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Quotes of the day: Tallulah Bankhead

Published Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 6:32 PM EST
Dec 11 2014

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American actress of the stage and screen, talk-show host, and reputed libertine. Bankhead was also known for her deep voice, flamboyant personality, and support of liberal causes, which broke with the tendency of Southern Democrats at the time to support a more conservative agenda. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1981. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Acting is a form of confusion.

Cocaine isn't habit forming. I should know- I've been using it for years.

Don't be taken in by the guff that critics are killing the theater. Commonly they sin on the side of enthusiasm. Too often they give their blessing to trash.

Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once.

I did what I could to inflate the rumor I was on my way to stardom. What I was on my way to, by any mathematical standards known to man, was oblivion, by way of obscurity.

I have been absolutely hag-ridden with ambition. If I could wish to have anything in the world it would be to be free of ambition.

I have three phobias which, could I mute them, would make my life as slick as a sonnet, but as dull as ditch water: I hate to go to bed, I hate to get up, and I hate to be alone.

I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.

I think the Republican party should be placed in drydock and have the barnacles scraped off its bottom.

I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late, start without me.

I'm as pure as the driven slush.

I'm not at my best when I start to moralize or philosophize. Logic is elusive, especially to one who so rarely uses it.

I've been called many things, but never an intellectual.

I've had a man and I've had a woman, and there's got to be something better.

I've tried several varieties of sex, all of which I hate. The conventional position makes me claustrophobic; the others give me a stiff neck and/or lockjaw.

If you really want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.

It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work- the night watchman.

Let's not quibble! I'm the foe of moderation, the champion of excess. If I may lift a line from a die-hard whose identity is lost in the shuffle, "I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right."

My father warned me about men and booze, but he never mentioned a word about women and cocaine.

Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.

Television could perform a great service in mass education, but there's no indication its sponsors have anything like this on their minds.

The less I behave like Whistler's mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.

The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.

There have been only two authentic geniuses in the world, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.

There's less in this than meets the eye.

They say it's the good girls who keep diaries. The bad girls never have the time. Me, I just wanna live a life I'm gonna remember even if I don't write it down.

They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum.


(December 12 is also the birthday of Gustave Flaubert.)

Categories: Quotes on a topic, Tallulah Bankhead


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