They're some of the most glamorous women to ever grace the small screen. Now, Teri Hatcher, Cybill Shepherd and Linda Evans are joining Oprah to share what they know for sure about aging—that true beauty comes with knowing who you really are.
Before playing the gorgeous girl next door on ABC's Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher turned heads as the sexy Lois Lane on the early 1990s television series Lois and Clark. In 1993, a photograph of Teri wearing nothing but Superman's cape set the Web on fire, making her the most downloaded woman of the year.
From there, Teri went on to play a sultry Bond girl and was featured in People magazine's most beautiful people issue. She was also featured on Maxim magazine's list of the hottest women in the world.
In August 2010, Teri found herself the center of another online frenzy—this time wearing nothing but a towel.
Teri says she took a hot bath after a day of photo shoots and wrapped herself in a warm towel. With wet hair and a face free of makeup, Teri shot photos of herself and posted them on Facebook to start a discussion about what beauty is. "I just sort of thought, like: 'Is [a photo shoot] the truth? Is this the truth?'" she says. "What are we [as women] telling each other? What are we trying to be?'"
Overnight, the pictures of the faces Teri made to accentuate her wrinkles were plastered across social media sites and news channels. "I had no kind of premeditated goal of it becoming this giant thing," she says. "In hindsight, I feel like clearly there's a conversation that needs to be had."
Teri says her photos weren't meant to send an anti-Botox message. Instead, she says they're commentary on the anti-aging messages bombarding women in the media. "We're writing all these books about how to live to be 100," she says. "Are we going to be 100 because we can live to be 100 and still look 30?"
Teri is injection-free today, but says she has used Botox in the past. "I haven't done it in I don't know how long, but quite a while," she says. "I can make all the fabulous facial features that anyone would want to see."
In fact, Teri hasn't had any injections since she returned to work after taking time off to raise her daughter. "For me, I was, like, 'I look so tired,'" she says."So I got Botox."
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Teri says her Facebook photos have left her feeling more liberated than ever. "You feel like: 'Isn't that the person you want to be loved? That's the friend ... that's the partner I want to be in a relationship. That's the mom I want to be,'" she says. "Really, that's what's important."
While Teri says beauty has its place in life, it's not everything. "Listen, I love looking at all the glamorous pictures. That's fun too," she says. "I think if we can accept the truth behind it and reveal the mystery, then we can enjoy both things."
Courtesy of Cybill Shepherd
From a young age, Cybill Shepherd's golden girl looks started opening doors. At 16, she was crowned Miss Teenage Memphis and began pursuing a modeling career. At 18, she won the title "Model of the Year." Almost instantly, Cybill became the "it" girl of the late 1960s. She bounced onto TV sets as a Breck model and then as a fresh-faced spokesmodel for CoverGirl.
By 1970, Hollywood was calling. Her breakthrough role as Jacy in The Last Picture Show led to work as the tempting coed in The Heartbreak Kid and Robert DeNiro's obsession in Taxi Driver.
In her 30s, Cybill landed her signature role as Maddie, a former model-turned-private-eye on the smash TV series Moonlighting.
At 40, Cybill symbolized a gorgeous, confident woman in L'Oreal commercials. Despite her continuing work onscreen, Cybill says she secretly agonized as the beauty she was known for was fading.
Cybill says her beauty opened many doors, but it also held her back. "When I was 18 years old, I got on an airplane and I flew from Memphis, Tennessee, to New York City," she says. "I skipped all of these kinds of developmental things along the way. I didn't ever learn how to balance my checkbook. I never had a chance to live away from home the first year, go to college and have that interim place. All of a sudden I was thrown into this world-famous responsibility. I knew I had to be successful."
Because of that drive to succeed, Cybill says she never learned see herself for who she was. "I put on this false sense that I was the most beautiful, the most sexy and the most intelligent woman in the world," she says. "When I looked at that camera, that's what I projected."
At home, Cybill says it was a different story. "When I was on seven covers of Glamour magazine and I'd walk by all those newsstands every month and see my picture, I would go home and look in the bathroom [mirror] and go: 'How did this happen to me? Why don't I look like that cover?'" she says. "I had this wonderful success. At the same time, that retouched image is a lie."
As Cybill's career continued, she says she was constantly afraid of becoming disposable. "I had a great fear as grew older that I would not be valued anymore," she says. "That I would be like a beautiful old shoe that was all wrinkled and nobody wanted to wear it anymore."
Because she couldn't stop the aging process, Cybill says she felt the need to act outrageously to stay relevant. "I felt if I'd come on a show I had to do something shocking and get attention. Somehow I'm a starved child that never got enough attention," she says. "It never makes up for your real value that you find at the core of your being."
Still, Cybill says the day she realized she no longer turned heads wasn't easy. "I remember distinctly the time walking across the street once with my two daughters, Ariel and Clementine, and noticing that the men were looking at them and not me," she says. "It was disturbing."
Throughout her 30s, Cybill thought her career would survive until she hit 40. "I believed that Marilyn Monroe had died when she was 40, and she looked so beautiful," she says. "It turns out she died when she was 36, so I'd already lived these four years where I was not supposed to still be looking okay."
When 40 finally arrived, Cybill says she fled the country but couldn't escape her age. Turning 50 was even worse, she says. "Fifty was really very traumatic, especially the early 50s," she says. "I stopped looking at myself in the mirror because I could see that I was aging."
Turning 60, however, was a turning point. "You decide what's really important in your life," she says.
Now that she's older, Cybill says her definition of real beauty has changed. "If we don't work to develop that depth and [have] more fun too—and really laughing and crying as much as possible—learning to love ourselves as we age is one of the most challenging things we can do," she says. "Look at everything and find something you can love about your body."
Linda Evans got her first taste of stardom as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed bombshell on the 1960s western Big Valley.
In 1981, the platinum blonde beauty cascaded down that famous Dynasty staircase and right into television history. Forty million viewers tuned in every Wednesday to follow Krystle Carrington's highs, lows and catfights.
Style-wise, Linda epitomized the 1980s lavish looks. With her blonde hair and designer gowns, women wanted to look like her and men wanted to date her. But behind all of her magazine covers, Linda says she didn't know how to live up to the illusion.
As a young girl, Linda says she never placed much value on her looks. "I never thought I was even pretty," she says.
Once she became an actress, Linda says MGM Studios turned her dishwater blonde hair into the platinum color that would become her signature. "All of a sudden, people thought I looked better," she says. "I thought, 'What's the big deal?'"
Though she enjoyed working in Hollywood, Linda says she never lost sight of herself. "What you look like has nothing to do with what you think about yourself, and that's where we get confused," she says. "The outside has nothing to do with the inside. And the thing that's so mysterious to me is everything we're basing our value on is outside of us."
In 1968, Linda married director John Derek. They divorced in 1974, after John left Linda for model Bo Derek, who was a teenager at the time.
Linda says this was the time of her life when her looks concerned her most. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, I'm 28 and I'm not even enough,'" she says. "That happening to me took me back because I knew I could rely on nothing. Nothing outside of me was going to work if I'm 28 and I'm being left for a 15-year-old."
In 1981, Linda catapulted to fame with Dynasty. "It was an incredible ride," she says. "It was as if I suddenly knew everyone in the world. Wherever I went, I knew people. It was exciting."
Still, Linda says she felt tremendous pressure living in the public eye. "Even though it was a blessing to have Dynasty, you have absolutely no privacy. And I think [there's] also a sense of feeling like you had to live up to somebody's expectation," she says. "I knew I couldn't live up to what everyone was seeing."
Linda says she finally found peace at her 70-acre rural retreat in Washington State. "The whole purpose of me coming up here was because I understood that so much of my life was outside of me," she says. "I replaced the husbands with my career, and then still it was: 'You're only as good as your ratings. You're only as good as your this or that.' It just seemed like there had to be more to life than all that."
Linda says she finally learned the true meaning of beauty in her 50s. "In a way, you're forced to give up the game," she says. "Anything that is outside of you, you can't control. But you can control inside of you."
Still, Linda says she decided to have plastic surgery at 50 because she wanted to, not because she had to. "I was madly in love with a man 12 years younger than me [New Age musician Yanni]," she says. "I wanted to still look good because I was with him."
Linda says she doesn't regret her surgery. "I wanted to look a certain way so I could feel better about that 12-year difference," she says. "And it worked."
Surgery or not, Linda says every woman should strive to love what they see in the mirror. "The great thing about aging is you do get wiser and you do get more certain in yourself of what you are and what you want," she says. "Loving yourself doesn't mean having a massage or getting your hair done. It means truly knowing your values."