MRS. ROBINSON Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967)
Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson, who so ably seduces Dustin Hoffman’s recent college graduate, is the gold standard of movie cougars. Rar!
GABRIELLE SOLIS Eva Longoria on Desperate Housewives (2004-present)
Longoria’s decision to go after her sexy, often-shirtless gardener (Jesse Metcalfe) is legendary in Housewives lore and probably the thing that made the series so watercooler-worthy shortly after it premiered.
STELLA PAYNE Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
You wanna know exactly how Stella (Bassett) got her groove back? By finding a younger man. And we don’t blame her! That younger man was played by none other than Taye Diggs. Get it, girl!
SYDNEY ANDREWS Laura Leighton on Melrose Place (2009-present)
In the second incarnation of the series, Leighton’s devious Sydney is much older and, of course, now a cougar! Seeing as how she was killed in the premiere episode, though, we only see her cougar-y ways via flashbacks.
LOUISE HARRINGTON Laura Linney in P.S. (2004)
Linney’s cougar portrayal has a super-strange backstory. You see, she played admissions office employee Louise Harrington, who gets an application from a boy who has the same name as her dead high school sweetheart. So what’s she do? Call him in for an interview and begin an affair with him, of course!
DUCHESS CATHERINE BEATON Madchen Amick on Gossip Girl (2007-present)
Amick’s rich cougar — who had a steamy summer affair with hottie Nate Archibald (Chase Crawford) — was one of the highlights of the early episodes of Gossip Girl‘s season two.
NORA BAKER Susan Sarandon in White Palace (1990)
A middle-aged working class waitress, played by Sarandon, falls in love with a much younger middle class widower, played by James Spader, at a White Castle-esque diner called the White Palace. One hilarious note about this movie is that it was marketed with the tagline: ”The story of a younger man and a bolder woman.” It wasn’t until years later that the term ”cougar” became commonplace.
STIFLER'S MOM Jennifer Coolidge in American Pie (1999)
Playing Stifler’s mom, Coolidge bedded — or well, pool tabled? — a high schooler and brought the term MILF to the masses.
VERA PRESCOTT Margaret Whitton in The Secret of My Success (1987)
Playing the bitchy older boss, Whitton hits on Michael J. Fox’s upstart-from-Kansas Brantley Foster. But we don’t really blame her — Fox was delightfully cute in the late ’80s.
COUGAR THAT ATTACKS KIM BAUER 24 (2003)
Okay, so the cougar that attacks Kim Bauer in 24 is not like the others in this gallery. But, every now and again, we wish this cougar got what it was after.
COUNTESS Lauren Hutton in Once Bitten (1985)
Hutton, as a 400-year-old vampire countess, won’t look young anymore unless she can feed on a virgin three times before Halloween, which is only a week away! What’s a mature woman to do in such a situation? Go after a naïve high school student (Jim Carrey), natch!
ELLEN BURROUGHS Jacqueline Bisset in Class (1983)
So, remember when you showed up at college, only to find out your roommate is sleeping with your mother? Yeah, that was the case when Bisset went after the young Andrew McCarthy. Worst. College. Experience. Ever!
KATHLEEN CLEARY Jane Seymour in Wedding Crashers (2005)
Wedding Crashers was hilarious all around, but Seymour’s voracious fiftysomething cougar Kathleen, who went by ”Kitty Kat” and tried to seduce John (Owen Wilson), stole the show.
ERICA KANE Susan Lucci on All My Children (1970-present)
After plowing through 10 husbands in her decades on AMC, Lucci has had same-aged guys, older guys, and — just recently! — one very young guy in Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathinson), who is her daughter’s ex-husband and ex-fiancé’s stepson. Got that?
SAMANTHA JONES Kim Cattrall on Sex and the City (1998-2004)
Holy coog! The beloved Cattrall, as sassy publicist Samantha, is the mother of all women-who-love-younger-men. But how can you blame her when her younger man is the indomitably cute ”Smith” Jerrod, played by Jason Lewis.
THE COUGAR DEN'S TONI WARD Kristin Wiig on Saturday Night Live (2008-2009)
When a craze hits a certain point of saturation in pop culture — like cougars! — you can bet that Saturday Night Live will take a shot at it. And the show’s skit with Kristin Wiig at the helm of talk show The Cougar Den, they hit the nail on the head. ”I don’t know if you guys know this,” she says. ”But I treated myself to a Jonas Brothers concert as a pre-Valentine’s Day gift.” Genius!
JULIE COOPER Melinda Clarke on The O.C. (2003-2007)
We felt awful for Marisa (Mischa Barton), as she watched her devious but genius mother Julie Cooper (Clarke) take her boyfriend Luke (Chris Carmack) into her house and?well, you know.
MAUDE Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude (1971)
The black comedy, which finds Gordon playing Maude, the 79-year-old partner of 20-year-old Harold (Bud Cort), is probably the role Gordon is best known for.
PAULA TESSIER Ingrid Bergman in Goodbye Again (1961)
Is the woman considered a cougar if she isn’t pursing the young man? Sure, why not! Bergman’s Paula, a fortysomething businesswoman, was pursued by a twentysomething Anthony Perkins, who played her young paramour Phillip.
DIANNE LODDER Bebe Neuwirth in Tadpole (2002)
This weird role — which found Neuwirth playing a chiropractor who seduces a 15-year-old boy — was perfect for the actresses’ unsettling acting style.