Quotes

  • “Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.”
  • “My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about the success.”
  • “If you rest, you rust.”
  • “The truth [is] that there is only one terminal dignity – love. And the story of love is not important – what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.”
  • “Woman we called ‘miss’ for reasons that are now obscure.”
  • “Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn’t original sin. He’s born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security, and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new loveliness of his own making, and it’s a tragedy. A lot of people don’t have the courage to do it.”
  • “Perhaps the absense of glamour contributed to my popularity. It may be that audiences felt comfortable with an actress who seemed cozy, approachable, unlike the flamboyant leading ladies I once knew in the theater.”
  • “I think that personality is what buoyed me through my whole career. That, and my small stature. Whatever quality it was I had, people have always been protective of me.”
  • “My career from earliest childhood was like a bright shiny bucket in a bucket line — I was passed along from hand to hand with everyone helping.”
  • “There were times at the theater when one or another of the young actors would make a pass, but invariably they reconsidered, deciding I was too ‘sweet.’ I was cursed with innocence.”
  • “Hollywood can’t believe that anyone does anything without an eye on the public, as if every actor wants to read about himself in the papers. It’s depressing to think that such an artificial and unbalanced community exerts so much influence on our country.”
  • “Feminism has its virtues, but I think we’re pushing too hard, upsetting ourselves too much.”
  • “I don’t think I’m much good in pictures, and I have a beautiful dream that I’m elegant onstage.”
  • “Sometimes I became so melancholic that I felt all actresses should be spayed so they couldn’t have children. It’s so very difficult to balance the careers of motherhood and the theater.”
  • “Celebrity has always struck me as a dubious and transitory claim to achievement in our society. Status seekers and other so-called glitterati stand precariously on shifting sands, ever in danger of being swallowed up and then replaced by a fresh throng of famous or notorious stars.”
  • “Although I don’t look back warmly on this final stage of my career, at least I am not embarrassed by anything I was connected with. There were no horror pictures and no sleaze. Everything was geared to what they call ‘family audiences.’ I’m proud of that.”
  • “Sometimes when I’m asked what I’ve been doing since retirement, I’m tempted to answer, ‘I accept honors.’ That may sound egotistical, but the truth is that almost every honor or award — and I’ve collected quite a few, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom — has embarrassed me. Why single me out just for doing what was asked of me? I didn’t go out and serve, but was always recruited for some service or another.”
  • “Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it did alright by me.”