There's been plenty of talk about ageism in Hollywood, but to say that television is devoid of older characters would be a lie.
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Television is rich with characters "of a certain age" who provide countless hours of entertainment. Whether these characters are true to life is a conversation for another day, but in their television world, they embrace who they are, no questions asked.
Some are comfortable and living the life of their dreams, others have chucked it all in search of new adventures. Some are sassy and sweet, other serious and over-the-top, but all of them have one thing in common: They all own their age!
Desna Simms - Claws
Desna is a woman who holds her own. Full of sass and swagger, she doesn't let anything get in her way. Sure, she's gotten herself into a terrible mess and no longer owns a nail salon, but that's just a blip on the screen for her on her journey to embrace life and squeeze it to the fullest.
Jay Pritchett - Modern Family
Jay uses his experience and knowledge as a guiding force not only for his kids but for his younger wife, Gloria as well. There have been times where the age difference between him and Gloria has concerned him, but those moments quickly pass. He's comfortable with who he is and where he's at in life -- and he's not afraid to show it, even exploit it at times.
Abby Clark - 9-1-1
What we love about Abby was that she wasn't afraid to take the bull by the horns when she decided to give it a whirl with a much younger man. She was a bit self-conscious at first, but she ended up not letting her age get in the way of fully enjoying her time with Buck. After her mother died, she realized there were many things she wanted to do that she never got around to, and she didn't let her new romance get in the way of following those dreams. It's not that she didn't care for Buck, she just decided that she needed to put herself first for once.
Cookie Lyon - Empire
If we could choose to be any other woman for a day, we'd probably choose Cookie. She has tons of spunk, isn't afraid to say exactly what's on her mind, and has a fabulous sense of style. Yes, she's over the top most of the time, but who wouldn't be after the kind of life she's led?
Bonnie Nolan - American Woman
Bonnie's world came crashing down when she found her husband cheating with a younger woman, but it also opened her eyes big time. She realized she spent too much time trying to make others happy while stifling her own ambitions. And while the road hasn't been easy, she was able to start showing the world exactly what kind of woman Bonnie Nolan really is.
Elizabeth McCord - Madam Secretary
Elizabeth McCord has never tried to be someone she wasn't, even when people tried to push her to be different or upgrade her personality -- or wardrobe. She's comfortable with who she is, and while she's learned a lot along the way, she's always remained true to herself.
Selina Meyer - Veep
She was Vice President, then President, and now an ordinary citizen, but Selina Meyer worked her way to the top and worked hard at it. Even though she had many hurdles to jump through and was basically ignored by her male counterparts, she never gave up.
Jacqueline Carlyle - The Bold Type
Jacqueline is like a mother to the ladies of The Bold Type. She's strong and confident and is able to balance a demanding career and family. She never hesitates to lend an ear or offer some sage words of advice to her employees. She's not quick to judge because she understands what it's like to be in their shoes, and she wants them to succeed not only in their careers but in their personal lives as well.
Diane Lockhart - The Good Fight
Tough as nails yet chic with perfect hair and a perfect sense of style, Diane Lockhart is a classic. She takes her career seriously, yet she makes time to have fun. And while the world goes crazy around her, she maintains her composure coming up with ideal solutions for whatever problems might arise.
Cathy Bradshaw - Mum
Losing a spouse is one of the hardest things a person can face, but Cathy Bradshaw has survived. She showed us the difficulties of rebuilding a life while dealing with grief and how to move on with dignity and grace. She doesn't aspire to be anything than what she is because that's what makes her happy, and she's excellent at what she does. We can't help but love her for it.
Catherine Cawood - Happy Valley
Despite all the chaos around her, Catherine Cawood keeps it together with a wicked sense of humor and a realistic outlook on life. Balancing the demands of work, home, and a burgeoning romance, she's tough as nails and doesn't let anything stand in her way.
Olivia Benson - Law & Order: SVU
One of the strongest women on television, Olivia Benson is a no-nonsense lieutenant dedicated to bringing justice to victims of sexual abuse. As a survivor herself, she accepts whatever challenges she may face with strength and skill and is an expert at balancing her stressful career with raising a young child.
Abby McCarthy - Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce
It wasn't always easy for Abby to find the right path to redefine herself. As a sexy divorced woman in her 40s, she faced many challenges, but with the support of her friends, she survived and was able to move forward to live a life that eventually made her happy.
Linda, Sue & Gail - Girlfriends
These three ladies face all sorts of challenges as they glide through middle age, but they've come to the conclusion that after all they've gone through and are going through, it's okay to have a little fun and embrace who they are.
Grace & Frankie - Grace and Frankie
These two ladies' lives were turned upside down when their respective husbands announced they were in love and were getting married. The idea of having to rebuild your life when you thought you'd be growing old with the man you married is a tough pill to swallow, but Grace and Frankie took on the challenge, becoming friends and finding a way to get through it together.
Lenny Belardo - The Young Pope
If Cookie Lyon is the woman we'd all like to be, then Lenny Belardo, aka The Young Pope, is the guy we all aspire to be. He is self-assured, maybe bordering on cocky, but he stands for what he believes and doesn't let anyone get in his way, even if his ideas are outdated and confusing for a Pope his age.
Annalise Keating - How to Get Away with Murder
Annalise is not perfect by any means, but she accepts who and what she is even if it took her some time to come to grips with certain aspects of her life. She's confident and poised, at times insecure and intense, but she's as real as they come.
Jesse Sallander - Code Black
With years of experience, Jesse is who he is, and if someone doesn't like it, it's no skin off his nose. He has no problems dishing out doses of reality to those who need it, but he's a good friend, a patient listener, and an even better teacher.
Bonnie Plunkett - Mom
Bonnie Plunkett doesn't hide from her faults. She knows the mistakes she's made and has worked to wrong her rights, at least where her daughter is concerned. She's not afraid to show who she really is, even when it doesn't put her in the best light. Yet, she's true to herself, and we're good with that.
John Nolan - The Rookie
We don't know much about John Nolan yet, but anyone who is willing to switch careers in midlife to follow a dream is someone worth watching. Who cares if he's the oldest rookie on the force? His years of life experience will prepare him for any challenges he may face. If you're determined, you can do it, no matter your age.
Diana Trout - Younger
Unapologetic and fierce, Diana Trout knows her place in the world and makes sure everyone around her knows it, too. Despite being tough as nails, she's shown a vulnerable side that's all too real swallowing her fear of being alone to make strides in the romance department.
Red - Orange is the New Black
Living life in prison isn't what dreams are made of, but Red has made her life there comfortable for herself and those she's taken under her wing. She was always strong even before she arrived at Litchfield, and despite her circumstances, she hasn't lost the identity she had while still on the outside.
Sharon Raydor - Major Crimes
Although she was serious as hell, Sharon Raydor, was an admirable woman who excelled at everything she did. She was the epitome of grace under pressure handling all challenges thrown her way whether it had to do with taking care of Rusty or a case she was working on. She proved that a woman can do anything at any age and still maintain her sense of self.