People Left Dumbfounded After Seeing What 39-Year-Old Man Looked Like In 1964


Richard Vernon made a brief cameo in 1964’s Goldfinger as Colonel Smithers alongside a 34-year-old James Bond, portrayed by the late Sean Connery. Interestingly, Smithers was only 39 in the shot from the movie, but people thought he looked way older than his age.

There have been frequent debates about people from the past looking older than their age, including former U.S. president George W. Bush, who appeared to be bald at 23 in an old photo. “This is nonsense but did people in the past look older when they were younger?” former baseball pitcher Brandon McCarthy once asked.


Why does a 39-year-old man in 1964 look so much older?

GOLDFINGER, from left: Richard Vernon, Sean Connery, 1964

A good explanation for why teens from decades ago looked more mature could be style. A photo of a lady in her forties features her wearing a hairstyle associated with the elderly today. Hairstylist Gwenda Harmon pointed out how hairdos in the past were aimed at boosting sophistication and contributing to the illusion of advanced age.


RELATED: Celebrities Age 90 And Older Prove Age Is Just A Number

Environmental and biological factors played a role as well since cigarette smoking was popular between the ‘50s and ‘70s. This habit led to premature aging, wrinkling, discoloration, and poor skin health in general. Over time, smoking rates have reportedly dropped thanks to controls and public health initiatives.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Advancements in skincare formulas and the more popular use of sunscreen and anti-aging products have helped improve skin health, leading to a more youthful-looking appearance. Also, teenagers and young adults nowadays hardly aim to appear older with outfits and hairstyles.

Photo by Cheyenne Doig on Unsplash

Lifestyle adjustments such as shifts from bad smoking habits, and physically laborious work to regular exercises and sedentary work have also contributed to the change in appearance of young people today. People in their 20s and 30s have also become more diet-conscious, adopting Mediterranean or vegetarian eating and “going green” with healthy smoothies to take care of their bodies from the inside out.

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