The Story of Andie MacDowell, Who Has Proven That a Woman Doesn’t Have to Fight Aging to Be Beautiful

Andie MacDowell, the actress who many of us know from her roles in the movies Groundhog Day and Hudson Hawk, is very much like her characters in real life. She’s intelligent and sometimes shy, and has a charming personality. Andie is 64 now, and she says that she’s not ashamed of her age.

At Bright Side, we decided to learn more about the life and career of this talented actress, and her attitude toward the way she looks and her age.

Mommy’s girl

Andie MacDowell was born on April 21, 1958 to a music teacher and a lumber executive. Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old. Andie is really proud of her mother, who went back to school and got her diploma after having 4 girls.

Photo on the left: Andie MacDowell (on the right) with her mother and sister.

In high school, Andie was on the pep squad. During her teen years, she had a part-time job at a fast-food restaurant. After she graduated from school in 1976, she entered Winthrop College and studied there for 2 years.

Modeling career

 

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During her trip to Los Angeles, Andie Macdowell was noticed by a modeling scout. And in 1978, she signed a contract with Elite Model Management.

n the early 1980s, she modeled for Vogue magazine and appeared in advertising campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent and Armani. At that time, she already proved to have a creative and unique personality. Once, she came to the fashion show wearing jeans and a T-shirt. After taking part in a Calvin Klein advertising campaign, she was noticed by representatives in the movie industry.

Early acting career

Andie MacDowell and Christopher Lambert in the adventure movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.

“I did theater in college and knew since I was a child that I wanted to act,” Andie recalls. She made her dream come true in 1984 when she filmed the movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. However, her triumph was clouded by the fact that her lines were dubbed by another actress.

What upset her the most was that no one complained about her performance before she learned about the vocal switch. But this only made her more determined to prove herself in the industry. “I knew I was going to have to fight really hard. So I just took a lot of classes and worked on every aspect of myself,” she said.

Andie and Emilio Estevez in the movie St. Elmo’s Fire
Her breakthrough role was in the romantic drama St. Elmo’s Fire. Andie was 27 at the time. She played a doctor who was courted by a law student who is in love with her.

The peak of her career

The early 1990s were a high point for the actress. She rose to fame in 1993 after she played Rita, the TV producer that Phil, the meteorologist, is in love with, in the comedy Groundhog Day.

Aside from that, there were also the comedies Green Card starring Gérard Depardieu and Four Weddings and a Funeral starring Hugh Grant, which were very popular in the ’90s. In Green Card, Andie played a horticulturalist and an environmentalist, and in Four Weddings and a Funeral, she played the love interest of the main character who she met at a wedding.

First marriage and kids

Andie with her husband Paul Qualley

By the time she reached the peak of her career, the actress had already married Paul Qualley. They met while posing for commercial ads — he also worked as a model. Even though Andie said she didn’t plan to have children, she and Paul had a son and 2 daughters.

According to their daughter Margaret, Andie and Paul were very different. Paul was against modern technologies, his house “had no TV, no computers, no Wi-Fi, no microwaves,” while Andie preferred a more modern approach to life and technology.

Andie with her daughters Rainey and Margaret

Rainey and Margaret followed in their mother’s footsteps and became actresses. The oldest daughter, Rainey, played in the movie Ocean’s 8. She’s also a singer, she releases and writes music under the name Rainsford.

Her younger daughter, Margaret, was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe, and played in popular movies like, The Nice Guys and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Failures in her personal life and career

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In summer 1999, Andie met her former high school classmate, a businessman named Rhett Hartzog. Soon after, he proposed to her. “I had a secret crush on her in high school,” he said. They got married in 2001, but divorced 3 years later.

“The sooner you release your anger, the better for you. Life goes on even after divorce,” the actress said.

It was a difficult period not only in Andie’s personal life but also in her career. A few movies she starred in were failures according to critics and viewers. One of the movies, Town & Country, is still considered one of the biggest box office flops in film history.

“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,” the actress would say when someone asked her about her age.

Aging acceptance

When the actress turned 40, a journalist asked her what it was like to age and lose beauty. Andie MacDowell got angry, “I simply couldn’t believe it! I don’t feel I’m losing my beauty. It’s just beauty of a different kind.”

She mentioned that she once even tried Botox, but she’s since declined cosmetic work on her face and prefers natural beauty. “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,” Andie said when she turned 63.

Andie and her daughter Rainey

Nowadays, she draws the attention of the audience not only with her talent, but also with her positive attitude toward aging. Andie MacDowell’s gorgeous brown curls have always been her trademark. And everyone got really surprised when, in 2021, the actress appeared on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival with her gray hair.

Later, Andie confessed that when she had a break from her work, she stopped dyeing it. And when her children saw her natural hair color, they encouraged her to keep it because they thought it was cool. When the actress informed her managers about her makeover, they began to object. So, Andie got indignant, “Why is my gray hair an issue and George Clooney’s isn’t?” She eventually got it her own way.

“It goes in waves. Because you feel like it’s all over, and you’ll never work again, and you’re terrified. Then all of a sudden, people like something you do, and you get a great script and feel revived, like, ’Oh wow, okay. I’m not dead yet,’” the actress says.

It’s true. Soon we’ll be able to see a few projects featuring Andie. And recently she played along with her daughter Margaret in the Maid TV series.

Stills from the TV series Mr. Mayor and Maid

We are sure that we will see this actress in many other interesting movies. Andie also seems optimistic about her future, “Everyone has their own journey. Maybe something fabulous is going to happen for me at 70.”

What is your favorite movie starring Andie MacDowell? Would you prefer natural aging, or would you rather use the benefits of cosmetic procedures? Tell us in the comments below.

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