Maren Jensen, 67: Happiness Is Success

Navigating life's ups and downs can be tough for everyone. For former “Battlestar Galactica” actress and model Maren Jensen, a daunting health challenge, chronic fatigue syndrome, curtailed her rising star but then inspired her deeper wellness practices, an active engagement with creativity, and a new, rewarding career.

Maren Jensen’s life reads like a screenplay filled with twists, triumphs, and a touch of stardust.

This spirited former model and actress (she played Lt. Athena in Battlestar Galactica) turned entrepreneur has mastered the art of reinvention, swapping stage lights for the glow of holistic wellness. Her acting ambitions took root in high school, blossomed at UCLA, and soared until a daunting health challenge — chronic fatigue syndrome — curtailed her rising star. Unbowed, she channeled her creative energies into the beauty industry, co-founding innovative makeup brand Stila. Today, she crafts nourishing protein bars and a life rich in personal growth and careful self-mastery. Residing in Manhattan, she blends the wisdom of experience with the vibrancy of ongoing adventures in wellness, reading, and even piano improvisations. A testament to resilience, she’s not just surviving the urban jungle but taking a starring role in her life.

maren jensen, glow beauty bar, stila
Photograph by David Harry Stewart.

Mine is the archetypal actress story: I was drawn to acting in high school and was in school productions.

How old are you?
I’m 67.

Are you married?

Do you have children?
I have an adult daughter and stepson.

Where do you live?

How did your acting career begin?
Mine is the archetypal actress story: I was drawn to acting in high school and was in school productions.

Where did you grow up? 
Glendale. I went to UCLA and thought I would take a traditional path but I started taking theater classes and, of course, was re-hooked. So, I stayed in the theater and film department until I dropped out after my third year. My mother was in tears. But I got a break in my chosen field, got a great agent, and was sent on big projects.

What was the highlight of Maren Jensen’s acting career?
Working with these phenomenal actors; Lorne Greene as my daddy, Richard Hatch, and Dirk Benedict were great people to work with. 

maren jensen, glow beauty bar, stila
Photograph by David Harry Stewart.

And what was it like being a female in that world then? 
Every week was another me-too incident, and it didn’t matter at what level you were working. I had great agents and a great manager. It was just the sense of entitlement that certain men — not all men, but certain men — had in business. It was surprising and marked me.

“I would say, I floated close to complete wellness”

What happened next?
I got dreadfully sick on my last project and had to continue filming. If I recall, I had over 50 scenes and a lot of night shoots. I was never able to shed that virus, and it turned into chronic fatigue syndrome, which is the same as long COVID, a post-viral syndrome. By the time I got better, I couldn’t withstand the stress of a performing career. So, I retired in my 20s.

Talk about a challenge and how you got through it, then take us through your journey to wellness.
I like David Lee Roth’s quote, “I didn’t get there, but I got in a boat and I floated close to it.” So, I would say, I floated close to complete wellness. My journey started with an endless round of seeing MDs. I didn’t have much joy in that pursuit because they didn’t know what was wrong with me. One doctor told me, “Just go ahead and exercise.” 

About a year later, I had the great fortune of meeting an internist familiar with this post-viral syndrome issue. He was an integrative internist, bringing the best healing modalities to bear. And he helped me quite a bit. A combination of acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, supplements, different diets, and allopathic medicine combined with an experimental, daring mindset helped me get well. I still take some of those supplements. It sounds so hippy, but it’s true.

“I meditate. That’s the bedrock of my emotional and physical health”

How about your health today? 
With age comes a desire for a degree of self-mastery. When I was younger, I was told I couldn’t run around, stay up late, and do everything other people my age were doing. And now, I’m thrilled to live a more cautious lifestyle. My secret sauce is a lot of sleep. I take an enormous amount of supplements. CoQ10, vitamin D. I’ve been taking supplements for a long time, which are in my current product, beauty supplements in a bar. They’re essentially health supplements for skin, hair, and nails.

I also do Pilates, stretches, weightlifting, and walk my fanny off. And I meditate. That’s the bedrock of my emotional and physical health. I meditate every morning before getting out of bed. It starts my system in a calm, centered place. We average 60,000 thoughts a day. Most of them are pure crap. 

maren jensen, glow beauty bar, stila
Photograph by David Harry Stewart.

What about nutrition?
I’m a pescatarian. I eat a lot of protein. It’s essential mass. As people age, they require more protein. The sturdier I am, the more I can withstand any future storms that come my way.

Innovating Beauty

How did you come to beauty after Battlestar
I appreciate the transformative power of cosmetics, having been on camera in those early years. I had the great fortune of working with some fantastic makeup artists. If I had my own company, I could make my hours and care for my health, and then I wouldn’t be beholden to a box. It’s not what happened, of course. The life of an entrepreneur is 24/7, and that was certainly the case with Stila.

I partnered with a woman who already had a burgeoning artistry career, Jeanine Lobell.

We kept her in the foreground because her career was explosive, and she had a fantastic clientele. We focused on makeup artistry and her driving product development and marketing. She’s super-talented.

The big brands at that time were MAC and Make Up For Ever. We were more about wearable and everyday beauty to look your best. That was the messaging and innovating in the makeup artistry space, and we were the first to have the package that was also a brush simultaneously, which was later imitated a million times.

We also had recycled paper packaging for lipstick and eyeshadows and received a patent for the eyeshadow package. We also used illustrations. That was quite innovative at the time and was immediately copied everywhere. We were the first in many areas, and I give Jeanine much credit for that.

maren jensen, glow beauty bar, stila, superage quiz

And then what happened? 
Well, it took us five years to build the brand. We had suitors in year four or five, but we decided to sell to Estée Lauder because it was the best fit for us. We had a five-year management contract and stayed on board until then.

Give us a hot beauty tip. 
I love the Il Makiage self-tanning foam. It’s unbelievable. 

“Our vision was to innovate the protein bar market”

Tell us about your company.
I co-founded Glow Beauty Fuel with Laura Shoemaker, a homeopath and expert in breath-focused yoga. Our vision was to innovate the protein bar market, notorious for its inedible products. We focus on taste and nutrition, crafting bars with 10 to 12 grams of protein, under 200 calories, and less than 6 grams of sugar. Our bars avoid natural flavors and unnecessary additives, instead incorporating functional ingredients like grass-fed collagen and hibiscus flower extract, which are beneficial for skin, hair, and nails. These bars provide the nutritional equivalent of 15 capsules, addressing pill fatigue and making daily supplementation more enjoyable.

What about your beauty routine?
I get tons of sleep and take all my supplements. I like vitamin C products, such as serums and brightening products, but I use the mildest forms. No facials. I keep meaning to, but I never do.

Are you a makeup person?
Yes. I blend my foundation between three different shades. And I just love my purpose-built makeup brushes. I have a lot of knowledge about fiber, products, and shapes. I use a very sheer product, and then I take a Kevyn Aucoin concealer pod and dab it where I need it.

“I’m obsessed with fashion. Completely and utterly obsessed”

Let’s talk about clothing.
I’m obsessed with fashion. Completely and utterly obsessed.

How has your style evolved? 
I was probably a more conservative dresser in my 30s and 40s because I was conducting business. At the time, I felt like my partner was the more stylish one, and I was usually in some version of an Armani suit.

Now, I’m open to various fashion and skirt lengths other than microminis or shorts.

I work hard on my fitness, so why wouldn’t I?

I love color. That being said, I try to avoid black, but I love it.  I follow trends and am known to buy things from Instagram.

How do you approach learning and personal growth? 
I reduce that negative self-talk. What’s that Mark Twain quote? It’s something like, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which have never come true.” I think that should be on my tombstone. And with age comes, I don’t want to say wisdom, but certainly more acceptance. Acceptance of meeting people where they’re at, not trying to change them. I encourage the people I love to pursue things of their liking and not of my liking.

A good practice for me is having a daughter who lives with me because I’m transitioning between giving unsolicited advice, listening, taking it in,  and only giving it when asked.

maren jensen, glow beauty fuel, stila
Maren Jensen in Battlestar Galactica.

“I play and make things up on the piano”

Anything new that you’ve taken up? 
I play and make things up on the piano. It’s a lot of fun. I’m a reader. I’m reading a Robert Caro book called The Power Broker. It’s the story of Robert Moses, who is responsible for many of the most incredible things in our city and some of the most tragic. He created the parkways and the park system across New York. He had so much power. And there’s a podcast called 99% Invisible, and they have different guests on, and they’re discussing The Power Broker. It’s fascinating. So, there’s a little cult of Power Broker readers and enthusiasts, one of whom is Conan O’Brien. He guests on that, and it’s hilarious. 

I’m also an avid museum and concert person. I was just at the Whitney and saw the Biennial. It’s edgy stuff, I liked it a lot. I went to see the Kronos Quartet with the Ghost Train Orchestra, and they did an all-Moondog program. It was transcendent. And I’m going to some big concerts this spring: Neil Young, The Stones, Dylan, and Willie Nelson. Have you seen Mick Jagger dancing lately? He’s unbelievable.

“I have girlfriends and dear friends who consistently inspire me”

What’s on your playlist? 
I love Beyoncé’s new record and that she took on the country genre and put it in the blender. There are some stunning songs and collaborations.

Who was a significant mentor in your life?
Well, I’d say business-wise at Estée Lauder, the grand poobah Leonard Lauder taught me a lot about marketing, listening to your customers, and establishing a point of difference for your products so I could carve out a niche.

In my 30s, I listened to Tony Robbins just to get up and go. I also listened to Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer. Great quotes, including Maya Angelou, certainly inspire me.

I also have girlfriends and dear friends who consistently inspire me. 

How do you define success now, and how has that definition evolved over the years?
It’s changed big time. When I was starting Stila, I had a lot to prove. Not only to myself, but people presumed I wasn’t the sharpest pencil in the pack because I had been a model. I also had to prove that I was vital, could work, and could still accomplish things. There was a darkness to some of that because there were certain people that I wanted to stick it to. (laughs)

And now, that’s completely gone. Happiness now is success. That includes healthy relationships, uplifting and positive contributions, and not being on the parasitic train. 

“Happiness now is success”

What advice could you give about embracing aging?
It’s a privilege. I’m sure I’m not the first to say that. But it is a privilege to walk on this beautiful planet, breathe air, and live in the city of my dreams, where getting older is okay.

We don’t have the sorrows surrounding younger women because so many cultural pressures are placed on them. I’m not saying that I’m immune to that. But I’m in a better place. 

Stay busy, whatever that looks like for you, and whatever brings you happiness, and spend time with your dearest friends. You never know when they’ll be around or you’ll be around. Cultivate a spiritual practice that feeds your soul. That’s critical.

Looking forward, what are some projects you’re excited about? 
We’re developing more products and preparing to mass distribute our bars.

What are three non-negotiables in life?
Love in a more intimate way, as well as with my children. Good sleep, and keeping that intellect fed.

Lovely. Is there anything else you want to share with AGEIST?
No. I’m just very grateful to speak with and meet you.

Thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure.

Connect with Maren:
Glow Beauty Fuel

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.


Sheri Radel Rosenberghttps://unapologeticstyle.substack.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg is a Philly-born, Brooklyn-based writer who explores style, beauty, culture, and midlife with wit, warmth, and wisdom. Her story includes successful forays in the worlds of trend forecasting, ad agency photo production, ghostwriting, and strategic messaging development for fashion and beauty brands - all while amassing a slip dress collection that would make any Gen Xer proud. At the dawn of social media, Sheri launched her personal blog–which combines her passion for writing with her style obsession–and she hasn’t looked back. As Style Editor for the AGEIST, she’s inspired by the styles of the 70s and the 90s, along with all the beautiful people she sees daily in NYC.


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