Actress Helen Mirren has aged beautifully. Picture: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Cape Town - In show business, where lights, cameras and action are the watchwords, actors and actresses need to put their best foot forward.

This does not necessarily mean they need to look young. In fact, some have known to get better (in talent and looks) with age.

Here are 8 women in showbiz who have aged gracefully under the spotlight and have played - and are still playing - tremendous roles.

Helen Mirren in a screengrab from 'Cousin Bette' (1971). On the right Mirren is pictured attending the Monte Carlo TV Awards in June 2017. Picture: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Helen Mirren started acting in 1967 at the Royal Shakespeare company. It was here she played a variety of characters with their own set of challenges.

In 1994, she made it to the Broadway stage where she played Natalya Petrovna in Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country. 

Fast forward to post-2000, she has acted in feature films such as 'Calendar Girls', 'National Treasure: Book of Secrets', 'Hitchcock' and 'RED 2'.

Jane Fonda is pictured in Vietnam in 1972. Picture: Nihon Denpa News/AP On the right the actress attends a function in Germany in March 2017. Picture: Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters

Jane Fonda stopped being known as 'Henry Fonda and Frances Ford Seymour's daughter' when her Broadway career was kickstarted with the 1960 play 'There Was a Little Girl'. 

Fonda was a visible political activist during the Vietnam War and also became an advocate for women's issues. 

In 1971 and 1978, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and she was also a two-time Bafta Award winner. 

In 2014, Fonda was the recipient of the American Film Institute AFI Life Achievement Award.

Like good wine, South African entertainer Mara Louw has definitely aged well. The picture on the left was taken about a decade ago.

Mara Louw is not only a phenomenal actress but also an iconic singer who is making South Africa proud.

Earlier this year, she launched her tell-all book 'It's Me, Mara: An Autobiography' in which she revealed shocking family secrets.

Mara was involved in a number of major productions during apartheid.

She also had leading roles in musicals such as Sikhalo, Meropa - which toured Japan in the 1970s, King Kong, Babe Come Duze and Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.

Susan Sarandon in a screengrab from 'Atlantic City' (1980), left, and at a screening in Los Angeles in April 2017. Picture: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

It is hard to believe that Susan Sarandon is 70 years old. 

Unlike Mirren and Fonda, she made her acting debut as a film actor in the 1970 film 'Joe'. Five years later, she starred in the cult film, 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.

She has made strides in television shows, Broadway and feature films.

She has been very vocal about her support of progressive and liberal political causes and in 1999, she was appointed Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. 

Dame Judi Dench in a screengrab from 'Morecambe & Wise' (1978) and (right) as M in the James Bond movie 'Skyfall' in 2012.

Dame Judi Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. She has played leading roles in numerous Shakespearean plays.

She has been nominated at the Oscars seven times and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love.

Judi has starred in numerous successful movies, yet her most notable role is as M in the James Bond franchise.

In the 1970 Birthday Honours, Dench was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Denise Newman in a scene from City Lovers (1982) and (right) during an interview with Independent Media in 2015. Picture: David Ritchie

Denise Newman has been an actress for more than three decades. 

The Cape Town entertainer has starred in a string of movies, TV series and stage productions, and has worked with some of the country's greatest writers and directors.

Apart from her local successes, Denise has also starred in a number of international movies, including 'The White Lioness', 'Disgrace' and 'The Waterbabies'.


Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in 'Whats Love Got To Do With It' (1995) and (right) at the Golden Globes Awards in January 2017.

After obtaining Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale, Angela Bassett started acting in film features in the mid-1980s.

Her succession of films from the '90s made her a household name.

She has earned countless award nominations for her movies such as 'The Score' in 2001, Akeelah and the Bee in 2006 and Jumping the Broom in 2011.

In 1998, she was awarded for her performances in 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back' in 1998 and 'Music of the Heart' in 1999 - among others.

Julie Andrews is seen in a screengrab from the 1965 classic 'Sound Of Music', and right, attending a gala in Los Angeles in 2015. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Actress Julie Andrews has collected awards over the years and has also published children's books.

She started as a child actress and rose to fame when she was played everyone's favourite nanny in 'Mary Poppins' in 1964. For this performance, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

A year later, she played Maria Von Trapp in 'The Sound of Music' and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.

She has collected several awards over the years and has also published children's books.