Ugly Betty cast ages: How old was the cast in season 1 (and today)?

NEW YORK - MARCH 02: (L to R) Actresses Ana Ortiz, America Ferrera, and Becki Newton rehearse a scene at the "Ugly Betty" film set in lower Manhattan on March 02, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 02: (L to R) Actresses Ana Ortiz, America Ferrera, and Becki Newton rehearse a scene at the "Ugly Betty" film set in lower Manhattan on March 02, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) /

When it premiered in 2006, Ugly Betty wasn’t expected to be a big hit. A remake of a telenovela, it focused on Betty Suarez, a nerdy, glasses and braces-wearing aspiring writer. She’s hired as the assistant to Daniel Meade, editor for Mode magazine, mainly as Daniel’s father figures she’s one assistant Daniel won’t hit on.

The pair work together in the fashion world, often getting into wild escapades, which usually involved Wilhelmina Slater’s attempts to take over the magazine. The series was a surprise success that ran for four seasons and even an Emmy winner.

As it hits Netflix once more, here’s a look at the main cast of Ugly Betty and how old they were when the show premiered and today to illustrate how the series was a lot prettier than the title indicated.

How old is America Ferrera in Ugly Betty season 1?

While she’d had roles in movies like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, America Ferrera was boosted to stardom in this fantastic role. Born April 18, 1984, Ferrara was 22 when she took on the role of Betty. It was a huge success, earning her a Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy Award. Since the show ended, Ferrera has kept busy with the How to Train Your Dragon franchise and starring in the NBC hit Superstore. The 39-year-old can now be seen in Barbie, a fitting full circle for the lady who once played “ugly.”

How old is Eric Mabius in Ugly Betty season 1?

Originally a shallow bed-hopping lady’s man, Daniel Meade matured over the course of the series as a good guy and, by the end of the show, was a successful editor with a new love. Born April 22, 1971, Eric Mabius was 35 when the show started, having already starred in The L Word. Since the show ended, Mabius has appeared in several TV series, most notably Hallmark’s long-running Signed, Sealed, and Delivered movie series, and the 52-year-old actor is still a notable face.

How old is Vanessa Williams in Ugly Betty season 1?

The most famous cast member when the show started, Vanessa Williams, famously became Miss America only to lose it in a scandal. Born on March 18, 1963, Williams bounced back as an actress and singer, even appearing on Broadway. She was 43 when she began her role as the conniving Wilhelmina Slater, getting the show’s best lines and wickedest fashions. Williams moved from Betty to a role on Desperate Housewives and still appears in movies and TV to stand out better than most 60-year-old actresses today.

How old is Tony Plana in Ugly Betty season 1?

Long one of those “hey, it’s that guy” actors on TV, Tony Plana was born April 19, 1952, making him 54 when Ugly Betty began. He was a great presence as Ignacio, Betty’s father, always there for warm advice and doing his best to help her out. The now 71-year-old Plana continues to be a regular guest star on scores of TV shows as well as directing some while a trailblazer for Cuban actors.

How old is Ana Ortiz in Ugly Betty season 1?

As Betty’s older sister Hilda, Ana Ortiz brought a nice grounded presence to the show with some laugh lines. Born January 25, 1971, the then 35-year-old actually auditioned for Betty but was deemed too attractive. After Betty ended, Ortiz became a regular TV face in the dramedy Devious Maids, the spy series Whiskey Cavalier and the acclaimed drama Love, Victor to show her own great style.

How old is Becki Newton in Ugly Betty season 1?

Born on the Fourth of July, 1978, Becki Newton was 26 when she earned the role of Amanda Tanen, the quirky receptionist on the series. Like many characters, Amanda started off as a one-note goofball but matured over the show into a sharp character and an unlikely friend of Betty’s. The now 45-year-old Newton keeps busy with scores of TV shows and can currently be seen in the Netflix drama The Lincoln Lawyer, still rocking her unique style.

How old is Michael Urie in Ugly Betty season 1?

As the flamboyant Marc St. James, Michael Urie was a highlight on the show with a sassy sense of humor and fantastic style. Born August 8, 1980, Urie was 26 when the show began and showed Marc going from Wilhelmina’s lackey to a strong character in his own right. Now 42, Urie has balanced TV work with appearances on Broadway as the show allowed him to show off some good singing pipes that he’s used well since.

How old is Mark Indelicato in Ugly Betty season 1?

The youngest member of the cast, Mark Indelicato, was born July 16, 1994, making him only 12 when the show began. His role as Hilda’s son Justin was a great one, showing him fashion obsessed while wrestling with the challenges of growing up. While attending college, the now 29-year-old Indelicato stars in comedies like Hacks and With Love and growing up nicely as an actor.

How old is Ashley Jensen in Ugly Betty season 1?

Born August 11, 1969, Ashley Jensen was 37 when she was cast as Christina McKinney, the seamstress turned fashion director who becomes Betty’s best friend. The Scottish actress left the show after the third season for other opportunities but made an appearance in Season 4. Jensen was nominated for an Emmy for the comedy series Extras, and the now-53-year-old stars in the British series Agatha Raisin to continue to show off her quirky humor.

How old is Rebecca Romijin in Ugly Betty season 1?

One of the wildest twists of the show was revealing that Daniels’ supposedly dead brother Alexander was not only alive but now a woman called Alexis. Cast in the role was supermodel Rebecca Romijin, born November 6, 1972, so was 34 when she began her role. The actress remained on the show until Season 3, where she was written off to concentrate on family. Romijn continued to work on shows like The Librarians, and the now 50-year-old has a prime role on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, showing she still enjoys some unusual parts.

How old is Alan Dale in Ugly Betty season 1?

Born May 6, 1947, Alan Dale was a former rugby player who turned to acting after some injuries. He had a long turn in the Australian soap opera Neighbors before heading to America. He was 59 when he began his role as Bradford Meade, the powerful owner of Mode. The character was killed off before Season 3, with Dale working in numerous TV shows such as Once Upon a Time and Dynasty. The now 76-year-old Dale seems to be taking a break but likely will be back on TV before long.

How old is Judith Light in Ugly Betty season 1?

After making appearances in Season 1, Judith Light became a regular on the series as Daniel’s mother, Claire Meade. Born February 9, 1949, LIght was a TV veteran thanks to the hit sitcom Who’s the Boss? She was also 59 when she began her turn on the show and stuck with it to the end. Light has since become a presence on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dallas, Transparent and a Tony-winning Broadway star. The 74-year-old still remains a great TV actress and is always ready to steal a scene.

Ugly Betty season 1-4 are streaming on Netflix.

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