Cool Old Lady

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Not bad for a 197-year old blind lady, huh?


"What we have here, he told himself, is a Mk1 Feisty Old Lady: Turkey neck, embarrassing sense of humour, a gleeful pleasure in mild cruelty, direct ways of speaking that flirts with rudeness and, more importantly, also flirts with flirting. Likes to think she's no 'lady'. Game for anything that doesn't carry the risk of falling over and with a look in her eye that says 'I can do what I like, because I am old. And I have a soft spot for rascals.' Old ladies like that were hard to fool, but there was no need to."

Much like its Spear Counterpart the Cool Old Guy, the Cool Old Lady is a character, much older than the main cast, but for whatever reason they become deeply attached to her. She can be a "hip" grandma that rollerblades, bungee jumps, can speak the teenage slang without it coming across as Totally Radical, an Apron Matron who's gruff but caring, or a Cloudcuckoolander who is a joy to have around. Or she could be a kindly old lady who obviously led a very rich life (when she was younger, she bungee jumped, rode a motorcycle, knows the teenage slang of her era but doesn't dare try to incorporate it into her current speech) and regales the cast with saucy stories of her escapades. The fact that she's survived doing all that and lived to that age tells you that you should Never Mess with Granny.

If the grandma did all the cool stuff in the past, expect her to be low on the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality; on more dramatic shows, she will die by episode's/story arc's end. Often, she is helping all her new younger friends come to terms with their grief rather while being rather at peace with it herself because she "led a good life."

See also My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: For when Grandma is not so cool, and this fact is used to insult someone else by implying they are even worse.

Compare Mrs. Claus.

Examples of Cool Old Lady include:


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Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Dora, from the Hayao Miyazaki movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky, is both cool and incredibly badass... even though she has about 10 adult sons.
  • Pinako Rockbell, Winry's grandmother from Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Sumire Ryuzaki, the Seigaku coach from The Prince of Tennis.
  • Megabaa from Dennou Coil.
  • Torogai from Seirei no Moribito
  • Genkai from Yu Yu Hakusho.
  • Granny Chiyo and Tsunade (although Tsunade makes herself look young) from Naruto.
  • One Piece has a few:
    • Doctor Kureha
    • Vice-Admiral Tsuru
    • Amazon Lily's Elder Nyon
  • Sakae Jinnouchi from Summer Wars.
  • Moto Asagi from Brigadoon Marin and Melan is very wise and very generous. She adopted a foundling to replace her own lost child, and she cares for an alien robot like he was a member of the family.
  • Kaoruko Hanasaki from Heartcatch Pretty Cure, who used to be Cure Flower and is usually there to explain Pretty Cure things to her granddaughter and the other Cures.
  • Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra has Ireia Kitty, a heavy-set old lady who can kick some serious ass.
  • Rui in Free Soul.
  • Grandma Hina from Love Hina. She spends most of the series traveling around the world on vacation, but the few times that she does show up, all the tenants stand at attention, absolutely amazed by how cunning and on the ball she is when it comes to making sure things get done. She even sets up a plan to get Keitaro into a bit of trouble.. The other girls were reluctant to do it. There's a reason (unexplained as it may be) why she's known as "The Demon of Hinata".


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Aunt May, during the Civil War when everyone knew who Peter Parker was and was out to get him, became a downright Badass old lady, even going so far as to appear clueless when the Chameleon impersonated Peter while simultaneously tricking him into thinking he'd been poisoned with cookies full of sleeping pills and knitting a sweater with the word "GOTCHA" in big letters the whole time.
    • When Wolverine complains about letting Jarvis have the morning off (with May picking up the slack making breakfast), May grabs his cigar from his hand and extinguishes it in his beer. Wolverine just stares at her for a couple of seconds, then announces he's just going to get doughnuts.
  • Grandma "Rose" Ben, from Bone.
  • Safa, the gruff, one-eyed old lioness from Pride of Baghdad.
  • Of course, Blind Al from Deadpool. A witty disabled octogenarian who scares Girl Scouts for a hobby and can hold her own with one of the most dangerous people on the planet? I wanna be her when I grow up.
  • Mrs. Anne-Marie Hoag, founder and first director of Damage Control. She hobnobs with Tony Stark, stands up to The Kingpin, beats the living hell out of muggers, has survived multiple hostile takeovers and is best friends with Nick Fury.
  • Edith Manning, one of The Invisibles.
  • Dennis The Menace's granny from The Beano.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]


Film - Animation[edit | hide]


Film - Live Action[edit | hide]

  • Dame Judi Dench, the third M after Bernard Lee and Robert Brown in the James Bond series.
  • Napoleon's Grandmother from Napoleon Dynamite, she sneaks off from "baby-sitting" her grown (late-teens/late twenties or early thirties) grand-children to ride sand dunes on a quad-bike with her friends. Interesting because her grandsons have no idea and are shy and reclusive by nature.
  • Ruriko, aka Bloody Benton, from Sukiyaki Western Django.
  • Maude in Harold and Maude.
  • The medium in Insidious.
  • Maggie's grandma from The Last Starfighter
  • Lady Fingers, the female (in the 1930s, no less) poker ace in The Cincinnati Kid.
  • The Debt: Although younger than many of the other examples, Rachel (played by Helen Mirren in the American version), in her fifties, is very old for the sort of spy work she's doing.
  • Just about all the Vuvulina in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • From the Discworld books, most of the senior witches in the Tiffany Aching series. Especially noticeable with Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, who were protagonists in an earlier series and lose none of their cool by being supporting characters.
    • Also from Discworld, Topsy Lavish, nee Turvy, from Making Money—the page quote is the main character (who is a very good judge of character) appraising her.
  • In the Stephanie Plum series, Stephanie's maternal grandmother, Grandma Mazur, drives her rather more conventional daughter up the wall, but nearly every other character thinks she's hilarious (except possibly her son-in-law). We've seen her take on trying to be a bounty hunter, riding a motorcycle, joining a rock band (that also includes a retired hooker and a transvestite), and taking up taxidermy, among other antics. Grandma apparently does not buy into the concept of one's "golden years" being quiet and peaceful.
    • She's partly based on a genuine bounty-hunting grandmother the series' author, Janet Evanovich, met during her research.
  • Lampshaded aversion in Little Women: "Some old people keep young at heart in spite of wrinkles and grey hair, can sympathize with children's little cares and joys, make them feel at home, and can hide wise lessons under pleasant plays, giving and receiving friendship in the sweetest way. But Aunt March had not this gift."
  • The Jewish grandmother in Judy Blume's Are You There God Its Me Margaret is a mild example, who gives Margaret presents, takes her places, pays for her summer camp, and only occasionally insists that's she's really Jewish. The Christian grandmother is a rather dowdy old woman, who visits only because she's taking a trip to New York anyway, and makes a point of wearing a huge cross and insisting that Margaret is Christian.
  • Sethra Lavode, legendary enchantress, legendary general, vampire, holder of an Omniscient Morality License and military nerd. She's about 200,000 years old (the average Dragaeran lives to about 2000), counting the years after her death.
  • Most of Elizabeth Moon's works contain a Cool Old Lady:
  • Julia from This Perfect Day. Sister of the dictator of a prison island, she subverts his repressive social policies with philanthropy. Then she finances multiple covert strike teams to attack and destroy the supercomputer that rules the rest of the world, supporting the widows and orphans when they fail.
  • Gros-Jeanne, the protagonist's grandmother in Brown Girl In the Ring. She's a healer, an expert on herbal and supernatural lore, and not somebody you want to mess with.
  • Olenna Tyrell, more commonly known as "The Queen of Thorns," from A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • Mrs. Bobson from Eliot Fintushel's Breakfast with the Ones You Love. She seems to be a sweet, naive Bing Crosby-loving old lady at first, but it turns out that she knows what the protagonist and her drug-dealing occultist boyfriend have been up to all along. She also turns out to have psychic powers similar to the main character, but she's much more powerful and experienced. She takes down three tough Mafia enforcers singlehandedly and keeps them imprisoned in her basement, and ends up saving the day at the climax of the book by defeating Satan himself. When other characters are surprised by her actions, she implies that she has done many other frightening and astonishing things in the past. However, after the climax, she seems to want to give up being a badass and set up a cozy little family with the main character as a substitute for her deceased daughter.
  • Mama Jason from Janet Kagan's short story collection Mirabile.
  • Although she only has a brief scene, Augusta Longbottom in Harry Potter definitely qualifies. Not to mention Professor McGonagal.
  • Ruth, Thom Creed's precog teammate in Perry Moore's novel Hero.
  • Miss Marple always has a story about something really bad happening in her home village to illustrate why she knows who the murderer has to be. She usually recounts this horrific events to the atonishment to her listeners who never dreamed things like that happen in the backwaters of the country.
  • Lady Callahan from Lady Slings The Booze dabbles in this but she's a trope in herself. She's also a Madam (but 'free will' is paramount) and one of her 'girls' is a grandmother.
  • Thursday Next has two of these. A beloved great-aunt whose favorite hobbies is tormenting telemarketers and helping her husband build devices that defy the laws of physics. Then there's Grannie Next who is a whole different level of trouble on her own. For starters, just which side of the family is she from?
  • Yellowfang from Warrior Cats.
  • Hazel Stone from the Robert A. Heinlein classic The Rolling Stones.
  • The grandmother from The Witches, a cigar-smoking retired monster-hunter.
  • Nettie's Ma in the Knight and Rogue Series, a swamp dwelling, energetic older woman who helps put Michael back together after he gets dragged through a Trauma Conga Line and volunteers to distract a known killer so the main characters get evidence on him.
  • Diana Wynne Jones wrote a couple of examples of this. Both Miss Smith in Dogsbody and Polly's grandmother in Fire and Hemlock prove to be wiser and more sympathetic than other adults. Both are also very effective at getting custody of children in need. Miss Smith has the added bonus of understanding dogs very well, and Polly's grandmother knows folklore that is vital to the story.
  • George MacDonald is particularly fond of these.
  • Aunt Zelda from Septimus Heap, being the Keeper of Draggen Island.
  • In the "Hugo Bishop" mysteries by Elleston Trevor, Bishop's secretary Vera Gorringe is sixtyish, plump but with a certain elegance, a Deadpan Snarker, efficient, and very good at Car Fu.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development.
  • As Time Goes By's Madge sings country music, goes bungee-jumping, protests fox hunting, and plays the drums, all in her early eighties.
  • From Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: President Laura Roslin certainly qualifies.
    • Knowing that a) her job is literally the survival of the human species and b) her knowing she was living on borrowed time for the entire series, Roslin can have all the credit for Cool Old Ladydom she wants.
  • And of course, Daisy May Moses AKA Granny from Beverly Hillbillies.
  • Shirly Shmidt from Boston Legal.
  • Madeline Westen from Burn Notice has moments of these. She made a terrorist hijacker's pilot more terrified of her than he was of his employer.
  • Martha Rodgers is still leading the good life.
  • Karen McCluskey from Desperate Housewives.
  • Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, is this trope. And is played by Maggie "Minerva McGonagall" Smith.
  • Noranti becomes one of these in the last season of Farscape. She starts out seeming a bit sinister but really she's just trying to do the right thing. Her coolness mostly stems from her willingness to do crazy things like dance naked (while disguised as a sexy young woman) to distract guards from the rest of the team and her genuine desire to take care of the crew on Moya.
  • Edna of Everwood. She even rides a motorbike!
  • Estelle Winslow from Family Matters. She manages to use the young people slang of the 1990's without any awkwardness, had a very active sex life (much to her son's chagrin), was physically active, and quite often ended up serving as the voice of reason in the family.
  • On Food Network, Ina Garten could be considered one, although she isn't exactly "old," more like middle-aged. Paula Deen counts as a Cool Old Lady too.
  • The Golden Girls are four cool old ladies. Yes, even Rose was cool. Sophia was even a Cool Old Lady with respects to the other three, being Dorothy's mother.
  • Louise Chatham from H₂O: Just Add Water. Especially after admitting to the girls that she was in the original trio of mermaids in the 1950's.
  • While a bit of a Magnificent Bastard, Angela Petrelli of Heroes fame has a bit of this. Despite threats of violence, plans blowing up in her face, and other negatives, she very seldom loses her cool. Having precognition for a power tends to do that.
  • A very brief one from a Christmas episode of Monk. An old lady is walking home from work when a bad guy, who had been waiting for her, steps from the shadows with a knife. She promptly pulls pepper spray out of her purse and shoots it directly into his eyeballs, continuing to spray while he reacts with pain and even tracking his eyes with the spray as he jerks around in agony. Unfortunately, the bad guys needed her to die in order to further their crime, and she ends up being killed moments later by Santa Claus.
  • Hetty from NCIS: Los Angeles is about four feet tall, into her seventies and runs a team of experts who don't even begin to question who's in charge.
  • Debbie from Queer as Folk.
  • Sarah Jane Smith, though she's not as old-looking as most characters of this type. She'd be even cooler if she'd stop marching up to villains and telling them she knew what they were up to.
    • Former companion Jo Grant recently made an appearance as a thoroughly cool old lady.
    • There were three during the Tom Baker era: Amelia Ducat in "The Seeds of Doom" (who went undercover into Harrison Chase's mansion to check on the Doctor & Sarah Jane), Mrs. Tyler (no relation to Rose Tyler) in "Image of the Fendahl" (who used her psychic abilities to help the Doctor & Leela), and Amelia Rumford in "The Stones of Blood" (who helped the Doctor against Cessair of Diplos).
    • From the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Dr. Evelyn Smythe (later Evelyn Rossiter). Facing against Sixie's ego-trips and winning? Give the woman a medal.
  • Scrubs did this twice, first in the episode aptly titled "My Old Lady" and with the season 5 Mrs. Wilk arc.
  • Though she doesn't look it, Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the eighth incarnation of a 350 year old alien. She's a master of hand to hand combat and an expert pilot, drinks and parties hard, likes to brawl with Klingons, snarks and makes dirty jokes a lot. She once destroyed an entire bar, caused a couple of diplomatic incidents, and thinks that spending early mornings having broken bones fixed is a healthy sex life.
    • The magistrate who oversees Dax's extradition hearing in the episode "Dax" qualifies too.

"Gentleman, I am 108 years old. I intend for this to an informal hearing. In short, I intend to be here until supper not senility"

  • Diana Trent in the Britcom Waiting for God, played by Stephanie Cole (who was only 50 at the time); she was a photojournalist and a war correspondent for most of her life, spent her 65th birthday hanging from a helicopter, and gives everyone hell in her.
    • Also, Stephanie Cole's role as Joan Norton (Dr. Ellingham's aunt) in Doc Martin.
  • Dolores Landingham of The West Wing is a fine example. She routinely matches wits with the often extremely witty senior staff and is the only member of the cast never seen to be intimidated by working with the President.
    • Honestly, Kathryn Joosten practically OWNS this trope. She was also a version of this on Gilmore Girls. See above for her roles on Scrubs and Desperate Housewives.
  • June from White Collar. Has no problem letting Neal (a conman) live in her house, and occasionally mentions hanging around with the who's who of the 50's social scene.
  • Mona from Who's The Boss?.
  • Fay Evelyn Schlob Dumbly De Vay Cochran from Wings.


Music[edit | hide]


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Jon's grandma from Garfield rarely makes an appearance - but when she does, it's usually by driving through the wall on her motorcycle.
    • And his elderly Aunt Gussie, who was discharged from the Navy for unnecessary roughness.
  • Pansy Yokum from Li'l Abner, who can fell a cougar with one punch, smokes a corn pipe, and dispenses sage advice to the rest of the village.
  • Mary Worth is apparently meant to be portrayed as one, but she usually just comes off as a naggy moral guardian.
  • Lacey Davenport.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Madame Leonora Armfeldt from A Little Night Music has numbered kings among her lovers, takes no shit from her grown daughter, and has accumulated a great amount of wealth and snarky wit over the years, both of which she shares with her granddaughter Fredrika. She's the one character who seems to always know what she's doing.
  • Berthe, the title character's grandmother in Pippin, gets a great song about enjoying life while you can. It's her only scene, but damn is it awesome.
  • Mildred Z. Maxwell in Done to Death.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • EVA "Big Mama" of Metal Gear Solid 4: Even at age 78 she still rides her motorbike like hell and leads her own private army from the front. And she's the only known person who did Big Boss.
  • Niime from Fire Emblem 6.
  • Kreia, from Knights of the Old Republic II. Though a bit more evil and bitter than most on this list.
    • Ravel Puzzlewell from Planescape: Torment is kind of like this too, although her "other faces", especially Mebbeth is more straight example.
  • In the video game version of The Darkness, one of your main contacts is a your 'auntie', a dear old lady who became involved with the Mafia when she fell in love with a young 'Don'. Eventually, her resistance against the current Don, 'Uncle Paulie' becomes too obvious for him to ignore, and he sends a horde of gun-tooting Mooks after her. While you are expected to do most of the killing, she's no slouch either, juggling a Hand Cannon with one hand while supporting herself on a cane with the other.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has two. Eleanor Varrot the Militia captain that your squad reports to and Rosie who in her late twenties is significantly older than most of the militia members and is something of a role-model to the younger ones.
  • Impa, from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Her incarnations in other games are this, as well.
  • Wynne, resident Badass Grandma of Dragon Age, is a kindly old woman who appoints herself Team Mom... and is one of the most powerful mages in the land, who survived a disastrous battle and demon onslaught before joining the party.
    • Especially true if you give her the Arcane Warrior specialization and develop her spell list in the areas of Fireball.
    • And unfortunately subverted if your actions turn her against the party (you have to make some really evil choices for that to happen): Wynne becomes a laughably easy enemy to dispatch.
  • From Mass Effect 2: Matriarch Aethyta, the bartender on Ilium, who is about a millennium old, extremely Dirty Old Woman, and just full of interesting stories. Usually matriarchs serve as honored advisors back on the Asari homeworld. Nobody listened to Aethyta's advice (apparently they "laughed the blue off her ass"), so she left. It's too bad, because the advice (like designing their own mass relays) was remarkably good in hindsight.
    • Also Dr. Chakwas, particularly after a little Serrice Ice Brandy.
    • Samara, to some degree. Rather than settle down in her older years, she instead dedicates her life to bringing justice to the galaxy and hunting down her sociopathic murdering daughter. Despite this and her powerful biotics, she's a very peaceful person, never showing even the slightest hint of being angry or unsettled.
  • Not a straight example, but Pokémon Colosseum has a trainer class called 'Fun Old Lady'.
    • Any of the trainer classes depicted as old ladies are examples of this. Special mention goes to Agatha and Bertha, who are both members of the Elite Four.
  • The Player Character Tiger Bai from Tradewinds Legends.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

Marian: (trying to change the subject) How do you play this thing? I wanna learn to play the guitar.
Mamó: Play ... ? I'll teach you how to ROCK!!! (grabs another guitar and rocks out)
Jess: That's Mamó's vintage Gibson SG. And I wasn't gonna let you play it, either.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Kim Possible's Nana started as an overprotective granny, until she started kicking Kim's ass in Kung Fu.
  • Arnold's Grandma Gertie in Hey Arnold!!.
  • Madame Foster, founder of Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • Rock's mother on My Dad the Rock Star presents as a sweet little old lady but is really a hard-rockin' biker chick when she can get away with it.
  • Samantha's grandmother on Danny Phantom thinks her parents are a little hard on her, so she lets the girl out when they've grounded her and is usually the first to defend her actions, having been a non-conformist herself during her youth.
  • Nana Wu from Three Delivery.
  • Suga Mama from The Proud Family, a sassy black version of this trope. She even wrestled professional wrestlers.
  • Yan Lin in WITCH, a former guardian who helps the girls get accustomed to their powers.
  • Slappy Squirrel from Animaniacs alternates between this and a Grumpy Old Woman, sometimes both at once.
  • The eponymous Triplets of Belleville, ex-vaudeville stars still doing their thing on stage. Also Madame Souza, who is possibly the only Implacable Grandma.
  • Miss Lilly from Millionaire Dogs. She often rides around on a motorcycle for fun.
  • Homer Simpson's mother, especially in contrast with Homer's father.
  • Angela Anaconda's grandmother. She's so wild even Angela is unnerved by her...and it's implied that this is Angela's future.
  • Rosey from The Jetsons can be seen as a robot version of this trope, especially in her debut episode where she plays football with Elroy and helps Judy do her homework. And clobbers Mr. Spacely with an Upside-down cake.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers had a fondness for this trope, starting with village shaman Mistwalker, who used her knowledge of the local flora and fauna to make an invading gang of criminals very sorry. Second was Arizona McGee, a blowtorch-wielding sculptor who made statues of giant bugs and cold-cocked a crook half her age. Lastly, there was Ariel, Niko's mentor. A cheerful trickster, she turned the tables on Sealed Evil in a Can several times over, culminating in paraphrasing Sun Tzu and blasting it with all she had.
  • Granny May from Word Girl. For one thing, she has a big robotic supersuit...
  • Doug's grandmother may have odd taste in fashionable gifts, but she rides a motorcycle (and shows off family photos to a scary, leather-clad biker, who responds in kind), encourages Doug to try sushi, and gives him advice on how to talk to Patti when he's feeling shy. Doug starts out wishing she was more of a Granny Classic, but eventually comes to appreciate her for who she is.
  • Miss Finster from Recess
  • Aunt Amy in Daria, a splitting older image of the titular character with a more laid back personality. Understandably, she is the most beloved of Daria's relatives and a fan favourite.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The late Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the British Queen Mother. Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is no slouch, either. She has a YouTube account, for crying out loud.
    • Note that when Barack Obama bought her a new iPod even though she already had one, this wasn't a faux pas (as was often reported); she had previously mentioned that the one she had was outdated and would rather like to keep up with the times.
    • Heck, any cool old queen who is still active in the public eye in spite of (or even because of) her aging as of 2011 automatically qualifies for this trope. She is (or at least was) The High Queen, after all.
  • Jane Goodall.
  • Beatrice Wood, an avant-garde artist at the heart of the Dada movement of the 1910s and 1920s (who also inspired Jeanne Moreau's character in Jules and Jim) continued her artistic career well into the 1990s, branching into new styles as the decades went by, and still created daring work past her 100th birthday.
  • Patty Maloney once wrote that children are amazed at someone their size doing adult things: driving a car, wearing makeup and high-heeled shoes, etc.
  • Old Grandma Hardcore.
  • Helen Mirren is positively made of this trope.
    • And certain other tropes. Google "Helen Mirren bikini" right this second.
    • "Well played, Helen Mirren, and Helen Mirren's entire DNA-giving family tree."
  • Betty White. Seriously. She's really oh so damn freakin' incredibly hilarious!!!
    • Not to mention extremely nice in person. And super sassy. She honestly doesn't care what people think, but she seems quite humble too.
    • Her co-stars in The Golden Girls before their passing were very much the epitome of Cool Old Ladies too.
    • What, no love for Betty's one-time rival on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cloris Leachman?
  • Mother Jones, a union organizer, described as the "grandmother of all agitators" and the "most dangerous woman in America."
  • Ruth Frith: She's 100-years-old and broke a fricking world shot put record! Also trains five days a week, bench-pressing 80 lb weights and practising hammer-throw, javelin and shot put.
  • Keiko Fukuda. Growing up at a time when women were expected to marry and become housewives, she dedicated her life to the study of judo and rose through the ranks despite the sexism of the judo establishment. She's now 98 years old, the highest-ranked female judoka in history, and still teaching.
  • Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson from the 1990s cooking show Two Fat Ladies were Cool Old Gals, especially Jennifer, who was almost literally doing the show till the day she died.
  • Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey—both Badass singers, both looking damn good well into their 70s. And Shirley even covered a Pink song... and it worked.
  • During WW 2, the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina, was generally regarded as this among the general populace. To quote: "She was the only man amongst a whole bunch of old tarts." (Freely translated)
  • Louise Smith, (born 1916), a pleasant South Carolina grandma. Who was also one of the first NASCAR racers...
  • Louise "Spider Woman" Bourgeois, the first female artist to get a major retrospective at MOMA.
  • The leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Monica Masuda a.k.a. Krazee Grandma, 71 years old and one of Sweden's most famous breakdancers. Started breakdancing at age 61. See attached.
  • Maggie Kuhn. Founded the Gray Panthers Movement (an organization that opposes ageism, as well as addressing other social issues that relate to the elderly) after she was forced to retire on her 65th birthday, was an activist for elder rights until her death at age 89, was extremely progressive about sexuality both in her youth in the 30s and 40s as well as in her old age, and lived in a house with a bunch of young people who got rent discounts for doing chores for her and hanging out with her. Now that's a Cool Old Lady.
  • Mimi Rosenthal got her first tattoo at 99, and is celebrating each birthday hence with a new one.
  • Millvina Dean. She stood up to BBC for "offending" Titanic victims. From her nursing home.
  • Aretha Franklin. She ranked #1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, sang for President Obama....and those are two of the many awesome things she did!
  • Cesaria Evora, a.k.a the Barefoot Diva, was a very nice 69 year old lady and world-renowned Morna singer, and was not even known by the general public until she was 47.
  • The late Maila Nurmi.
  • The also late Celia Cruz. AZÚCAR!!!!!
  • Anne Timson, the little old biddy who beat up six sledgehammer-carrying robbers. With a HANDBAG!
  • Roza Rymbaeva, a singer who has been active since the 1970s, looks very good for 53, and appreciates a good Spot of Tea.
  • The entire Red Hat society. It's like a magnet.
  • Diahann Carroll. Apparently a lot of the stories her character June on White Collar mentions were inspired by Carroll's real life.
  • Ernestine Shepherd. In the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest female bodybuilder at 74 years old. She can bench press 150 pounds and didn't even start working out until she was 56.
  • Pop singer and dancer Minzy of Korean group 2NE1 said she learned to dance from her grandmother.
  • Kathryn Joosten by proxy as she played three of the cool old ladies in the Live Action TV section: Mrs. Landingham, Mrs. McCluskey, and the titular Old Lady in "My Old Lady."
  • Madga Olivero, an Italian opera diva who made her Met debut at the age of 65 (in Tosca, mind you) and sang in public well up to her nineties.
  • Phyllis Diller. She did voice work on both Family Guy and Robot Chicken in her late eighties.
  • Jeanne Calment, who holds the record of the oldest person ever, should get into this from living to 122 alone, but that's only the beginning. She took up fencing at the age of 85, and when she was ninety, a lawyer made her an offer to pay her a small amount under the condition that he could move into her apartment when she died (assuming he could get the place for pennies on the dollar.) Not only did she live another thirty years, getting a small fortune out of him (twice the apartment's actual value,) she ended up outliving him.
  • Meet Edith Wilma Connor, the world's oldest female bodybuilder: http://in.news.yahoo.com/oldest-female-bodybuilder-loves-pumping-iron-100458393--sector.html She started training for the first time when she was in her sixties in order to compensate for the vast amounts of time she had to spend sitting down because of the software company she ran with her husband (incidentally, the fact that she's a bodybuilder AND the owner of a software company makes Mrs. Connor a Badass Bookworm and Genius Bruiser). Today she's won several competitions and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mrs. Connor also wanted to make sure that her family picked up the habit of staying in shape, and she inspired them to join her. She used to train with her son, and now her grandson acts as her trainer. Her great-granddaughter trains alongside her usually, making them all a Badass Family. One day she was at the gym and a trainer was loading some weights onto the machine for her. The trainer's friend saw the heavy amount of weights and, assuming the trainer was loading them for himself, asked the trainer "Red, can you handle that?" The trainer replied "Oh, it's not for me. It's for her."