Fortysomething Moms

Kelly Preston is pregnant with her third child at 47. From Nicole Kidman to Susan Sarandon to Halle Berry, VIEW OUR GALLERY of women who gave birth in their fifth decade.

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Uma Thurman

Add Uma Thurman to the list of reasons that 40 is the new 30. It was revealed Monday that the 41-year-old actress will have her third child and first with financier Arpad Busson, who she has been with since 2007. Thurman has two kids—a daughter, Maya, 13 and a son, Levon, 10—both of whom she had with ex-hubby Ethan Hawke. Busson, 49, and Thurman split briefly in 2009 but have been together ever since. The Kill Bill star is set to appear in a five-episode arc on the new NBC show, Smash, the first airing next Monday, March 5.

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Carla Bruni

Félicitations! French first lady Carla Bruni has confirmed that she is expecting a child with her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy. Bruni made the announcement in an interview with the French newspaper Nice-Matin, though her father leaked the news two months ago. She couldn’t hide her burgeoning baby bump any longer, but she is still keeping mum on a due date, as well as the baby’s gender. “That, I don’t even know myself. There are certain things which one should keep secret,” she said. Bruni, 43, has a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship, and Sarkozy has three boys from two previous marriages.

Denis Farrell

Kelly Preston

When Kelly Preston, 47, and hubby John Travolta learned that their third child was on the way, they considered it a miracle: "We tried for several years, and we didn't think it was going to happen for us," the pair told People magazine. Preston debuted her baby bump while in South Africa in June 2010, donning a colorful maxi dress during a visit to Nelson Mandela Children's Fund headquarters in Johannesburg. Rumors circulated that the couple was intent on conceiving so that they might replace their son Jett, who died at age 16 in 2009, but a family friend insisted that the Travolta’s "always wanted to have more kids" and that replacing Jett was impossible.

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Celine Dion

Celine Dion had twins at the age of 42. But a growing brood is nothing new to the singer—Dion comes from a family of 14 children. To get pregnant, the singer and her husband, 68-year-old René Angélil tried five unsuccessful in vitro attempts and acupuncture treatment.

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Halle Berry

At 41, Halle Berry and her 32-year-old boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry, became pregnant with their first child. The Academy Award-winning actress loved the feeling so much, she said she wanted “to stay pregnant forever.” But Berry eventually gave birth to the irrepressibly cute Nahla Ariela Aubry in March 2008.

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Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek gave birth to her first child, Valentina Paloma Pinault, in September 2007, when she was 41. The father is Francois-Henri Pinault, the wealthy French businessman whom she married in April 2009. “Motherhood is not for everyone,” she told Marie Claire. “It is for me, but there’s no reason women should feel rushed to have a child.”

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Brooke Shields

After two years of IVF, Brooke Shields gave birth at age 41. The pregnancy was healthy and uneventful, but it wasn’t until after she gave birth to her daughter, Rowan, when things became complicated. Shields suffered serious post-partum depression, and wrote a book, Down Came the Rain, about her experience. “This is a subject that is too often pushed aside or rationalized away,” she said of PPD. “So many are affected, and still there is such a taboo surrounding it that many suffer in silence. I wanted to take the mute button off.”

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Jane Seymour

At the age of 45, actress Jane Seymour gave birth to twins, Johnny and Kris, named after family friends Johnny Cash and Christopher Reeve. In 2001, she authored Two at a Time: Having Twins–The Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth, in which she wrote: “There is a kind of myth or misunderstanding about those of us who are considered ‘older’ mothers… At the end of the day, whether you count yourself as a younger mom or an older mom, I believe it's the wisdom you bring to your pregnancy and the willingness to make healthy decisions for yourself and your babies that make all the difference.” Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman would no doubt approve.

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Emma Thompson

Last Chance Harvey’s Emma Thompson was 40 when she gave birth to her daughter, Gaia, using in-vitro fertilization in 1999. But age didn’t stop her from trying again—though Thompson suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome, she underwent intensive IVF treatments to get pregnant. After giving up at age 44, Thompson announced her disappointment. “I would have desperately liked to have more children and it’s been a great agony for me,” she said. Said her partner, Greg Wise: “It’s a brute, IVF. It depends on the age of the woman. Your eggs get old. I’m completely in love with the idea of fatherhood but as for more children we’ll have to see what happens. We’re just very lucky to have Gaia.”

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Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon was once told she couldn’t have children—but, as the eldest of nine herself, that didn’t stop her from trying. Sarandon, who plays a grandmother in this winter’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones, gave birth to her first child, Eva, at age 39, with the Italian director Franco Amurri. And at 42, she gave birth to Jack, a son by actor Tim Robbins, and another, Henry, when she was 45. Raising children later in life has its perks—last year, at the age of 64, Sarandon announced that she has been able to forego Botox because “I think it’s mostly my kids who keep me young.”

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When Madonna decided she wanted to be a mother, she went the typical route—and joked about publishing an advertisement with her request. The ad never made it to the papers, but she did find Carlos Leon, a personal trainer, suitable for “the fatherhood gig,” and insists that he wasn’t just used as “stud service.” In 1996, Madonna gave birth to her first child, Lourdes, at the age of 38. In 2000, a 41-year-old Madonna gave birth to a son, Rocco, with then-husband, director Guy Ritchie. When she announced that she was expecting, Madonna joked that she might as well call her son Baby Jesus. In recent years, Madonna has turned to adoption, welcoming David and Mercy, two children from Malawi, into her family.

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At the age of 44, Iman and David Bowie used an “African fertility custom” to become pregnant. “In Africa, there’s a tradition that when a woman wants to conceive and is having a hard time, she should hold another woman’s baby.” So the Somali supermodel and Bowie “borrowed” Christie Brinkley’s child for a day. And apparently it worked: Iman gave birth to Alexandria Zahra “Lexie” Jones in 2000. She also has a daughter, Zulekha Haywood, born in 1978, with her first husband, former NBA star Spencer Haywood. But in 2005, she and Bowie expressed sadness that they couldn’t have any more children. “It was a miracle that I had my youngest, so I have to count my blessings and let it go,” Iman said.

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Beverly D'Angelo

Beverly D'Angelo became involved with Al Pacino in 1996, and lived with him until 2003. At the age of 49, in 2001, D'Angelo and Pacino had twins, Olivia and Anton. D'Angelo reportedly told Pacino’s father, Sal, “It’s all your fault!” when she learned she was having twins, since Al’s half-sisters are twins. According to Pacino’s stepmother, “Al has been wanting a son for so long.” Though they split in 2003, the couple shares custody of the children.

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Jane Kaczmarek

It wasn’t hard for Jane Kaczmarek to play a mother of five on Malcolm in the Middle. Off-screen, she gave birth to three children: Frances, at age 41, George, at 43, and Mary Louisa, at 46, with former West Wing actor Bradley Whitford. When Kaczmerak became pregnant with her youngest, producers wrote it into the show as her fifth child.

Holly Hunter

Actress Holly Hunter had twins in 2006 at the age of 47 with her partner, Gordon MacDonald. She’s one of seven children herself, but says she doesn’t discuss her children with the media.


Marcia Cross

She’s a Desperate Housewife on television, but in real life, Marcia Cross has plenty to keep her busy at home. In 2007, she became a mother of twin daughters, Eden and Savannah, at the age of 44. Though she had a problem-free pregnancy, Cross told People magazine that having babies later in life was “like a miracle...I didn’t believe it would happen.”

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Nicole Kidman

She adopted two children with Tom Cruise—and had a miscarriage shortly after they were married in 1990—but Nicole Kidman gave birth for the first time, to Sunday Rose, at the age of 40 in July 2008. She has said of her relationship with her daughter with Keith Urban: “At 41, it’s more of a painful love. I look at that little girl, and I’m like, 'Oh, no, what’s going to happen?' It’s almost like my heart is stretching; I’m feeling all the muscles stretch with emotion.”

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Marcia Gay Harden

Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden gave birth to twins, Julitta Dee and Hudson Harden, at the age of 44 in 2004. But she jumped right back into acting after delivering, and says that leaving the twins at home really is double trouble. “I come home and I open the door, and there they are, and they need me, and want me, and ‘Mommy, Mommy,’ and I just pick right back up in the flurry of home life,” she has said.

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Elizabeth Edwards

Two years after Elizabeth and John Edwards lost their 16-year-old son, Wade, in a car accident, they decided to try for more children. After fertility treatments and taking “hormone shots,” she gave birth to Emma Claire in 1996—when she was 48—and Jack in 2000 when she was 50, and her eldest daughter, Cate, was already 18. According to Slate, “it’s likely she used donor eggs.”

She died of breast cancer in December 2010.

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Geena Davis

Five years ago, the woman who once played the president of the United States on TV took on a similarly daunting task—giving birth to twins at the age of 47. The Oscar-winning actress and her 15 years younger surgeon husband gave birth to twin boys Kian William and Kaiis Steven in 2004.