Friday, July 18, 2014

Elaine Stritch Quotes

1. (on friend and actress Vivien Leigh) Everything about that girl was sad. Except her talent. Nothing sad about that.

2. (on dating Rock Hudson) I walked into that innocently, and I walked out doubly innocently.

3. (on Judy Garland) I honestly believe that she was the most talented female performer of the twentieth century.

4. You can't be funny unless you're tragic, and you can't be tragic unless you're funny.

5. (on having diabetes) It's a pain in the ass, quite frankly.

6. Why haven't I made more movies? Nobody asked me.

7. I've looked my worst, I've seen myself photographed badly, goodly, whatever. I'm not afraid of anything like that anymore. That's dumb, to be afraid of that. "Ohh, no makeup! Wait, my hair!" Please. You know what I mean? I'm not scared of that anymore in life.

8. You never know what is happening to yourself when it is happening.

9. As a diabetic, I'm a walking picnic. I have to eat measured amounts of food at certain times.

10. I could have made a lot of money doing "Golden Girls," and I would have been good. But the image of it! And for me to work with Betty White every day would be like taking cyanide.

11. When I want to do something badly enough, I do it, but there is a practical side of me that thinks I should be paid fairly.

12. Diabetes is a lousy, lousy disease.

13. I was twelve, and my dad and sisters were downstairs in the living room having cocktails. My dad made what must have been a strong whiskey sour, and he gave me half. And a star was born!

14. When I'm playing comedy, it is such a crap shoot of what will work and what won't.

15. I do believe in the infallibility of the Pope, because I think we have to believe in something.

16. This age thing is all up to you. It's like happiness is up to you. You just have to understand what it is before you get it.

17. Honestly, this is a big thing to say, but I don't think I've ever been bored. If I even get an inkling of it, I split. I love that lyric in Thanks for the Memory: "You might've been a headache/ But you never were a bore". I think being boring is just the worst sin of all time.

18. I can't explain chemistry. I really can't. I haven't got a clue what it's all about. It just happens. It's like falling in love. You can't explain why you fall in love or explain why it's this particular person.

19. Quite frankly I don't know how to be happy. I have not a clue. I only serve - and I don't say that with any grandeur. I just serve others through entertaining. That's when I am happy. I'm not just delighted with myself when I'm entertaining, but I'm happier than when I'm not.

20. There's certainly nothing lasting and definite about the theater.

21. I care about money, very much. I want it. I don't ever want to be without it. My mother once said about me: "Elaine has to have money."

22. Talent is very dangerous. It alienates people.

23. This is for people who have dough. It's expensive. That's the way it is.

24. (imitating Noel Coward) STRITCHY! Your attempt to keep it light, keep it gay, impossible I'm afraid. The book is not very good, the score is not very good, the direction isn't very good, the choreography is not very good. The leading lady is quite good, indeed, and right now she is alone in her dressing room in tears having a very, very, VERY, large scotch. Take heart, Stritchy! Any leading lady who doesn't do a double take when a nine -foot bear asks her to dance is my kind of actress! 

25. Look at the company I'm in here. And I'm so glad none of them won.

26. I don't have to go to a doctor and have my face changed. It terrifies me that women do that.

27. All you have to do is say: "I'm going home," and you're the most popular girl at the party.

28. I compare Stephen Sondheim with humor, because humor is unanalyzable. You can't analyze humor. You just have to get through it.

29. The people in New York - their humor is on a level that goes, uh, very deep, you know?

30. (on drinking) For my money, insecurity, depression, etc, can be healed by way of El Morocco, sad songs at 4am, and the pop of a champagne cork.

31. I've come to the point in my life where less is more. The minute the last hammer fell on the last nail I called the real estate office.

32. I was reading (a self-help book) yesterday and it said: "Make your own bed." I said to the book: "F---you! I don't have to make my own bed! That's why I live at the Carlyle."

33. I am not influenced by other human beings. But I am inspired.

34. (The show) is a study in stardom. Here is a performer who knows who she is, understands her gifts, and maximizes every moment on stage to give the audience the very best of her talent.

35. (on her method) I don't know what the hell I'm doing up there half the time. These performers that go on about their technique and craft - oh, puleeze! How boring! I don't know what technique means. But I do know what experience is. I know in my gut when I've done a scene right.

36. I have not had any of that surgical stuff. I am too curious to find out exactly how I progress every day of my life naturally. That is what fascinates me.

37. For me, going to London is like coming home. In fact, I've often entertained the idea of ending my days there.

38. (on dating a short man) When I finally felt secure with him, I said: "f---you" and got myself some heels.

39. New Yorkers stop me on the street all the time to say: "You're terrific! You're the nuts!"

40. I always say: "If you can't give a reason for the banana peel being in the alley, then don't have the comic slide over it." Do you understand what I mean? First explain how the banana peel got there quickly. And then there's a reason for all the comedy.

41. (on her first orgasm) When I was doing Virginia Woolf, and when George and Martha had their scene together and George said: "Our son is dead." You know, that big scene? "Our son," he yells in my face: "is dead." And I went "No!" At the height of my force, I said no to him. And I had an orgasm for the first time in my life.

42. Fear is the base of what everybody does wrong in their lives.

43. I've got a certain amount of fame. I've got money. I wish I could f---in' drive, then I'd really be a menace.

44. Betty White is probably a very nice woman.

45. You cannot tell an audience a lie. They know it before you do; before it's out of your mouth, they know it's a lie.

46. My movie career - if such a thing even exists - is laughable.

47. All of the writing on "30 Rock" is a joy to go into. It's pretty hot stuff.

48. I'm not going to have three drinks, I'm not going to have four. I'm going to have two, and that's it, folks. I just want to enjoy life and relax a little bit and go out with the rich ladies in Birmingham and enjoy them. And you can't enjoy them sober.

49. There's something that really frightens me - and that's fear.

50. (on show business) Everybody's just lovin' everybody else just too much for my money.

51. I love reviews. Anybody who tells you they don't read reviews is a liar.

52. I will say this up front. I love to drink. I love booze so much that it scares the hell out of me.

53. Talent is seductive.

54. (on accepting roles in old age) Long as it has a wheelchair in it, I'm game.

55. There will always be ladies who lunch. Always. And apparently they live a long time.

56. I never say "getting old," because there's a finality to that. I'm just getting older and so are you, every day. So I'm still one of the mob.

57. I have no intention of retiring. Even my blood sugar is better when I'm working.

58. Why did I choose the career that I chose? I want to be talked about. I want to be written about. I want everything about me! And I don't make any bones about that.

59. Certain type of actresses get younger instead of older. I always say: "Only ingenues age."

60. I'm not good looking enough. Absolutely true. You have to be very, very good looking to get ahead in motion pictures.

61. What I want to understand is what I am talking about on the stage. What I don't want to understand is what the government is talking about when the government tells me about taxes.

62. I try to think of myself as an actress playing Elaine Stritch. That helps. 

63. Audiences are not strangers to me. They're the best friends I've got in my life.

64. (on Marlon Brando) Marlon's going to class to learn the Method was like sending a tiger to jungle school.

65. I'm funny when I want to be. And I'm even funny when I don't want to be.

66. Let me tell you about those convents. All that crap about extending the pinkie finger while sipping tea is a myth. Convent schools are breeding grounds for great broads and occasionally one-of-the-boys. Convent schools teach you to play against everything, which is what I'm still doing.

67. This is a time in my life where I'm gonna behave like an elegant human being. Or not.

68. Making clever speeches takes a lot of work and a lot of time.

69. I don't think there's any thrill in the world like doing work you're good at.

70. I'm a hotel baby, absolutely: it's hard to think of a hotel I haven't stayed in.

71. I love asking the way in London. A man actually left his shop to show me where to go. I thought: "I'm not that attractive and I don't look like a hooker, so what's in it for him?" I finally realized he was simply good-mannered.

72. My idea of serenity - that wonderful word that everybody's trying to get into their life - is call-waiting.

73. It gets tiring being a smart­ass.

74. If I see a great performance on television, onstage, in the movies, I go to work the next day with a renewed energy and less fear. These great artists take me out of my life and make me want to go there.

75. I think the most interesting New Yorkers are the people who were not born here.

76. I never found anyone who could look after me as well as I could look after myself.

77. I think it's the wrong way around to say: "When you get older move to the country." I think when you get older you move to New York.

78. I'm a good acting partner for me…when I don't have anyone else, I do really well!

79. I love Birmingham, Michigan. It's lovely - you know, it's very similar to the Hamptons.

80. (on Marlon Brando) He walked into a room and it was knockout time.

81. I find it easier to abstain than do a little bit of anything. I'm not a "little bit" kind of dame. I want it all, whatever I do.

82. I don't want to see a movie twice. I don't want to do anything twice.

83. I don't think I'm gonna die tomorrow or even two weeks from now, or even ever. I just don't know - who the hell knows what's gonna happen to them? Nobody! Isn't that comforting? Nobody has a clue. I like that we don't know. And I like that it's somebody else's decision, not mine.

84. I love holidays in New York. I love 'em. I want to celebrate something all the time, and New York has holidays for every day of the week, practically. I like holidays in New York City.

85. I like being talked about. I think some people really don't…because they're secure enough and they don't need that.

86. I tell the truth, and it has gotten me into a lot of trouble. My dad used to say to me: "If you tell the truth all day long, you will end up in jail."

87. I don't have a great talent for explaining myself in acting because I can't explain it.

88. I don't wear a wig. I'd feel terrible onstage with a wig. I hate to be so "Actors Studio"- ish, but I like to feel it's me out there.

89. The closer a part is to you, the harder it is to play. Anything else is just imitation. If I'm playing a Russian countess, I get the hat, the accent, the outrageousness. Easy. Playing a murderess? Perfect.

What do you think of Elaine Stritch's quotes?

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