She was Steve McQueen’s leading lady in the hit film Bullitt, starred alongside Dean Martin and Burt Lancaster in Airport and had a recurring guest role on Nip/Tuck. We asked this 67-year-old timeless beauty her secrets to aging gracefully in a career that’s spanned five decades.
Q: Has your view on beauty changed over the years? What would you tell young people today?
A: I am able to see how beautiful most young people are, how sweet and charming, and how they don’t know it. Of course, you never know till it’s all gone out the window. They tug at their dresses and complain about their legs and their ankles and their arms and their feet and their chin, and they don’t realize how lovely they are. I was the same… I had no sense of myself at all. And I often still don’t. So my thought is, Oh my God, please enjoy your youth, enjoy it while you can do it. Wear those nutty clothes if you want to and show those legs.
Q: Do you live by any beauty rituals?
A: Because I have very delicate skin, I try to leave my face alone. I touch it as little as possible. I’ve had maybe two facials in my life. I don’t use a lot of products. At the moment I’m using the Avon Platinum Anew products, the serum, which is wonderful, and the night cream. [Jacqueline became the spokesperson for the line in 2010.]
Q: So what is the key to aging well?
A: I don’t know if there is any secret. I think you’ve got to try to have an intelligent life from the beginning. You have to base your life on things other than just your looks, and be interested in people more than just as outer beings. That’s the key. Otherwise you’re going to get a terrible shock. If you don’t have anything inside you, you’re going to be pretty sad. And you can fiddle around with plastic surgery up to a point, but it’s not going to make you look young, you’re just going to look different. You’ve got to build interior content.
Q: Is that advice someone gave you, or have you learned this through experience?
A: Well, I learned it, but I certainly heard it from my father. He said, “You know your looks have nothing to do with you. You got them from your mother and me, and they’ll take you so far, but the thing you have to do in life is be interested in other people. You will always have friends if you’re interested in other people.” And I think that’s true.