now, I go home, and that feels really good. When I hit 30, I realized I didn't have to please everybody. I could actually enjoy life, which is not a bad thing at all."

4. George Clooney

epa04556392 US actor George Clooney poses in the press room with the Cecil B DeMille Award during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, USA, 11 January 2015. EPA/PAUL BUCKPAUL BUCK / EPA

Quote: "I'm a big believer in the idea that you can't try to look younger. You just have to try and look the best you can at the age you are and not worry about it."

Although the 54-year-old Oscar winner told BBC News earlier in May 2015, that he fears "nobody really wants to see anybody really age," Clooney appears to have embraced his aesthetic fate. Later that month, he told "Radio 4 in Four" interviewer Jenni Murray he had no plans to dye his hair or have plastic surgery to try to prolong his career. "Particularly on men, I don't think it really works," he said. "I think it actually makes you look older."

5. Kate Winslet

88th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Kate Winslet, jewelry detail, attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "Growing older, for me at least, is really empowering and not in any way daunting."

While talking with TODAY's Erica Hill in a segment airing in June 2015, the Oscar winner mulled an approaching milestone. "Honestly, I want to go rocketing to 40," Winslet said. "You know, I want to climb a mountain on my 40th birthday. I'm going to have a festival of parties. I just want to do lots of different things."

6. Dick Van Dyke

The Midnight Mission 100th Anniversary Gala And Golden Heart Awards
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Dick Van Dyke attends the Midnight Mission's 100 year anniversary Golden Heart Gala held at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on September 30, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for The Midnight Mission)Getty Images

Quote: "There's a fear of getting old, among the young, that's worse than the fear of death; it's amazing. And I want them to know that old age can be wonderful. It's the best time of my life, by far."

The "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" star, who'd turn 90 two months later, told NBC News' Joe Fryer in an interview airing on TODAY in October 2015 that his life goals extend to the century mark. "A 100-year-old man, who was on the news [recently], broke the world record for the 100-yard dash for 100-year-old people: 27 seconds. I'm going into training right now. I'm going to break that record."

7. Christie Brinkley

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Christie Brinkley is seen at LAX airport on January 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)GVK/Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

Quote: "I had a gorgeous mom. She was beautiful, so I lucked out there. But then, there's a lot that you can do, from what you eat to how you exercise, to the creams that you use on your face, 24 hours a day. You're so in control of that; you have a lot of influence there."

Three months before she turned 62, the supermodel chatted with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie in November 2015 and offered a universal, age-defying beauty secret. "Smile," Brinkley said. "It instantly lifts the face and it just lights up the room."

8. Melanie Griffith

Harper's Bazaar International Celebrates Fashion   Cinema
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Melanie Griffith attends Harper's Bazaar International Celebrates Fashion + Cinema at Provocateur on February 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "Unfiltered [selfie]. I'm 58. And I'm in 'Hawaii Five-0' playing Scott Caan's mom. Go ahead… Say some mean things [about this selfie]. Merry Christmas."

The Golden Globe-winning actress stuck up for herself on Instagram days after receiving body-shaming and ageist comments in response to another photo, since removed, of her outstretched legs by the Hawaiian shore in December. Fans rallied behind her in the comments section, with one proclaiming, "Work it, Working Girl!"

9. Carrie Fisher

Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Carrie Fisher attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens\" at the Dolby Theatre on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "Please stop debating about whether or not [I] aged well. … My BODY [hasn't] aged as well as I have."

Noting the public conversation "hurts all 3 of my feelings," the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" actress, 59, also tweeted that aging is a state of mind ("My body is my brain bag, it hauls me around to those places & in front of faces where [there's] something to say or see.") and used all-caps to emphasize that youth and beauty are "NOT ACCOMPLISHMENTS," but rather byproducts of time and DNA.

10. Kirstie Alley

"Kirstie" Series Premiere Party - Arrivals
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Actress Kirstie Alley attends the \"Kirstie\" premiere party at Harlow on December 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "Inside, I feel 28. Outside, I'm clearly not 28. But I think it's more like who I feel like: I'm Jennifer Lawrence. … She doesn't ever have a false moment."

In addition to being the latest to induct herself into the J-Law fan club, the Emmy-winning "Cheers" star told TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb there's another upside to Alley's 65th birthday, which she celebrated exactly one week later in January. "I guess I get to collect Social Security," she said, "and I'm glad I can before it's all gone."

11. Gillian Anderson

2016 Winter TCA Tour - Day 11
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 15: Actress Gillian Anderson speaks onstage during \"The X-Files\" panel discussion at the FOX portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 15, 2016 in Pasadena, California (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "This is how I really look! #‎agingwithoutshame"

A day after she criticized the Daily Mail for alleging she'd received Botox treatments in an effort to look younger in February, the 47-year-old "X-Files" actress replied on her public Facebook page with a photo of the article in question and the jab, "If it weren't so sad, this bollocks would have made my day." A day later, she posted a recent photo of herself with the aforementioned age-positive hashtag.

12. Tina Fey

TimesTalks Presents "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Actress Tina Fey attends TimesTalks presents 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' at Florence Gould Hall on March 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)Getty Images

Quote: "The greatest challenge for me as an actress is just getting older. Trying to play the scene at hand while also trying to hold your face up. Fast-forward to being 68, and it's a glorious act of bravery."

The "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" star's tongue-in-cheek analysis for a recent Town & Country feature became more earnest when she referenced Fisher's comments about aging. "I thought it was heartbreaking, and also smart of Carrie to be, like, 'This hurts,'" Fey, 45, said. "Because a lot of times we talk about the politics of it, the unfairness of it, which is all true, but I think it's clearer to people when you go, 'Hey, that hurts my feelings.'"

RELATED: From Cindy Crawford to Adam Sandler: 15 celebrities turning 50 in 2016

13. Sophia Loren


Quote: "I'm happy! I live a wonderful life."

That's what Loren told TODAY when Roker asked the 81-year-old Oscar winner about her secret for aging. She added that while she loves being told she's beautiful, she contended that true beauty "comes from inside."

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.