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Quotes of the day: Helen Hayes

Published Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 12:02 AM EDT
Mar 17 2014

Helen Hayes Brown (October 10, 1900 - March 17, 1993) was an American actress whose career spanned almost 80 years. She eventually garnered the nickname 'First Lady of the American Theatre' and was one of twelve people who have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. Hayes also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, from President Ronald Reagan in 1986. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


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 success.

Actors cannot choose the manner in which they are born. Consequently, it is the one gesture in their lives completely devoid of self-consciousness.

Actors work and slave- and it is the color of your hair that can determine your fate in the end.

After all my years in the theater, I can look back on only a handful of moments that met my own standards of perfection. When you transcend yourself and really get inside the character, it's like being touched by God.

Age is not important unless you're a cheese.

Childhood is a short season.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it did alright by me.

Egocentrics are attracted to the inept. It gives them one more excuse for patting themselves on the back.

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.

From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.

I cry out for order and find it only in art.

If you rest, you rust.

Legends die hard. They survive as truth rarely does.

Love is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.

Marriage is like a war. There are moments of chivalry and gallantry that attend the victorious advances and strategic retreats, the birth or death of children, the momentary conquest of loneliness, the sacrifice that ennobles him who makes it. But mostly there are the long dull sieges, the waiting, the terror and boredom. Women understand this better than men; they are better able to survive attrition.

One has to grow up with good talk in order to form the habit of it.

Only the poet can look beyond the detail and see the whole picture.

People who refuse to rest honorably on their laurels when they reach 'retirement' age seem very admirable to me.

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.

The faster we travel, the less there is to see.

The good die young- but not always. The wicked prevail- but not consistently. I am confused by life, and I feel safe within the confines of the theatre.

The hardest years in life are between ten and seventy.

The old-fashioned idea that the simple piling up of experiences, one on top of another, can make you an artist, is, of course, so much rubbish. If acting were just a matter of experience, then any busy harlot could make Garbo’s Camille pale.

The worst constructed play is a Bach fugue when compared to life.

Categories: Helen Hayes, Quotes of the day


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