Here's What 40 Celebrities Looked Like at 30 Years Old

Life at 30 can be all over the place. While some people have it all together (more power to 'em), the rest of us are still figuring it out. And celebrities, well, they're sort of like us. Some were winning Oscars by their 30th, but plenty of soon-to-be big names were still in the throes of launching their careers when they hit the birthday milestone.

Here's what 40 of Hollywood's most recognizable stars were up to (and what they looked like) when they said goodbye to their 20s.

Pedro Pascal (2005)

Pascal grins at the opening of the play Absurd Person Singular in New York. In 2005, he was a theater scene staple, working as both an actor and director before turning to TV gigs.

opening of absurd person singular
Brad Barket - Getty Images

Marlon Brando (1954)

In 1954, Brando won his first Oscar for his performance in On The Waterfront. That same year, he filmed Guys and Dolls, his first and only musical role.

actor marlon brando wearing
Smith Collection/Gado - Getty Images

Julia Roberts (1997)

Roberts accepts the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award at a ceremony held at Harvard University. 1997 marked her return to the rom-com genre, with a lead role in My Best Friend's Wedding.

hasty pudding woman of the year 1997 julia roberts
Boston Globe - Getty Images

Jessica Lange (1980)

The actress is photographed arriving at the Lunch Hour premiere party in New York City. She was reportedly considered for a starring role in 1980's The Shining, but the part eventually went to Shelly Duvall.

preview party for lunch hour benefiting richmond fellowship
Ron Galella - Getty Images

Michelle Pfeiffer (1988)

In 1988, the actress, pictured here in a still from the movie Tequila Sunrise, also starred in Married to the Mob and Dangerous Liaisons. The latter earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

on the set of tequila sunrise
Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images

Frank Sinatra (1945)

The crooner smiles for a studio portrait in Los Angeles. Although he signed with Columbia Records in 1943, Sinatra wouldn't release his first album until 1946. During this period, he spent significant time performing for troops overseas during World War II.

sinatra smiles
CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

Denzel Washington (1984)

Washington poses for a headshot in character as Dr. Phillip Chandler on St. Elsewhere. The show, which premiered in 1982 and followed a group of medical interns training at a teaching hospital in Boston, was the actor's big TV break. It wouldn't be long until he'd take over the big screen too.

st elsewhere
NBC - Getty Images

Jeff Goldblum (1982)

Goldblum celebrates the premiere of The Big Chill at an after-party held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The actor played a journalist in the movie, which follows college friends who reunite after the death of a member of their group.

the big chill los angeles premiere afterparty
WWD - Getty Images

Robert Downey Jr. (1995)

Downey is all smiles at the Los Angeles premiere of the comedy Home For The Holidays. That same year, the busy actor starred in Richard III, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, and Restoration.

home for the holidays los angeles premiere
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Robert Redford (1966)

Redford rocks a classic turtleneck in a studio headshot. In 1966, the actor starred in films with Natalie Wood and Jane Fonda—and he would go on to collaborate with both actresses several times throughout his career.

robert redford
Hulton Archive - Getty Images

Brad Pitt (1993)

A long-locked Pitt, clad in a suede vest (hey, it was the '90s) attends the Independent Spirit Awards. The actor, coming off of a career-high with his acclaimed performance in A River Runs Through It, followed up the role by playing a serial killer in Kalifornia and a stoner in the cult action film True Romance.

reception for the independent spirit awards
Frank Trapper - Getty Images

Anjelica Huston (1981)

Huston vamps at a party celebrating the opening of the new Fendi boutique on Rodeo Drive. In 1981, the actress was fresh off of a role in The Postman Always Rings Twice, in which her character had a fling with a drifter played by Jack Nicholson, her on-again, off-again boyfriend.

fendi fashion presentation and party for the opening of the rodeo drive boutique
WWD - Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey (1984)

In 1984, Winfrey moved to Chicago to helm AM Chicago—which, at the time, was suffering from low ratings. Within a year, the show became the most popular daytime talk show in the city. And less than two years later, The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered.

oprah winfrey hosting 'am chicago'
ABC Photo Archives - Getty Images

Jon Bon Jovi (1992)

Although the singer's namesake band had already cemented itself in rock history by 1992, Bon Jovi unexpectedly made waves by chopping his signature long hair as part of a new, more mature chapter for the band.

jon bon jovi lead singer with the pop band bon jovibon jovi the self confessed 'travelling salesman'there's in the video for bon jovi's huge hit, wanted dead of alive,where band leader jon bon jovi slumps, exhausted, with his head in
Fairfax Media Archives - Getty Images

Farrah Fawcett (1977)

Fawcett shows off her legendary blonde curls at the Golden Globes. A year prior, in 1976, the Charlie's Angels star posed in a red swimsuit in her backyard, creating a photo that became the bestselling poster of all time of all time.

farrah fawcett at golden globes
Fotos International - Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio (2004)

DiCaprio sports a backwards cap and a John Kerry T-shirt at a New York screening of Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry, a documentary about the politician. He also starred in The Aviator that same year.

going upriver the long war of john kerry new york screening arrivals
Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images

Jack Nicholson (1967)

Nicholson smiles in costume on set of the movie Psych-Out. In 1967, the actor, who was down on his luck after losing out on several roles, tried his hand at screenwriting with the counterculture film The Trip, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. His big on-screen break would come in 1969, when he scored a supporting role in Easy Rider—once again, with Fonda and Hopper.

psych out
United Archives - Getty Images

Sarah Jessica Parker (1995)

Parker shows off her signature curls backstage at the Academy Awards. Just three years later, the world would meet Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw.

actress sarah jessica parker backstage at academy awards
Bob Riha Jr - Getty Images

Paul Newman (1955)

Newman enjoys a snack while strolling through a California flea market. (Perhaps a precursor to his Newman's Own culinary empire?) The year before, the actor starred in his first feature film, The Silver Chalice.

snack time
Hulton Archive - Getty Images

Joaquin Phoenix (2004)

Here, Phoenix makes an appearance on MTV's Total Request Live. His outfit repped two of his upcoming projects: His hat felt very apropos for his role as a Baltimore firefighter in 2004's Ladder 49, while his Johnny Cash T-shirt got fans excited for his portrayal of the country icon in 2005's Walk The Line.

mtv trl with john travolta and joaquin phoenix
Evan Agostini - Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon (2006)

Speaking of Walk the Line, Witherspoon shows off her Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter in the biopic—a few years after her Legally Blonde fame.

the 78th annual academy awards press room
J. Vespa - Getty Images

Ryan Gosling (2010)

Gosling poses at the Cannes Film Festival ahead of the premiere of Blue Valentine. The film marked his return to acting following a three-year break after his Oscar-nominated performance in Half Nelson.

63rd annual cannes film festival blue valentine photo call
Toni Anne Barson Archive - Getty Images

Laura Dern (1997)

The actress sports a gold ensemble at a charity gala to raise money for AIDS research, hosted by Tom Ford. In 1997, Dern guest starred on an episode of Ellen as a lesbian who helped DeGeneres's character come out. Although she was nominated for an Emmy for her appearance, she later revealed that she faced intense backlash that set back her career for playing a lesbian on screen.

laura dern
Vinnie Zuffante - Getty Images

Jerry Seinfeld (1984)

The comedian performs a stand-up set on The Johnny Carson Show. He made his first appearance on the show in 1981 and was frequently invited back over the next several years. Four years later, his namesake comedy, Seinfeld, would premiere on NBC.

a man

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (2002)

The Rock delivers a smirk on the orange carpet at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards. The early 2000s marked a period of change for the former pro wrestler, as he transitioned from the WWE to traditional acting roles.

nickelodeon's 15th annual kids choice awards arrivals
Steve Granitz - Getty Images

Kate Winslet (2005)

Winslet beams on the red carpet at the Oscars, where she was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. (Her her fourth Academy Award nomination by 30! And yes, one was for Titanic.)

77th annual academy awards arrivals
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Idris Elba (2002)

Elba attends the fourth season premiere of The Sopranos at Radio City Music Hall. While the mafia drama has gone down in history as one of HBO's best shows of all time, the actor was making a name for himself on another one of the network's acclaimed series: The Wire.

the sopranos 4th season premiere
Jim Spellman - Getty Images

Woody Harrelson (1991)

Harrelson attends an entertainment industry conference held at the University of California in 1991. In the early 1990s, he was best known for the role of Cheers bartender Woody Boyd. He joined the cast in the show's fourth season, stayed until the show ended in 1993, and later reprised the role of Woody on Frasier.

3rd annual entertainment industry eco conference
Ron Galella - Getty Images

Christian Bale (2004)

Bale celebrates the Sundance premiere of his movie The Machinist at the festival in Park City, Utah. To take on the part of a chronic insomniac, the actor lost over 60 pounds and socially isolated himself from family and friends.

the machinist premiere at sundance film festival
Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

James Spader (1990)

In 1990, Spader, posing here for a photo shoot in Los Angeles, was fresh off of an acclaimed performance in Sex, Lies, and Videotape, which earned him the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The role was a departure from the teen films and comedies Spader starred in during the 1980s.

james spader
Donaldson Collection - Getty Images

Jay-Z (1999)

The musician wears a T-shirt from his Rocawear clothing line at the premiere of the movie Brokedown Palace. That year, he released his fourth studio album, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter–and around the same time, he met his now-wife, Beyoncé.

screening of brokedown palace
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Ali McGraw (1969)

McGraw poses on a bench in Central Park during an interview. Love Story, her most iconic film that earned her an Oscar nomination, would premiere the next year.

portraits of ali macgraw
WWD - Getty Images

Bill Murray (1981)

Murray poses by the ocean during a Rolling Stone photo shoot. In 1980, the comedian left his post as the "Weekend Update" anchor on Saturday Night Live to star in a string of comedies, including Caddyshack and Stripes.

portrait of bill murray
Andrea Blanch - Getty Images

David Bowie (1977)

The "Starman" singer was spotted in a pared-down look while filming the movie Just a Gigolo. In 1977, while living in Berlin, Bowie released two albums: Heroes and Low. He later referred to those albums, as well as 1979's Lodger, as his "Berlin Trilogy."

just a gigolo
Alain Dejean - Getty Images

Pharrell Williams (2003)

Williams wears a personalized letterman jacket while out and about in New York City. (In 2005, Esquire named him "Best Dressed Man in the World.") In 2003, the singer—then, part of the group N.E.R.D.—released his first solo single "Frontin'."

pharrell williams of nerd sighting in new york ctiy
James Devaney - Getty Images

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1991)

Dreyfus smiles in character as Elaine Benes in a promotional photo celebrating season 2 of Seinfeld. Her character, which was written into the show after the first episode, "didn't always have a lot to do," Louis-Dreyfus told the Daily Beast—so she advocated for more storylines.

NBC - Getty Images

John Mayer (2007)

In 2007, the singer took home two Grammys for his song "Waiting on the World to Change." That same year, Mayer wrote several columns for Esquire.

winner john mayer at grammy awards
Bob Riha Jr - Getty Images

Tiger Woods (2005)

Woods, wearing his signature Sunday red shirt, celebrates his Masters win in Augusta, Georgia. The golfer ultimately won six PGA Tour events that year.

tiger woods of the us celebrates winning
JEFF HAYNES - Getty Images

Josh Brolin (1998)

After hitting it big as a child star with roles in classic films like The Goonies, Brolin stepped back from acting and even briefly considered quitting to become a full-time stockbroker after claiming he made more money day trading than acting. By 2007, though, he was back to acting with acclaimed roles in No Country For Old Men and Milk.

primary colors universal city premiere
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Diane Lane (1995)

Lane walks the red carpet at a party celebrating the reopening of the Beverly Hills Hotel. In 1995, she starred in Judge Dredd, Wild Bill, and A Streetcar Named Desire.

los angeles reopening of 'beverly hills hotel'
Frank Trapper - Getty Images

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