How Old is Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons in Palm Royale?

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I know I am not the only one watching Palm Royale, a new series on Apple TV starring Kristen Wiig. Set in 1969, Wiig's character, Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons, recently moved to Palm Beach and is willing to do almost anything to be part of high society. And I know I am not the only one looking at 50-year-old Wiig playing this kooky character and wondering how old Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons is supposed to be.

Below, I share what I learned to figure out the ages of the characters played by Kristen Wiig, Ricky Martin, and Laura Dern. in Apple TV+ Palm Royale. Please note that this article contains spoilers. If you do not want to know what happens in Palm Royale before watching, bookmark this to read later.

palm royale marketing poster

The majority of the Palm Royale cast is 50+ and I love it:

  • Kristen Wiig, who plays the protagonist, Maxine, is 50
  • Josh Lucas, who plays her husband Douglas, is 52
  • Ricky Martin, who plays Robert, a bartender and “pool boy”, is also 52
  • Laura Dern, who plays Linda, a feminist bookstore owner, is 57
  • Mindy Cohn, who plays Ann, a gossip columnist, is 57
  • Lesley Bibb, who plays socialite Dinah, is 49
  • Jordan Bridges, who plays her husband, Perry, is 50
  • Bruce Dern, 87, plays Laura Dern's character's father, Skeet
  • Allison Janey, 64, plays Skeet's wife and socialite Evelyn
  • Julia Duffy, who plays socialite Mary, is 72
  • Carol Burnett, who plays Norma, is 90 and is the matriarch of the society circle
socialities in palm royale

Palm Royale's first episode shows Wiig's character Maxine climbing over a tall stone wall, shimmying down in a minidress, her toned and tanned legs on display. She looks amazing, all blonde and glowing in what looks to be an original Lilly Pulitzer frock. She interacts with Martin's character, who looks to be her age, as well as a circle of socialities, all of whom appear to be older than she (except maybe for Bibb's character).

Kristen Wiig and Ricky martin in the first episode of Palm Royale on Apple TV

As the show continues, it's hard not to go to Google and look up the ages of these actors, especially Kristen Wiig and Ricky Martin. Their characters feel as though they should be in their 30s, not their 50s. I'll be honest: This age confusion left me disconnected from Palm Royale, so I did some digging.

How Old is Kristen Wiig's Character Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons in Palm Royale?

Palm Royale is very loosely based on the 2018 novel Mr. and Mrs. American Pie. I say very loosely based because while the novel's protagonist inspired the character Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons, very little from the series follows the story in the book. So, instead of relying on the book to determine the age of Kristen Wiig's character, I mainly took information offered in Palm Royale's first four episodes.

We know that Maxine and Douglas met when she was a beauty pageant contestant and he a judge. There is gossip that Maxine got pregnant to “trap” her husband Douglas but then lost the baby after the marriage. In the book Mr. and Mrs. American Pie, the pregnancy happened when Maxine was 23.

Kristen Wiig as Maxin Dellacort Simmons in the Apple series Palm Royale. Sh is in a courtroom wearing a yellow suit

When being interviewed for The Shiny Sheet by gossip columnist Ann Holiday (played by Mindy Cohn), Maxine states she was Miss Junior Ocoee in 1943, Miss Chattanooga in 1945, and Miss Mineral Bluff in 1946. I Googled the age of Miss Chattanooga in 1945, who was Lenora Henson Jorges. (Chattanogan)

Jorges was 16, though rules stated she should have been older to participate. So, let's say Maxine was 18 in 1945. That means at the time of Palm Royale, she would be 42. That seems too old for her antics, but maybe that will be explained in future episodes.

Isn't Kristen Wiig Too Old for the Role?

Realizing this age difference confused me. It felt like having 29-year-old Gabrielle Carteris play Andrea Zuckerman in Beverly Hills 90210. But then I began looking at photos of society women in 1969 and thinking about all the recent think pieces about how folks are aging differently these days.

famous geritol ad from 1971 showing 7 women all 46 years of age

This ad for Geritol is from 1971. All seven women in this ad were 46 years old. At 49 years of age, if I were in a lineup with them, I think I would be seen as younger than most, if not all, of them. That's not good genes, that's not cosmetic enhancements (I got Botox once, back in 2018). It's because modern technology has helped humans age better.

We know smoking is bad for our lungs, heart, and skin. We slather on sunscreen by day and oils and creams at night. We carry emotional support water bottles and concern ourselves with fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Fitness is a way of life, yoga is a common occurrence, and modern medicine provides a way to extend our lives, improve the quality of said lives, and adjust our bodies with procedures and treatments to look firmer, smoother, and, in some ways, younger.

janet leigh the man from u.n.c.l.e.

A 42-year-old in 1969 looks more like a 50-year-old in 2024. This isn't a case of Gabrielle Carteris; this is a case of using older actors to look a bit more age-appropriate. Let's use Janet Leigh as an example. Janey Leigh was born in 1927, which made her 42 in 1969 when the show Palm Royale takes place. Above is a photo of Leigh in 1968 from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Kristin Wiig in Palm Royale, wearing an orange chiffon caftan looking thoughtful

And here is a still from Palm Royale of Kristen Wiig. Wiig may be almost a decade older, but with 2024 living, they look to be around the same age.

How Old is Ricky Martin's Character Robert in Palm Royale?

Ricky Martin's character's age in Palm Royale also confused me. I used to watch Martin on General Hospital and remember him from Menudo. In 1999, I was in a hotel in Oslo, Norway, and turned on the TV, surprised to see Ricky Martin “Livin' La Vida Loca.” I knew he was around my age, and while watching Palm Royale, I looked it up and confirmed that Ricky Martin is 52.

ricky martin palm royale

Ricky Martin plays Robert. We first see Robert in Episode 1 of Palm Royale as a bartender at the private club. He clearly has a senior role, as he wasn't just mixing grasshoppers but also was involved with Maxine being banned. In a later episode, we find that Robert is also living in the pool house on an estate, spending most of his days shirtless in very small swim trunks.

GIf of shirtless ricky martin in the apple tv series palm royale

Martin looks fantastic. He is firm and muscular, hairless below the neck but a full head of thick hair without a hint of recession. His face moves, but it's both plump and taut. If someone told me they used digital de-aging on Martin, I'd believe it. I had a hard time trying to figure out what age Ricky Martin was supposed to be in Palm Royale. Again, I took facts from the show to determine his age.

Laura Dern and Ricky Martin in Palm Royale a tV series on Apple

Ricky Martin's character, Robert, was a Marine in the Korean War. Let's say he was 21 in 1953 when the war ended; that would make him 37 in 1969 when Palm Royale takes place. He could have been older when the war ended, but considering he was hired to be eye candy as well as a bartender at an exclusive club, just like flight attendants in that day and age (Time), he wouldn't still have that job well into his 40s. And again, 52-year-old men in 1969 didn't look like Ricky Martin does in 2024.

How Old is Laura Dern's Character Linda Shaw on Palm Royale?

If you're wondering about the age of Kristen Wiig's and Ricky Martin's characters in Palm Royale, you must be wondering about Laura Dern's character. Dern plays Linda Shaw/Penelope Rollins, a hippie feminist and ex-socialite. I had a harder time figuring out the age of Laura Dern's character.

laura dern as linda in palm royale

Linda/Penelope is the daughter of Skeet, a man who is in a luxury facility for older adults who need nursing or consistent healthcare. We hear that Skeet is declining and may be senile. We meet Skeet in one episode; he seems to be bright and mentally strong, but stays in his wheelchair and has nursing care.

laura and bruce dern in palm royale

Bruce Dern, who plays Skeet, is 87 and the real-life father of Laura Dern, who is 57. Skeet is married to Evelyn, played by Allison Janey. Evelyn is not Skeet's first wife, nor is she the mother of Linda/Penelope. So the ages of these folks have no bearing on the age of Laura Dern's character.

laura dern in palm royale

Linda shares that she was engaged to be married but left at the altar. At the end of Episode 4, we learn that she was left at the altar by Douglas Dellacorte-Simmons, Maxine's husband. If we use the information above about when Maxine and Douglas married, we have to assume Douglas left Penelope at the altar before Maxine was 23.

We do not know which pageant Douglas judged, as Maxine admits she didn't win that exact contest, so we can't use Maxine's age for a gauge other than knowing it was between the ages of 18 and 22.

laura dern as linda in palm royale

Linda/Penelope knows the inside of the Dellacorte mansion quite well from attending previous Beach Balls. Her character had disconnected from high society long enough to run an established bookstore and create an underground feminist collective with her friend Virginia (played by 36-year-old Amber Chardae Robinson). Children rarely attended charity balls of that sort, so her memories had to be from when she was a young adult.

Laura Dern and Krisen Wiig in Palm Royale

I can only assume that Laura Dern's character in Palm Royale is older than Wiig's, but not by much. She must be playing a woman in her 40s, but looking at that Geritol ad above, Dern's character looks uncharacteristically fresh, firm, and young. As a woman in her 40s who began experiencing perimenopause a few years ago, Laura Dern's character and what age it is really confuses me.

Possibly, in future episodes of Palm Royale, we will receive additional clues as to Laura Dern's character's age. For now, I think of Jurassic Park, Wild at Heart, and Even Big Little Lies and believe this actress looks phenomenal and keeps doing a great job with such varied and interesting roles.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Beyond the beautiful wigs, toppers, fake tan, make up and great lighting, contain of the actors have had fantastic facelifts. They look great and as if they eat healthy, optimise their supplements and work out consistently. There’s always extra help from ozempic and AI.

    I think they look amazing and the parts are fun. Ageless.

  2. It’s not 2024 living, it’s AI. The actors have all been smeared with it to de-age them, and I personally find it really distracting and disappointing.

  3. Alison – thank you so much for thoroughly going down this rabbit hole. It vexed me too, so much so that it gets in the way of watching this program. People age differently now, though sometimes I think we just present differently. (I think about this because if I style myself a certain way I look like my old school Yiayia in the 1960s, oops!)
    The most vexing to me of all is Laura Dern, a great actress. I think of her deep and meaningful work on ‘The Tale’ and even, maybe especially as Diane in the Twin Peaks reboot, a weird show but yet a moving piece of work from her. Her face told us so much in these roles. Now she looks different, and I think this character is supposed to read as mid to late 30s! I’m not thinking people should act/look “their age,” and I get the pressures on actresses at every age, but, like 20 somethings playing high schoolers, these choices lead to some very skewed benchmarking. These actors do look great and I don’t care what they do to get there, but I wonder how this show would play with younger actors, and how these actors would be in other roles. It’s too meta and distracting.
    Thanks again!

  4. Great post! I couldn’t believe that Kristin Wiig was 50 when I looked it up while watching the show a couple of weeks ago.

  5. I was literally thinking about this , this morning. I keep thinking one of the later episodes will fast forward and we find out Maxine is “remembering” this story and the faces are of the age they are “now” vs then. But, suspending the age thing, I’m enjoying this show.

  6. Thanks for this! It was so fun to read—and quite helpful. Like you, I’ve been confused by the ages of the characters vs actors. You seem to’ve nailed the ages, tho Wiig’s character dresses and behaves in a way that often makes me believe she’s playing someone in her 20s, which is jarring. I think that’s the toughest part for me: Your conclusions make sense, but the characters played by Wiig and Dern, and Martin to a degree, come off as much younger than they logically should be. If I can suspend disbelief about everyone’s age, I quite enjoy the show. Seeing all of those wonderful actors together is a joy, ages be damned.

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