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Silver Fox
Steely gaze, steely hair, stealing hearts.
Clockwise from top left: Anderson Cooper, Mark Harmon, George Clooney, John Slattery

"I'm pregnant, McGee. Twins. Haven't told the father yet. It's Gibbs. I know it's wrong, but something about his silver hair gets me all tingly inside."
Abby Sciuto, NCIS

Age is all in the mind.

Well, for some people, anyway. Most of us will likely get grumpy, perverted, or past our prime and will end up trying anything in order to look younger.

But then, there are those who get better as they age; the ones who still qualify for the 'desirable' tag, even when they're grandparents. These men and women have maintained their dashing good looks, class, and sex appeal despite - or because of - their greying hair.

They become a Silver Fox.

A Silver Fox is an attractive, distinguished older (generally over 40) person, often noted for his or her sexy silver or white-hair along with their good looks and charm.

Note that this trope is only applicable for older characters. Can be related to Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have.

For the manga go here. Not to be confused with either Gray Fox.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Ishida Ryuuken is probably about 40 but his hair has always been white. Despite his age, he's as strikingly pretty as (and almost as slender as) his teenage son Uryuu. Although given his name and his stern personality, he's really more of a Silver Dragon.
  • Joseph Joestar during the "Stardust Crusaders" arc, who despite being 67 still possesses a muscular physique due to the age-slowing effects of Ripple energy. This is set a few years after fathering Josuke, making his son younger than his grandson, Jotaro. However by Part 4 age has finally caught up with him, leaving him elderly and senile.
  • Albert "004" Heinrich in Cyborg 009, specially in the 2001 series where aside of having been in his 30's when cyborgized, he spent decades in cryogenization.
  • Smoker from One Piece, a white-haired Marine who's far from a Bishounen dude but still quite attractive.

    Comics — Books 

    Literature 
  • When Akhor the Silver King of the Kantri becomes human, he has long silver hair. His age then is indeterminate, but his eyes show something of his thousand-year life. His Love Interest is all over him in this form, and he's all over her; otherwise people don't note if he's attractive... except that one human friend of his who gets hugged notes in the narration that she can't help but notice that he smells amazing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Several different older women are shown swooning in Dr. Lee Rosen's presence in the first season of Alphas.
  • Gil Grissom, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Even his future wife, Sara, drops a line about finding grey hair sexy, while he's in the room, no less. The silver fox look is even more evident in his 12th season cameo, where William Peterson wasn't coloring his hair quite as much and it was more natural looking.
  • The Third Doctor from Doctor Who. True, One could be very charming when he wanted to be, but he still looked every day of his apparent age (One being deliberately played as older than William Hartnell, who was in his mid-50s). Patrick Troughton as Two was far from unappealing and had his charms, but hardly had a single strand of silver in his thick black mop. However, Jon Pertwee as Three managed to be an old guy with a very snappy sense of style (both in fashion and demeanor), looked and acted very fit for his age, and generally made being a Badass Grandpa look good.
  • Roger Sterling from Mad Men. The name might be a Stealth Pun.
  • Gibbs from NCIS.
    Abby: I'm pregnant, McGee. Twins. Haven't told the father yet. It's Gibbs. I know it's wrong, but something about his silver hair gets me all tingly inside.
    Tony: (Walks in) Excuse me for a second, I think I'm going to vomit.
    Abby: I'm joking, Tony. Except for that part about Gibbs's hair. That is really hot.

    Abby: Correct as always, my silver-haired fox. ...I mean, Gibbs, sir, boss.
  • DI Lestrade from Sherlock.
  • Person of Interest: Reese is well on his way to being one. Lampshaded by Wendy the hairstylist in "Number Crunch."
  • Discussed in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Shattered" by the recurring villain Seska, who has a Villainous Crush on Commander Chakotay.
    Seska: Men just get more distinguished as they get older. A few lines here, a little grey there, it adds character. Too bad their minds start to go.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Kevin Nash, known as "Big Sexy" for over sixteen years and still, in his own words, "built like a god!", was once called "the Silver Fox" as an alternate Red Baron in TNA due to his grey hair.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • General Tarquin from The Order of the Stick. Haley sees him as evidence that his son, Elan, is still going to be attractive in his middle age. Although, here, it is Informed Attractiveness, since it's a Stick Figure Comic.
  • Dora of Questionable Content squees upon meeting Marten's father (who looks almost exactly like a silver-haired version of his son), saying that Marten will look so hot when he goes gray.
    • Jim the bakery owner is more salt-and-pepper than outright silver, but is still romantically active and repeatedly mentioned to be quite cute. He even dates Dora after her breakup with Marten, though they decide on the first date that they're better off friends.
  • Niels by Humon brings us our favorite super secret soldier, Agent 250. He's in his mid-fifties, and the only real clue to his age are the slight wrinkles under his eyes and his hair, which is light gray at the roots and dark gray on top. Despite this, he's as buff and sprightly as a man half his age, and could easily pass as one if his hair weren't gray. Let's just say there's a reason he's in a relationship.

    Western Animation 
  • On Batman Beyond, Talia allows an aged Bruce to use one of her father's old Lazarus Pits, but specifically leaves some of his hair gray to look more distinguished. Ra's himself went for the same look. Which makes sense, since Bruce is actually being groomed as his new body...

    Real Life 
Note: The following actors (and a few actresses) and other public figures are generally either cast in the role of the "good-looking older person with gray hair" roles or have attracted media attention for that look. Many if not most went gray before turning 50.

  • Anderson Cooper. Just Anderson Cooper. Notable for the fact that he went completely gray at a rather young age—as of this writing (2013), he isn't even 50. Amusingly, one episode of his talk show featured his mother showing some art a young Anderson had done — in which he described himself as having grey hair already.
  • There's no debating the fact that George Clooney is sexier now than he was when he was in his 20s.
  • Helen Mirren is every bit as sexy now as she was thirty years ago - if not sexier.
  • The ultimate silver fox: Sean Connery.
  • Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Russian baritone.
  • Shaun Micallef is well-known for being a silver fox, much to the TV host's bemusement.
    Micallef: "Silver fox? Is that good?"
  • Tony Jones from ABC1's Q & A and Lateline is actually called the "Silver Fox" on many a Monday night by the Twittersphere. [1]
  • Surely, Hugh Laurie counts as one.
  • David Byrne of the Talking Heads.
  • Steve Martin, anyone?
  • John Slattery, so much. It helps that he's prematurely gray, making him substantially Younger Than He Looks. (He was born in 1962.)
  • Janove Ottesen, charismatic frontman of Kaizers Orchestra, seems to be heading this way. Not even 40 yet, but he's already proudly rocking the grey-haired look.
  • Alan Rickman, definitely.
  • Richard Gere.
  • Robert Wagner
  • Harrison Ford
  • Tim Gunn. Named one of People Magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive" in 2006.
  • Goran Visnjic, playing 'Dragan Armansky' in the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, had silver hair, whether dyed or natural, though already good looking, managed to pull off the Silver Fox look well.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis; especially notable is that she's become quite a vocal opponent of Photoshopping and other forms of photo retouching, and manages to look damn good with only a pixie cut and a little bit of makeup.
  • Geoffrey Zakarian.
  • Some men's hair dyes are designed to cover up some, but not all, of their gray hairs, so as to give them a dignified salt-and-pepper look while still remaining somewhat youthful.
  • Bulgarian Jordan Jovtchev is the first male gymnast to appear in six Olympic games, and at 39 and almost entirely grey he looks damn fine.
  • Peter Capaldi
  • Peter Graves
  • Leslie Nielsen was certainly a handsome white-haired devil.
  • Ted Danson
  • Craig Ferguson?
  • Bill Clinton
  • Joe Biden
  • Roger Waters
  • Mark Harmon. He's a silver fox as Gibbs, but possibly even more so in real life. Wrowl!
  • Jeff Chandler and Richard Bradford, both of whom started going gray as teenagers.
  • Fifty years after Star Trek and Nichelle Nichols is still pretty damned hot.
  • Believe it or not, Boris Yeltsin during the late 1980s - early 1990s, before he became an alcoholic Empty Shell of a man.
  • Bob Barker.
  • Mads Mikkelsen. He tends to dye his hair but it's actually gone completely silver.
  • Paul Hollywood, whose astonishing presence you can experience in The Great British Bake Off. They call him The Silverback.
  • Patrick Stewart


Shy Blue-Haired GirlHair ColorsWhite Hair, Black Heart
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