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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

Oscar Wilde, dramatist

I have often seen an actor laugh off the stage, but I don't remember ever having seen one weep.

Denis Diderot, editor

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

Oscar Wilde, dramatist

Acting on a good idea is better than just having a good idea.

Robert Half, businessman

While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.

Oscar Wilde, dramatist

Acting is not being emotional, but being able to express emotion.

Thomas Reid, philosopher

Acting is a question of absorbing other people's personalities and adding some of your own experience.

Paul Newman, actor

It is not whether you really cry. It's whether the audience thinks you are crying.

Ingrid Bergman, actress

Acting doesn't bring anything to a text. On the contrary, it detracts from it.

Marguerite Duras, novelist

We become actors without realizing it, and actors without wanting to.

Henri Frederic Amiel, philosopher

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that's printed about him.

Orson Welles, actor

She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.

Dorothy Parker, poet

Celebrity is death --- celebrity -- that's the worst thing that can happen to an actor.

John Cusack, actor

They are the only honest hypocrites, their life is a voluntary dream, a studied madness.

William Hazlitt, critic

I must say that acting was good training for the political life that lay ahead of us.

Nancy Reagan, first lady

Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it.

Konstantin Stanislavisky,

Above all, ignore the audience....

Minnie Maddern Fiske, actress

I have tried to be as eclectic as I possibly can with my professional life, and so far it's been pretty fun.

Holly Hunter, actress

Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.

Konstantin Stanislavisky,

Until Ace Ventura, no actor had considered talking through his ass.

Jim Carrey, comedian

A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming.

Jane Fonda, actress

I don't do T & A very well because I haven't got much of either.

Tea Leoni, actress

I don't get acting jobs because of my looks.

Alec Baldwin, actor

We must overact our part in some measure, in order to produce any effect at all.

William Hazlitt, critic

Some people are addicts. If they don't act, they don't exist.

Jeanne Moreau, actress

You name it and I've done it. I'd like to say I did it my way. But that line, I'm afraid, belongs to someone else.

Sammy Davis Jr.,

I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment.

Marcel Marceau, actor

Acting is a matter of giving away secrets.

Ellen Barkin, actress

Acting is nothing more or less than playing. The idea is to humanize life.

Jeff Goldblum, actor

You've got to perform in a role hundreds of times. In keeping it fresh one can become a large, madly humming, demented refrigerator.

Ralph Richardson, actor

No matter what happens, we couldn't let people say Asian-American actors can't act.

Mako, actor

Acting is the perfect idiot's profession.

Katharine Hepburn, actress

I'm not handsome in the classical sense. The eyes droop, the mouth is crooked, the teeth aren't straight, the voice sounds like a Mafioso pallbearer, but somehow it all works.

Sylvester Stallone, actor

Ah just act the way ah feel.

Elvis Presley, singer

Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors.

Gene Hackman, actor

Oh! it offends me to the soul to hear a robust periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings.

William Shakespeare, dramatist

I never said all actors are cattle, what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.

Alfred Hitchcock, director

A lot of what acting is paying attention.

Robert Redford, actor

Left eyebrow raised, right eyebrow raised.

Roger Moore, actor

I can't tell you how many shows I've done with full-blown migraine headaches.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas, actor

If I wasn't an actor, I'd be a secret agent.

Elijah Wood, actor

I want to aspire to something like what Denzel Washington does, which is try to find scripts written for white actors - or Jodie Foster, who reads scripts for male actors.

Wentworth Miller, actor

I was born at the age of twelve on a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot.

Judy Garland, actress

The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part.

Miguel de Cervantes, novelist

To see him act is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet

The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.

Charlie Chaplin, actor

Show me a great actor and I'll show you a lousy husband. Show me a great actress, and you've seen the devil.

W. C. Fields, comedian

To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.

Marlon Brando, actor

First of all, I choose the great roles, and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don't come, I choose the ones that pay the rent.

Michael Caine, actor

I think I am a much better actor than I have allowed myself to be.

Kevin Spacey, actor

Ninety per cent of how you learn is watching great people. When you are surrounded by good actors it lifts your performance.

Natalie Portman, actress

There were many times my pants were so thin I could sit on a dime and tell if it was heads or tails.

Spencer Tracy, actor

If a farmer fills his barn with grain, he gets mice. If he leaves it empty, he gets actors.

Bill Vaughan, journalist

I was very pleased you know, and I was afraid that I might stick out, but I didn't. My happiest thing about that picture is that I proved that American actors can speak as well and also fit in with an ensemble like that.

Rod Steiger, actor

I had read the novel and I had heard David Lean was going to direct it - and it came as a surprise to me because American actors, if given the chance, can do style as well as anybody and speak as well as anybody.

Rod Steiger, actor

A lot of young actors will do a scene and then run off and look at themselves. I don't believe in that at all.

Charlotte Rampling, actress

Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself.

Jeanne Moreau, actress

Good actors are a dime a dozen, but I want actors that are gonna be part of my team and collaborative.

Joe Pantoliano, actor

These are extremely talented actors who are all putting their talents into the Lost in Space movie.

Mark Goddard, actor

Heart of America is a movie I'm very proud of. The young actors are great and the story has impact.

Uwe Boll, director

He used this great, sad, motionless face to suggest various related things: a one-track mind near the track's end of pure insanity; mulish imperturbability under the wildest of circumstances; how dead a human being can get and still be alive...

James Agee, novelist

The actors today really need the whip hand. They're so lazy. They haven't got the sense of pride in their profession that the less socially elevated musical comedy and music hall people or acrobats have. The theater has never been any good since the actors became gentlemen.

W. H. Auden, poet

The face of Garbo is an Idea, that of Hepburn an Event.

Roland Barthes, critic

I have to act to live.

Sir Laurence Olivier,

Well, acting is cheap; I knew all these actors who weren't in the Screen Actors Guild yet, and it happened that they were all just about thirty years old.

John Sayles, director

I want to work with great directors. I want to work on good material with good actors. I've probably done 20 movies at this point and a lot of independents. It's been an incredible ride and I love it and I'm just going to keep going and doing what I'm doing.

Famke Janssen, actress

Acting is happy agony.

Sir Alec Guinness,

The most minor gifts and not a very high class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.

Katharine Hepburn, actress

I could have gone the route of a lot of these former child actors, but I didn't want that for myself. Like I said, when I was 14 years old, I decided to quit. I didn't ever want to do it again.

Macaulay Culkin, actor

A lot of talented actors still have to pay their bills.

Mark Wahlberg, actor

You have film actors doing TV, rap stars doing TV, with everyone kind of crossing the line.

Anthony Michael Hall, actor

I think it's even harder because I think as always, Hollywood is sort of glamour central for the world, and the entire world looks to it for not only entertainment, but the whole idea of the youth factor and youth being sold to our culture via young actors and actresses.

Anthony Michael Hall, actor

An actor is a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, he ain't listening.

George Glass,

Film actors reach a certain level, but they don't get beyond it unless they work in the theater.

Shirley Knight, actress

If I am not right for something there are many talented actors out there that will get it.

Tara Strong, actress

Heath Ledger's performance in 'The Dark Knight' quite simply changed the game. He raised the bar not just for actors in superhero films, but young actors everywhere; for me. His performance was dark, anarchic, dizzying, free, and totally, thrillingly, dangerous.

Tom Hiddleston, actor

My influences were Peter Sellers and the great British character actors.

Tracey Ullman, comedian

A man who strains himself on the stage is bound, if he is any good, to strain all the people sitting in the stalls.

Bertolt Brecht, poet

It is unfortunate that the poor judgment shown by a small group of young actors has tarnished the reputation of every child who has ever appeared before a camera.

Fred Savage, actor

It is interesting to be here and to see that for certain actors they have to live in a way that you think of nobody living anymore except for in small towns. They have such elaborate double lives.

Bill Condon, director

Any actor will tell you there's more of a schedule to doing a television show. That's why you'll notice a lot of big movie actors are doing television, and they'll tell you, it's because of the schedule.

Jason Marsden, actor

Everyone the world over talks about British actors and British talent and I think that's because we were trained - until now - in theatre.

Brenda Blethyn, actress

Every other movie is one of those action things. I mean, 'Lost in Space'? A bunch of good actors running around shooting at special effects on a soundstage? I took my kids to see that and felt like I was on an acid trip.

Tom Berenger, actor

A woman in agony of spirit might turn her head just so; a man in deep humiliation probably would wring his hands in such a way. From straws like these, drawn from completely different sources, the fabric of a character may be built.

Eleanor Robson Belmont, actress

For an actress to be a success, she must have the face of a Venus, the brains of a Minerva, the grace of Terpsichore, the memory of a MaCaulay, the figure of Juno, and the hide of a rhinoceros.

Ethel Barrymore, actress

A lot of male actors are method actors and they become the characters which they both were.

Izabella Scorupco, actress

An actor rides in a bus or railroad train; he sees a movement and applies it to a new role. The whole garment in which the actor hides himself is made of small externals of observation fitted to his conception of a role.

Eleanor Robson Belmont, actress

You must have this charm to reach the pinnacle. It is made of everything and of nothing, the striving will, the look, the walk, the proportions of the body, the sound of the voice, the ease of the gestures. It is not at all necessary to be handsome or to be pretty; all that is needful is charm.

Sarah Bernhardt, actress

The thing about anything in life is you have to get ready for it. Study, learn and in terms of acting, there's a lot to learn. The bigger culture you have in life, the better actor you'll be. You'll have more to pull on.

Jacqueline Bisset, actress

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. The principal benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis.

Marlon Brando, actor

The actor's popularity is evanescent; applauded today, forgotten tomorrow.

Edwin Forrest,

One forgets too easily the difference between a man and his image, and that there is none between the sound of his voice on the screen and in real life.

Robert Bresson, director

From '86 until the summer of last year, wherever I went, people would say, You would have made a great James Bond! Weren't you going to be James Bond? You should have been, you could have been, you may have been. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. It was like unfinished business in my life. I couldn't say no to it this time around.

Pierce Brosnan, actor

When I was a fireman I was in a lot of burning buildings. It was a great job, the only job I ever had that compares with the thrill of acting. Before going into a fire, there's the same surge of adrenaline you get just before the camera rolls.

Steve Buscemi, actor

I am acquainted with no immaterial sensuality so delightful as good acting.

Lord Byron, poet

Such is an actor's life. We must ride the waves of every film, barfing occasionally, yet maintain our dignity, even as the bulk of our Herculean efforts are keel-hauled before our very eyes. On filming MacHale's Navy

Bruce Campbell, actor

The popularity of that baby-faced boy, who possessed not even the elements of a good actor, was a hallucination in the public mind, and a disgrace to our theatrical history.

Thomas Campbell, poet

When he ran from a cop his transitions from accelerating walk to easy jog trot to brisk canter to headlong gallop to flogged-piston sprint...were as distinct and as soberly in order as an automatic gearshift.

James Agee, novelist

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.

Bette Davis, actress

Young actors are serious about their work and don't take any time out from it. I'm very serious about my work; there are probably only two films I've done where I had a really good time.

Miranda Otto, actress

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Who has the best quotes? Top quotes from American, British, French, German and Spanish authors. 11 James Agee quotes, 2 Elaine Dundy quotes, 4 Elton John quotes, 24 Marguerite Duras quotes, 14 Wilson Greatbatch quotes, 9 Marlon Brando quotes, 49 Katharine Hepburn quotes, sayings and images.

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