“Until you’re known in my profession as a monster, you’re not a star.”

“Old age is no place for sissies.”

“If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it.”

“The male ego with few exceptions is elephantine to start with.”

“Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.”

“Today everyone is a star – they’re all billed as ‘starring’ or ‘also starring’. In my day, we earned that recognition.”

“Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone – but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.”

“Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should ALL be bigger than life.”

“I went back to work because someone had to pay for the groceries.”

“Success only breeds a new goal.”

“There was more good acting at Hollywood parties than ever appeared on the screen.”

“I would advise any woman against having an affair with a married man believing he will ever leave his wife, no matter how often he says his wife does not understand him. Love is not as necessary to a man’s happiness as it is to a woman’s. If her marriage is satisfactory, a woman will seldom stray. A man can be totally contented and still be out howling at the moon.”

“To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”

“I’d marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me and guarantee that he’d be dead within a year.”

“I will never be below the title.”

“If Hollywood didn’t work out, I was prepared to be the best secretary in the world.”

“We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to.”

“We’re all busy little bees, full of stings, making honey day and night, aren’t we honey?”

“Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade. With it, it becomes creation.”

“You know what I’m going to have on my gravestone? ‘She did it the hard way.’”

“You should know me well enough by now to know I don’t ask for things I don’t think I can get.”

“Men become much more attractive when they start looking older. But it doesn’t do much for women, though we do have an advantage: make-up.”

“My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose.”

“People often become actresses because of something they dislike about themselves: They pretend they are someone else.”

“Psychoanalysis. Almost went three times – almost. Then I decided what was peculiar about me was probably what made me successful. I’ve seen some very talented actors go into analysis and really lose it.”

“This has always been a motto of mine: Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.”

“I think I’ll have a large order of prognosis negative.”

“I was the Marlon Brando of my generation.”

“I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.”

“Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child. He needs guidance. If there is love, there is no such thing as being too tough with a child. A parent must also not be afraid to hang himself. If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”

“Hollywood always wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism.”

“I am doomed to an eternity of compulsive work. No set goal achieved satisfies. Success only breeds a new goal. The golden apple devoured has seeds. It is endless.”

“I am just too much.”

“I don’t take the movies seriously, and anyone who does is in for a headache.”

“I have been uncompromising, peppery, intractable, monomaniacal, tactless, volatile, and oftentimes disagreeable… I suppose I’m larger than life.”

“I never did pal around with actresses. Their talk usually bored me to tears.”


“Bette Davis taught Hollywood to follow an actress instead of the actress following the camera, and she’s probably the best movie actress there’s ever been.”
— Elaine Stritch

“In my view, she’s one of the all-time great movie stars and actresses. I thought she was a great beauty, too. I just loved her looks. She is still quite a character, very determined and strong, and she refuses to concede an inch. I suppose that is what has kept her alive.”
— Lauren Bacall