Joely Richardson would "love" to grow old "gracefully".

The 47-year-old actress - whose sister Natasha died in a skiing accident in 2009 followed by the brother and sister of her mother, Corin and Lynn Redgrave, who died within weeks of each other - realises growing old is not a formality so she cherishes each day.

She said: "People always say, 'I want to grow old gracefully'. And I say, 'Yeah, in my dreams, in my highest aspirations, I would love to grow old gracefully.

"But the fact is, you don't have the choice. You can get Alzheimer's, you can get anything, we might not be given the choice to age gracefully."

Joely - who portrayed Julia McNamara in 'Nip/Tuck' for seven years - is grateful for each year she lives and admits she is "proud" to be 47.

In an interview with The Independent newspaper, she added: "We can't afford to be down on our age. We have got to be proud of every single year. We all get to be young, we all get to be middle-aged and some of us get to be old.

"Some people peak at 20, others at 50. Thank God beauty is in the eye of a beholder."