EW Staff
December 19, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

This Was The Year That Everybody Turned 50
What’s the hottest new club in Hollywood? AARP!

Obsession with youth culture is so 2007. This year, some of Hollywood’s biggest — and busiest — stars hit the half-century mark, and kept right on going. Alec Baldwin turned 50 in April, and celebrated by having the best year of his career, featuring an Emmy win and a Golden Globe nomination. Madonna reached her milestone birthday in August, but that didn’t dull interest in her love life or hurt ticket sales for her Sticky & Sweet tour. Meanwhile, Prince kept it funky in his 50th year by publishing his first book. And they weren’t alone: Kevin Bacon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tim Burton, Tim Robbins, Viggo Mortensen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Jackson, Ice-T, Joan Jett, Shaun Cassidy, Ted McGinley, and the guys who play Oscar and Stanley on The Office all turned the big five-oh in 2008. — by Kristen Baldwin

Fifty-Year-Old Celebs: This Is Your Life!
1. Spider-Man first appears in a comic book (1962)
2. Elizabeth Taylor wins a Best Actress Oscar (1967)

1. The Love Bug premieres (1969)
2. All in the Family is the year’s highest-rated TV show (1971)

1. The original Sony Walkman goes on sale (1979)
2. The Olsen twins are born (1986)

1. Generation X, by Douglas Coupland, is published (1991)
2. The first Pixar movie, Toy Story, premieres (1995)

1. The Napster website launches (1999)
2. Gigli is voted the worst movie of the year (2004)

On Jan. 12, Christina Aguilera, 28, and her music-exec husband, Jordan Bratman, 31, welcomed their son Max Liron…. Actor-singers Jennifer Lopez, 38, and Marc Anthony, 40, were feelin’ so good on Feb. 22, the day their twins Emme and Max were born…. Hope those Hanson brothers like singing lullabies: Zac Hanson, 23, and wife Kate, 25, became first-time parents on May 27, when their son, Shepherd, was born. Just over a month later, James Monroe — the second son of Isaac Hanson, 28, and wife Nikki, 25 — made his entrance. Finally, Taylor Hanson, 25, and wife Natalie, 24, welcomed son Viggo Moriah on Dec. 9…. Zoey 101 turned into Mommy 101 on June 19 when actress Jamie Lynn Spears, 17, and fiancé Casey Aldridge, 19, had their first child, daughter Maddie Briann…. Sunday Rose, daughter of country singer Keith Urban, 40, and Nicole Kidman, 41, was born on July 7, a Monday…. On July 12, twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline were added to the ever-growing brood of Angelina Jolie, 33, and Brad Pitt, 45…. Gia Zavala, daughter of Matt Damon, 38, and wife Luciana, 32, was born (bourne?) on Aug. 20.

Jay-Z, 39, finally put a ring on his single lady this year: The music mogul married Beyoncé, 27, April 4 in NYC…. Not to be outdone, Mariah Carey, 39, and Drumline star Nick Cannon, 28, tied the knot on April 30 in the Bahamas…. Charlie Sheen, 43, and real estate investor Brooke Mueller, 30, exchanged vows May 30 in L.A…. Actor Ryan Reynolds, 32, and Scarlett Johansson, 24, decided to challenge Brangelina’s status as Hollywood’s best-looking couple on the weekend of Sept. 27, when the two exchanged vows in British Columbia…. Sirius shock jock Howard Stern, 54, got serious with girlfriend Beth Ostrosky, 36: The couple wed Oct. 3 in NYC…. The Hills stars Heidi Montag, 22, and Spencer Pratt, 25, eloped, Nov. 19, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While the newlyweds’ families weren’t present for the ceremony, MTV’s cameras were.

Pink, 29, and moto-cross-racer husband Carey Hart, 33, announced their separation in February. Six months later, Hart made a cameo in the pop star’s music video about the breakup (”So What”)…. After nearly 19 years of marriage, actor Robin Williams, 57, and wife Marsha, 52, filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on March 21…. Paul McCartney, 66, had more than a hard day’s night in his divorce battle with Heather Mills, 40. The ex-Beatle was ordered to pay Mills $50 million before they were granted a preliminary divorce on May 12…. Actor David Duchovny, 48, and wife of 11 years Téa Leoni, 42, announced their separation Oct. 15, one month after Duchovny entered rehab for sex addiction…. Looks like love don’t live there anymore: Madonna, 50, and her hubby of nearly eight years, director Guy Ritchie, 40, confirmed their split on Oct. 15…. Movie exec Alex Young, 37, husband of Private Practice star Kate Walsh, 41, filed for divorce on Dec. 9.

On Jan. 15, Zac Efron, 21, was hospitalized in L.A. for an appendectomy. The High School Musical star recovered without any further treatment…. On Jan. 18, a spokesperson for Lily Allen, 23, confirmed that the British singer suffered a miscarriage. Allen and her boyfriend, the Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons, 37, announced her pregnancy in December 2007…. On March 5, it was revealed that actor Patrick Swayze, 56, was battling pancreatic cancer. Despite reports that he had a short time to live, his doctor said, ”Patrick has a very limited amount of disease. He appears to be responding well to treatment.” Swayze’s new TV series, The Beast, premieres on A&E in January…. On Aug. 3, Morgan Freeman, 71, flipped his car off a Mississippi highway. After undergoing surgery to repair nerve damage to his left arm and hand, the Oscar winner recuperated nicely…. Christina Applegate, 36, announced Aug. 4 that she had ”an early form of breast cancer.” The Samantha Who? star underwent a double mastectomy and has since made a full recovery…. Ex-blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, 33, and DJ Adam Goldstein (a.k.a. DJ AM), 35, were treated for second- and third-degree burns in Augusta, Ga., after surviving a Sept. 19 plane crash that killed four other people in Columbia, S.C. Initially in critical condition, the pair have since recovered.

The writers’ strike only felt like it lasted forever. The 100-day work stoppage, which began on Nov. 5, 2007, finally ended Feb. 12 when the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers came to an agreement on issues including DVD residuals and online video. Don’t breathe easy just yet, though: Similar quarrels still divide the studios and actors who are represented by the Screen Actors Guild. As of press time, the threat of an actors’ strike still looms.

On Feb. 18, Will Smith, 40, settled his suit against U.K. wire service World Entertainment News Networks, which falsely claimed the actor called Adolf Hitler ”a good person” in an interview. The service apologized to Smith in a London court, and paid him undisclosed damages, which Smith donated to his charity for inner-city youth…. On May 6, an NYC jury convicted Jack Jordan, 37, of stalking Uma Thurman, 38. He was later sentenced to three years’ probation…. On July 22, Christian Bale, 34, was arrested in London after turning himself in to police for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister. Said his attorney in a statement: ”Mr. Bale, who denies the allegation, cooperated throughout.” U.K. authorities dropped the investigation in August, citing insufficient evidence…. On Sept. 11, at Los Angeles International Airport, Kanye West, 31, was picked up on vandalism charges after he and a bodyguard smashed a paparazzo’s camera. He was released on bail later that afternoon. The L.A. district attorney declined to press felony charges, but West could still be tried for a misdemeanor by the city attorney…. On Sept. 25, the L.A. district attorney’s office announced that it lacked the evidence to prosecute Shia LaBeouf, 22, for DUI charges stemming from a July 27 car accident that seriously injured his left hand. ”He’s thrilled and gratified that charges will not be filed,” said LaBeouf’s lawyer…. The battle between NBC Universal and Lifetime over Project Runway continues: On Sept. 26, an NYC court ruled that Lifetime may not air or promote season 6, which was slated to premiere in January. (The judge determined that Runway producers the Weinstein Co. had violated their right-of-first-refusal agreement with NBC Universal.) On Nov. 18, Lifetime responded with a countersuit against Bravo, NBC Universal, and the Weinstein Co. Unfortunately for Heidi, Tim, and Runway fans, this one is going to take a while. — Stewart Allen, Adam Markovitz, Lindsay Soll, Tanner Stransky, Simon Vozick-Levinson, and Kate Ward

What’s In A Name?
Our tribute to 2008’s most creative celebrity-baby monikers

Best Botanical Names Sage Florence (Toni Collette’s daughter), Clementine Jane (Ethan Hawke’s daughter) Most Surprising Show Of Baby-Naming Restraint Matthew McConaughey, who named his son Levi Least Surprising Lack Of Baby-Naming Restraint Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz, who named their son Bronx Mowgli Best Future Couple Honor (Jessica Alba’s daughter) and Major (T.I.’s son) Runner-Up Nahla Ariela (Halle Berry’s daughter) and Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale (Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s son) Best Future Law Firm Harper and Finley (Lisa Marie Presley’s twins)

It was a busy year for these stars, all of whom made multiple appearances in Monitor

Britney Spears — 12
Amy Winehouse — 10
Pete Wentz & Ashlee Simpson — 4
Lindsay Lohan — 4
Kanye West — 3

California gays form a more perfect union — for five months

When same-sex marriage became legal in California in June, gay couples flocked to the altar. Some of the first celebrity unions included the nuptials of Ellen DeGeneres, 50, and actress Portia de Rossi, 35, on Aug. 16, and Star Trek actor George Takei, 71, and boyfriend Brad Altman, 54, on Sept. 14. The wedded bliss was short-lived, however — on Nov. 4, state voters passed Prop 8, which banned further gay marriages. Court challenges are ongoing, but gay couples who married can take a small amount of solace in the fact that they’re still legally wed — for now, at least. — Kate Ward

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