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Peaking at midlife

Over the hill at 40? Not so for these celebrities, who are finding new life at midlife.

Julianne Moore, 50, stars in the Oscar-nominated "The Kids Are All Right." She and Annette Bening played a lesbian couple whose lives are thrown into chaos when they meet the man who donated sperm to create their children. Bening was nominated for an Oscar, and many feel Moore should have been. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
Robert Downey Jr., 45, is proof that Hollywood always loves a comeback. After years of drug troubles, he's cleaned up and wowing audiences as "Iron Man" and "Sherlock Holmes" in those popular movie series. Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images
Some call Oprah Winfrey, 57, the most influential woman in the world, yet she was born into poverty. Her uber-successful talk show wasn't enough for Winfrey -- in 2011, she started her own television network, OWN. Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Talk-show hosts Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart really earned fame in their 40s when they began hosting "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show." Colbert is 46, Stewart 48. Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Pierce Brosnan is 57, but he still looks like he could smash a supervillain and court a Bond babe as Special Agent 007. Brosnan gave up the Bond role in 2002, but he's still a busy actor. He starred in four films in 2010.
The doctor is in. At 51, Hugh Laurie is the highest-paid actor in a television drama for his starring role as a cranky but brilliant doctor in "House." Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Fox
Spanish actor Javier Bardem, 41, won women's hearts as Julia Roberts' boyfriend in 2010's "Eat Pray Love," and then was nominated for an Oscar for 2010's "Biuitiful." Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images
Is that the face of a 44-year-old? Halle Berry is struggling with custody issues in 2011, but her career never seems to struggle. She's one of Hollywood's most highly paid actresses, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for 2010's "Frankie and Alice." Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
Suddenly, 61-year-old Jeff Bridges is everywhere. In 2010, he starred in "Tron Legacy," the sequel to the 1982 original, as well as "True Grit," the Coen brothers' remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic. Bridges, who won the best actor Oscar in 2010 for "Crazy Heart," is nominated again for "True Grit." Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
You may not want him as your boss -- 48-year-old Steve Carell plays a manager from hell on "The Office," although he's about to leave that show. But you may envy his bank balance -- he starred in three major films in 2010, "Dinner for Schmucks," "Date Night" and "Despicable Me," for which he provided the voice of a loopy animated villain. Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
George Clooney turns 50 in May 2011, and just keeps getting better with age. In addition to roles in "The American," "Up in the Air" and other films, he's known for his humanitarian work. He's also pretty easy on the eyes. Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
Sometimes you don't know who your friends are until you need them. When a shakeup at NBC put Conan O'Brien out of a job, fans calling themselves "Team Coco" mobilized to support the 47-year-old comedian and talk-show host. He quickly landed on his feet with a new TBS show, "Conan." Jason Merritt / Getty Images
He's the kind of doctor who makes you want to get sick. Patrick Dempsey, 45, is the hearthrob brain surgeon of "Grey's Anatomy," but still finds time for a movie career and his hobby of racing cars. Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images
Jennifer Aniston said in an interview that being over 40 felt "weird," but the 42-year-old doesn't show any signs of slowing down. She's established herself as a romantic-comedy lead in the movies since her iconic sitcom, "Friends," ended in 2004. Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images
Johnny Depp, 47, proudly marches to the beat of a different drummer. In recent years, the star who got his start on "21 Jump Street" has proved he can take any role, like The Mad Hatter in 2010's "Alice in Wonderland," and make it his own. Kevin Winter / Getty Images
At 40, Tina Fey seems to have it all. A happy marriage and daughter; starring role in her own show, "30 Rock"; and the respect of her peers and fans. In 2010, she was the youngest-ever winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. And she can see Russia from her house. Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images
It's good to be King. Colin Firth, 50, is the overwhelming favorite to win the best actor Oscar for his role as King George VI in "The King's Speech." He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. Dave Hogan / Getty Images
Arianna Huffington, 60, is charging ahead in new media as the co-founder of the Huffington Post news site. In 2011, AOL announced it would acquire the site for $315 million. Jason Merritt / Getty Images
At 41, Jay-Z is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists in the U.S. He's also an entrepreneur, has his own clothing line, and is part owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Peter Kramer / AP Photo/Peter Kramer
It would seem that, at 41, Jennifer Lopez couldn't get any more high-profile. But then the singer joined the judging panel of "American Idol," sitting next to Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, and suddenly she was everywhere again. Jason Merritt / Getty Images
She's 43, and she's on an Australian postage stamp. Nicole Kidman didn't let her 2001 divorce from Tom Cruise keep her out of the spotlight. She's now married to country star Keith Urban, has two daughters with him in addition to her two children with Cruise, and is up for the best actress Oscar for "Rabbit Hole." Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Is 50 too late to burst on to the scene? Not if you're Melissa Leo, who received her first Oscar nomination in 2009 for "Frozen River" and her second in 2011 for "The Fighter." Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Brad Pitt, 47, could make the front page by changing the type of cereal he eats. He and partner Angelina Jolie and their six children are constantly in the news, and parenting hasn't slowed down their movie careers. In 2011, Pitt will star in "The Tree of Life" and "Moneyball." Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama won't be 49 until August, but some say a little gray is sneaking into those presidential temples. Doesn't matter to wife Michelle, 47, who works with military families and is leading the fight against childhood obesity. Philippe Wojazer / AFP/Getty Images